Football News

Arsenal 2-2 Tottenham: Player ratings as spoils are shared in blockbuster North London derby

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 16:10, 24 September 2023

The 194th North London derby bragging rights were shared as Arsenal and Tottenham played out an entertaining 2-2 draw on Sunday.

A back-and-forth contest saw Mikel Arteta’s men go ahead on two occasions — through a Cristian Romero own goal and Bukayo Saka converted spot kick — with dynamic Tottenham duo James Maddison and Son Heung-Min combing to level matters.

Consequently, this result leaves both teams unbeaten through six Premier League games, each on 14 points and four behind early leads Manchester City.

Here’s how the players rated at the Emirates Stadium:


David Raya – 7 – Retained his spot after usurping Aaron Ramsdale as the Gunners’ number one. It was justified after producing an acrobatic stop just as Johnson thought he equalised. Moments later Son did what Johnson couldn’t though Raya made things difficult for himself after initially pushing the ball into a dangerous area.

Oleksandr Zinchenko – 6.5 – A subdued outing for the Ukrainian who still managed to complete the most passes in this game.

Gabriel – 6 – Stepped up with a crucial block as Tottenham gained a semblance of ascendency.

William Saliba – 7 – The last man back as Spurs registered their second equaliser. As important as Saliba is the Frenchman isn’t super-human. He nevertheless provided some tidy defending including an important block on Richarlison late on.

Ben White – 6.5 – Played a key role in the build-up to Arsenal’s second when Romero handled the ball from point-blank range as he tried to block his effort.

Fábio Vieira – 5 – An interesting selection choice from Arteta but the young Portuguese midfielder was unable to impose himself on this contest.

Declan Rice – 5 – Brought on for such games like this. But didn’t come back on after the break with images later showing him sitting on the bench with a bandage around his left calf.

Martin Ødegaard – 7 – Unquestionably the creative hub of Arsenal’s attack but the Norwegian playmaker, who recently penned a new deal, showcased his counter-pressing qualities as he often reapplied the pressure on Spurs.

Eddie Nketiah – 5 – Recklessly lunged into Vicario which saw him cautioned but it could have been more if the Italian had been seriously hurt. Should have been at the back post late on to restore Arsenal’s lead, but he never anticipated the flick-on following a brilliant Saka corner.

“Nketiah, you have to be in there, how could he not smell to be in there where Ian Wright would be, he had to be there, that is his job. He has to be flying in at the far post, but he is late,” an exasperated Neville commented.

Gabriel Jesus – 6.5 – He really should have doubled Arsenal’s lead following another mistake from Spurs but his effort went over Vicario’s goal.

Bukayo Saka – 8.5 – Fast becoming the club’s most valuable player. He’s now been involved in 19 goals in his last 19 Premier League home appearances for Arsenal (13 goals and six assists), either scoring (three) or assisting (one) in all four of his league games at the Emirates Stadium this season. 


Kai Havertz (for Vieira 46) – 4.5 – Soon after coming on went into the book for bringing down Son in the middle of the pitch.

Jorginho (for Rice 46) – 4.5 – Head-in-hands moment for Jorginho with his first touch conceding possession to Maddison who subsequently played Son in for Tottenham’s second equaliser.

Reiss Nelson (for Jesus 77) – N/A – A late sub.

Emile Smith Rowe (for Saka 90+7) – N/A – A late sub.

Download the new Squawka Live app

  1. Download the Squawka Live app on the App Store or Google Play (here's the link). Currently, the app is available in the UK only.
  2. Follow your favourite sports, teams and leagues to receive notifications.
  3. Compare odds and set alerts for specific match scenarios.
  4. Use Squawka Live as your second screen with real-time updates from free-kicks to blocked shots and offsides.


Guglielmo Vicario – 5.5 – Pulled off an unbelievable save to deny Jesus in the 14th minute. However, there was nothing he could do as Romero’s wicked deflection sailed past him.

Destiny Udogie – 7 – Tasked with keeping Saka at bay which proved easier said than done. First to enter Rob Jones’ book after going in late on the England international. Undeterred the 20-year-old put his head down and finished the game strongly.

Micky van de Ven – 6.5 – Wasn’t able to display his electric pace as Spurs were on the back foot for much of today’s game. He did come good with some important clearances and interventions.

Cristian Romero – 4 – Inadvertently put the ball into his own net to give Arsenal a well-deserved lead. “It has been coming and it has been coming down this side and Saka was left with too much time to place his shot and some would say it is unlucky, but I say it is rash and Vicario has no chance,” Gary Neville said on Sky Sports commentary.

His nightmare continued after conceding a penalty shortly after half-time. He subsequently became the 11th player in Premier League history to score an own goal and give away a penalty in the same game, and the first Spurs player to do so.

Pedro Porro – 6 – Has really settled into this Postecoglou-led team. Found himself often in Arsenal’s final third and occasionally delivered a fine cross into the area.

Yves Bissouma – 7 – Booked for screaming in the referee’s face after feeling Ben White went unbooked after recklessly bringing Udogie down. Bissouma though grew further into the game in a silent but effective role.

Pape Matar Sarr – 5 – Took one for the team after initiating a tactical foul on Jesus as he sped through on another Arsenal counter.

Son Heung-Min – 9 – Seldom in the game until levelling proceedings with a neat finish. He equalised again shortly after Saka restored Arsenal’s lead. It proved to be his fifth and sixth Premier League goals through 17 appearances in this fixture.

In fact, excluding penalties, Son has either scored (six) or assisted (two) eight of Tottenham’s last ten top-flight goals against their neighbours. Furthermore, he’s the first Spurs player to score a brace away at Arsenal since John Hendry in a Premier League match in May 1993.

James Maddison – 8.5 – This was his 150th Premier League appearance. Playing a lot deeper than in recent weeks. It nearly cost the visitors after Vicario played the ball out to him on the edge of the penalty area but Jesus pounced and had a clear strike at goal. He should at least hit the target but smashed over.

“Oh you lucky boy… Maddison does not know where he is and that is a wild finish from Jesus,” came Neville’s response. Redeemed himself with a nice run to set up Son’s equaliser before providing for the South Korean again. He’s now contributed to goals in his last four away Premier League games (two goals and four assists). Had a late injury scare.

Dejan Kulusevski – 6 – Drove forward whenever in possession but couldn’t make it count as there were no teammates around or if he found them Raya was untroubled.

Brennan Johnson – 6.5 – Started ahead of Manor Solomon for his full Tottenham debut. Very unfortunate not to have registered his first goal in a Spurs jersey with Raya denying him with an excellent save.


Manor Solomon (for Johnson 63) – 4 – A like-for-like swap after the former Nottingham Forest man went off with an unfortunate injury.

Pierre-Emile Højbjerg (for Maddison 78) – N/A – A late sub.

Richarlison (for Son 78) – N/A – A late sub.