Arsene Wenger reveals he warned Coquelin about red card threat

SoccerBy Sunday World
Alexis Sanchez celebrates his equaliser for Arsenal against Spurs
Alexis Sanchez celebrates his equaliser for Arsenal against Spurs

In his post-match press conference Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger revealed he warned Francis Coquelin about getting a second yellow card.

The young midfielder picked up a first-half yellow card for handball and was sent off in the 55th minute when he received a second yellow for a foul on Tottenham's Harry Kane.

After the sending off Arsenal went from having a 1-0 lead to trailing 2-1 before Alexis Sanchez salvaged a point for the Gunners.

The result probably best suited Leicester but Wenger was hopeful that the title was still a possibility for his side.

The two sides could not be separated in what was billed as one of the biggest derbies in the history of the fierce rivals and had to settle for a 2-2 draw.

Aaron Ramsey opened the scoring for the visitors with a cute flick but, after Coquelin saw red for the Gunners, Toby Alderweireld and Harry Kane turned the game around inside two minutes.

Arsenal, who lost from a winning position against Swansea on Wednesday, kept plugging away and levelled through Alexis Sanchez's first league goal since October - meaning Leicester have the chance to further extend their lead at the top on Saturday evening.

Tottenham were dominating the early stages without creating the chances - the first of which came on 25 minutes as Kyle Walker drilled in a cross which Erik Lamela turned towards goal and David Ospina made a superb save.

Coquelin was cautioned for handling the ball while on the ground as the Gunners struggled to get a foothold in the game, only for them to go ahead shortly afterwards.

Danny Welbeck squared the ball across the box to Hector Bellerin, who laid it into Ramsey to deftly flick home past Hugo Lloris.

Spurs were again in the ascendency after the break, Walker stinging the palms of Ospina with a drive from the edge of the box.

Arsenal then suffered the blow of seeing Coquelin sent off for a second bookable offence as he upended Kane on the touchline to receive his marching orders from Michael Oliver - leaving the visitors down to 10 for the last 35 minutes.

Tottenham nearly made their new-found advantage count immediately but Kane's close-range effort was somehow kept out by Ospina, with goal-line technology showing only around an inch of the ball not over the line.

But the Colombian could do nothing to prevent Alderweireld drilling home from a similar position moments later after Christian Eriksen's corner was diverted into his path by Lamela.

Kane then showed that he can make the difference in the title race, turning the game on its head with a memorable curling effort from an acute angle.

The England international had only managed one goal in his last six games going into the derby but came close to adding to Tottenham's lead as he flashed a shot wide, as torrential rain began fall on White Hart Lane.

And Spurs made heavy weather of their task against 10 men as Sanchez levelled with a smart finish from Bellerin's pass, with Lloris only able to get fingertips on the ball as it flashed past him.

Eric Dier was lucky not to go the same way as Coquelin as he avoided picking up a second booking for pulling back substitute Olivier Giroud on the halfway line.

Ospina was on hand to tip a late Eriksen effort behind for a corner before Gabriel came close to gifting Spurs the win, slicing just wide of his own goal.

Ramsey was denied by Kevin Wimmer's last-ditch challenge at the other end as the points were shared.