But the game changed when French midfielder Coquelin, who has already been yellow-carded for handball, rashly scythed down Harry Kane when the Spurs striker was posing no threat to goal.
Alexis Sanchez’s 76th-minute equaliser gave Arsenal a point after two quick goals from Toby Alderweireld and Harry Kane had put Spurs in front following Aaron Ramsey’s opener and Coquelin’s dismissal.
Coquelin told Arsenal Player: “I didn’t really see the goal [because I was in the dressing room] but someone came and told me that we scored the second one – it was a relief for me”.
Kane capped a remarkable turnaround with Tottenham’s second two minutes later, curling a stunning strike in off the post for his 14th goal in 18 Premier League London derbies.
Mauricio Pochettino praised Tottenham for their “fantastic” response in the 2-2 draw against Arsenal – and admits he was glad his side kept the distance between themselves and their rivals.
The England worldwide 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.
Eric Dier was fortunate to avoid a second yellow card for a pull on substitute Oliver Giroud’s shirt as Spurs pushed for a victor, and Alli drew a smart stop from Ospina with a long-distance effort.
Arsenal had beaten Leicester 3 weeks ago, which turned the momentum into Gunner’s favor, following Leicester’s drop in their run, but unfortunately for Arsenal, Gunners haven’t won any of the last 5 games in all competitions. It’s true, when it was 2-1 I am little bit disappointed with the result, but we have to happy we keep the three-point gap to Arsenal.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said Francis Coquelin’s needless red card cost Arsenal victory.
“Personally, I never questioned the character of this team, when you don’t win the games and you lose you have to accept that”.
“I think we needed a result“.
“I think we need to be more disciplined in those occasions”.
Hours later, Leicester beat Watford 1-0 to move five points clear of second-place Tottenham and eight clear of third-place Arsenal in its surprise bid to win the Premier League the season after nearly getting relegated.