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The Time Arsenal Beat Spurs to 4th After Lasagne-Gate

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The time Arsenal Beat Spurs to 4th After Lasagne-gate

In the 2005/06 season, Chelsea won the Premier League by eight points ahead of their nearest challengers Manchester United and nine ahead of Liverpool, but, whilst this was going on, there was an intense battle taking place for fourth-place between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, with the later mentioned side looking to get into the Champions League for the first time in their history.

This was Arsenal’s last season at Highbury and the Gunners were determined to make it a successful one, but, there was the distinct possibility that it could be ruined by losing out on fourth to Spurs, condemning them to the UEFA Cup places. Of course, Arsenal also had the potential to qualify via a Champions League final win like Liverpool in 2005, but, they weren’t to know that they would go on to lose that against Barcelona 2-1 in Paris following late goals from Samuel Eto’o and Juliano Belletti; this remains as the last time they would reach this stage of the competition.

Premier League Top 4 Tips

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Arsenal to Finish Top 4 in the Premier League 2021/22 @ 15/8

The Crucial North London Derby That Setup Lasagne-gate

On 22nd April, these two sides met at Highbury in a crucial North London derby in what was supposed to be a telling clash for fourth place, but, the match resulted in a 1-1 draw, one of the rare occasions when Tottenham had managed a positive result against the Gunners under the management of Martin Jol, as Thierry Henry’s 84th-minute equaliser rescued a point for Wenger’s men after Robbie Keane had put the Lilywhites in the lead in the second half.

The result against their rivals left Arsenal in a precarious position, as they had to beat Sunderland, Manchester City and Wigan Athletic to stand any chance of qualifying for the Champions League, whilst Spurs needed to win against Bolton Wanderers and West Ham United.

In typical Arsenal fashion, they beat bottom of the table Sunderland 3-0, Manchester City 3-1 and Wigan Athletic 4-2 in their last ever match at Highbury. Their win against the Latics didn’t initially go to plan, as Robert Pires’ opener was cancelled out by goals from Paul Scharner and David Thompson, before Thierry Henry scored a vital hattrick.

Spurs would go on to beat high-flying Bolton Wanderers 1-0 at White Hart Lane before travelling to fierce rivals West Ham United on the last day of the season.

Premier League Top 4 Tips

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Spurs to Finish Top 4 in the Premier League 2021/22 @ 15/8

What Happened When Spurs Travelled to Upton Park?

The Hammers were coming into their match full of confidence having reached the 2006 FA Cup final in Cardiff, knowing that they could put a severe dent in their rival’s season, whilst Jol’s men were favourites and knew that if they were to win the match then fourth would be theirs, regardless of Arsenal’s result.

What was to happen next was completely unexpected, as Tottenham suddenly requested their match against the Irons to be postponed, as the Lasagne and Spaghetti Bolognese that they had eaten at their hotel in the night before the game had been rumoured to make their players vomit and be sick. Jol and Spurs asked for the game to be moved to a later date, but, their appeal was rejected, whilst it was also ruled that a failure to fulfil the fixture could result in a points deduction, resulting in the Dutchman being forced to use players who felt unwell.

10 players had been sick overnight according to Jermaine Jenas who was part of the Spurs team that campaign, including the likes of Michael Carrick, Keane, Edgar Davids, Aaron Lennon and Michael Dawson who all started the match itself and performances faded off due to a lack of energy,

Tottenham lost the match 2-1 as goals from Carl Fletcher and Yossi Benayoun won the game for the Hammers with Jermaine Defoe’s 35th-minute equaliser meaning nothing in scant reality, as Spurs had missed out on the chance to finish above Arsenal for the first time since the 1994/95 season when Blackburn Rovers famously won the title.

This was a chance for Spurs to break their inferiority complex over their North London rivals and it would take up until the 2016/17 season for them to finish above the Gunners, a 22-year wait in the making, with Tottenham not failing to finish below Arsenal since.