ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
LONDON • On the finest of margins can matches, and even seasons, turn. Tottenham were labouring against their rivals, seemingly out of ideas against an Arsenal team that led through Aaron Ramsey and had executed manager Unai Emery's game plan to the letter.
Spurs were staring at a third consecutive Premier League defeat and the last time that happened was in 2012.
The implications were grave. Mauricio Pochettino had conceded that the title was out of reach for his team after the losses at Burnley and Chelsea. But another reverse would have imperilled their top-four hopes while simultaneously encouraging Arsenal's.
Then Christian Eriksen floated in a 73rd-minute free kick and everything changed.
Harry Kane was in an offside position but, contentiously, it was not spotted. If the Spurs striker had not been ahead of the line, perhaps Shkodran Mustafi would not have felt the need to barge him.
But he did and when the penalty was awarded, Kane duly scored his ninth goal in nine north London derbies and the match ended 1-1.
Tottenham's Harry Kane is now the outright leading scorer in Premier League north London derbies, overtaking Emmanuel Adebayor's eight.
"We'd had two disappointing results. It was a perfect game to get back and show the fans we're ready to fight for the rest of the season," the striker said after Spurs notched only their first draw of the season after 29 matches.
"It's a point, obviously we wanted three, but it stops the losing streak."
Spurs had their reprieve following their equaliser. Or did they?
ENGLISH PREMIER LEAGUE
Tottenham 1 Arsenal 1
Bournemouth 0 Man City 1
Brighton 1 Huddersfield 0
Burnley 1 Palace 3
Man United 3 Southampton 2
Wolves 2 Cardiff 0
West Ham v Newcastle Late kick-off
Watford v Leicester Singtel TV Ch102 & StarHub Ch227, 8pm
Fulham v Chelsea Ch102 & Ch227, 10.05pm
Everton v Liverpool Ch102 & Ch227, tomorrow, 12.15am
There was still time for another twist with another controversial penalty awarded.
This time, it was for Arsenal. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, the substitute, had the position on Davinson Sanchez and there was some tussling but the Spurs defender did not appear to trip him.
Nonetheless, after going down, Aubameyang found himself standing over a last-gasp kick to win it and give Arsenal a sixth win in seven league games.
However, Hugo Lloris read his intentions and dived to save.
There was more.
When Alex Iwobi crossed from the rebound, Aubameyang looked set to convert from close range - only for Jan Vertonghen to make a last-ditch challenge.
At the very end, another Arsenal substitute, Lucas Torreira, was given a straight red card for a high and out-of-control lunge at Danny Rose.
When the dust settled and the points were shared, Spurs could reflect on having stopped the rot and Arsenal nursed feelings of what might have been.
"If we assess the game, I think we were better than Arsenal," Pochettino said.
"I think it was a fantastic atmosphere for us. I think that after two defeats, it was important today to build up our positive way."
Emery felt that Kane's penalty should not have been given.
"You prepare one match, thinking of the best performance but different situations can happen in 90 minutes," the Arsenal boss said.
"One month ago I said to everybody my opinion: VAR (video assistant referee) is coming to help the referees.
"It's very difficult for the referees. To analyse with the TV is very easy.
"VAR I think will help them, and maybe today's match would be different."