This week our statistician Josh James looks at Arsenal's record in the North London derby.
Sunday's North London derby was the 150th league meeting between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur, with the Gunners recording their 61st victory in the fixture. That's 13 more wins than Spurs have recorded, while there have been 41 draws.
In all competitions the two sides have met 168 times so far, the record is: W70 D45 L53 F260 A227. Arsenal have led the head-to-head battle ever since December 26, 1983 when they pulled ahead with a 4-2 win at White Hart Lane, to make it 40 wins to 39.
Sunday's 5-2 win was the third time in the last three seasons Arsenal had beaten their local rivals by a three-goal margin, and the fifth time overall that they had netted five goals in a game against them (previously in 2004, 1978, 1935 and 1934).
It was only the seventh time in the 168 matches that seven or more goals have been scored, and three of those were recorded since 2004. It was the first ever 5-2 recorded in a North London derby.
There has been an average of 2.9 goals per game in derby history, yet over the past 16 fixtures (since 2007) the average is 4.2 per game, and only three clean sheets have been kept in those 16 matches.
The first eight times the two teams met were prior to Arsenal's move to Islington in 1913, so technically there have been 160 North London derbies, not 168. However, honours were evenly shared in those first eight games (three wins each, and two draws) so the overall figures are not greatly affected.
|06/03/1935||Tottenham 0-6 Arsenal
|23/12/1978||Tottenham 0-5 Arsenal||League|
|20/10/1934||Arsenal 5-1 Tottenham||League|
|16/09/1967||Arsenal 4-0 Tottenham||League|
|07/02/1953||Arsenal 4-0 Tottenham||League|
|07/05/1927||Tottenham 0-4 Arsenal||League|
|26/02/2012||Arsenal 5-2 Tottenham||League|
|21/09/2010||Tottenham 1-4 Arsenal||League Cup
|31/01/1959||Tottenham 1-4 Arsenal||League|
|10/10/1953||Tottenham 1-4 Arsenal||League|
|31/10/2009||Arsenal 3-0 Tottenham||League|
|02/12/2006||Arsenal 3-0 Tottenham||League|
|16/11/2002||Arsenal 3-0 Tottenham||League|
|08/01/1949||Arsenal 3-0 Tottenham||FA Cup|
Arsène Wenger's own record against Tottenham Hotspur is particularly impressive. Sunday's victory was his 17th in the North London derby – in contrast Spurs have gone through 14 different managers over the course of winning their last 17 matches in the fixture.
Wenger's overall record is: P38, W17, D16, L5, F74, A49, with those 74 goals being scored by 32 different players (not including two own goals). The most prolific players are Robert Pires and Emmanuel Adebayor, with eight each, and they are also our top scorers in the whole history of the fixture.
Before Wenger took over, Arsenal averaged 1.43 goals a game against Spurs – during his time in charge the average is 1.95.
Five of Arsenal's 14 biggest derby wins (36 per cent) have been recorded in the past ten years.
Between March 19, 2000 and January 22, 2008, Arsenal went 21 games unbeaten against Spurs, the longest undefeated run for either side - spanning 2,865 days. The run included an FA Cup Semi-Final win, a Carling Cup Semi-Final triumph and, of course, the title-clinching draw in 2004 at White Hart Lane.
So does supremacy over our neighbours in direct confrontations relate into superiority at the end of the season?
Sunday's win means that Arsenal edge the head-to-head record in the league this season (6-4 on goal difference after a win apiece), and historically this suggests that Arsenal have a good chance of finishing above Spurs in the league. From the 32 previous seasons that Arsenal have had the better head-to-head record, they have gone on to finish higher than Spurs 26 times (81 per cent).
When Spurs have the better head-to-head record (28 seasons) they have finished above Arsenal 16 times (57 per cent).
The 14 seasons in which the head-to-head record was identical resulted in Arsenal finishing higher eight times, and Tottenham six.
Overall, when both teams have been in the same division, Arsenal have finished higher than Spurs in 46 seasons out of 74 (62 per cent). In addition, it must be remembered, Tottenham spent a total of 16 years in a lower division than Arsenal, compared to just two seasons at a higher level.
Looking purely at the Premier League, where both sides have been ever-present since its foundation in 1992/93, the trend has noticeably escalated in Arsenal's favour.
The Gunners have been the top north London team 17 seasons out of 19 during this time (89 per cent), including the last 16 in a row. On average Arsenal finish 5.58 places above Tottenham each Premier League season and earn, on average, 19.05 more points per campaign.
The biggest gap between the two sides in Premier League history was 13 places, and 45 points, in the 2003/04 season.
The all-time aggregate score in Premier League matches is Arsenal 66, Tottenham 48.
Stats correct to February 28, 2012. Josh James also provides the stats for the Arsenal Analysis pages of the matchday programme. To subscribe, or buy online, click here.