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North London Delight Tightens Premier League Title Race

welbeck-goalCircle March 5th on your calendar. That is when Arsenal travel to White Heart Lane to take on Spurs in what could be a title decider after the North London rivals both secured massive wins against fellow title contenders.

Tottenham and Arsenal blew the title race wide open with dramatic 2-1 wins over leader Leicester City and fourth-placed Manchester City respectively on Sunday.

Sunday’s results mean that Spurs are second, two points behind leaders Leicester and ahead of Arsenal on goal-difference. The two London clubs are four points clear of fourth place Manchester City.

In the early game Jamie Vardy put Leicester ahead at Arsenal with a penalty before halftime but Danny Simpson was sent off after 54 minutes and the hosts equalised through Theo Walcott in the 70th.

Arsenal took all three points when Welbeck, on his first appearance since last April due to injury, headed the winner in the fifth minute of stoppage time.

Spurs needed a controversial 53rd minute spot kick to take the lead at City after Raheem Sterling was harshly ruled to have handled a cross from Danny Rose with his back to the ball.

Harry Kane converted the penalty to put Spurs ahead before Kelechi Iheanacho equalised for City in the 74th minute. But the match went Spurs way when their Denmark playmaker Eriksen, celebrating his 24th birthday, scored after 83 minutes.

While City boss Manuel Pellegrini questioned the penalty decision by Mark Clattenburg, he has seen his side lose at home to Leicester and Spurs in back-to-back weeks. That is simply not good enough for a team fighting for the title.

There are 12 games left in the Premier League season, and with no cup ties to look forward too, Claudio Ranieri’s side can just focus on these games. That is not the case with Spurs, Arsenal and Man City who all still involved in the FA Cup and European competitions.

Those added games could take a toll on the legs of the title chasers and make Leicester’s run-in to an improbable title race a little easier.