Tottenham midfielder Eric Dier says Sunday’s defeat to Arsenal “felt like a derby again” despite the negative result.
Dier was involved in a fracas while passionately celebrating his headed equaliser after Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had given Arsenal the lead from the penalty spot.
Harry Kane then scored a spot-kick of his own to turn the game around before the break, but second half goals from Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette and Lucas Torreira handed the Gunners all three points.
It was a difficult day for Spurs, but after the match Dier admitted there was one “nice thing” about the occasion.
“The nice thing about Sunday is that it felt like a derby again,” he said (via BT Sport).
“I don’t think it’s felt like that for quite a few years and football needs these kind of games. If you take the emotion out of these games then you’re ruining football.
“It can go for or against you at times but at least it felt like it felt like a derby again from everyone’s point of view. That’s really good for football. But we’re not happy when we lose any game and it’s no different.”
Dier has received some flack after his shushing celebration backfired, but the enthusiasm the 24-year-old showed for the derby can only be a good thing in the long run.
It’s important the players know what is at stake in this fixture, and both sets of players showed sufficient passion to make Sunday a memorable occasion.
It’s just a shame Tottenham couldn’t hold onto their lead – hopefully there is a different outcome in the EFL Cup quarter-final later this month.