Arsenal could be set for imminent Premier League title boost as Man City learn true fate this week

Arsenal players celebrate against Tottenham

Fate has aligned itself. Eight years later, on the exact day Chelsea spoiled Tottenham's Premier League title challenge under Mauricio Pochettino, the two sides meet again.

The Battle of the Bridge, as it has since been dubbed due to its fiery nature, 29 fouls, and 12 yellow cards - nine for Spurs - is a classic of recent times. It featured a relative underdog, though not the ultimate underdog, as that was understandably Leicester City, the reigning champions, some meaty tackles, plenty of drama, a comeback, and a late goal.

On any normal day, it would have been enough to be remembered for years regardless. That it meant Tottenham couldn't win the league, handing Claudio Ranieri the most unexpected title in recent history, was simply a bonus to get the atmosphere cranked up that bit more.

"I remember it really well," Mauricio Pochettino reflected before the latest installment of Chelsea vs Tottenham. "My memory is good. It was a really tough game, a difficult night. We needed to win and Chelsea were an experienced team. I remember they had [Cesc] Fabregas, [Eden] Hazard – what a team, no?

"They were not doing a fantastic season but in that one game, they competed well because they knew how to compete. It was a battle because we wanted to win and we were very competitive.

"Sometimes we crossed the line and it was a really difficult moment but it shows you how competitive we were with Tottenham and that is why a few years after we were in the final of the Champions League because we were a very competitive team."

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This time around, the stakes are different, but not necessarily smaller. Defeat here for Pochettino would likely end any already slim chances he has of winning over the Chelsea fans, piling on the pressure in the final month of the season as he looks to demonstrate why the club should stick with him past the summer.

Ange Postecoglou's hopes of securing a top-four place would hang dangerously close to being non-existent without a win. Chelsea's late disallowed goal against Aston Villa on Sunday was a blow, but the second-half comeback kept the race for Champions League football alive. And then there are indirect implications for the title as well.

Despite neither of the teams being in the running like in 2016, and the result here doesn't shift the dynamic towards Manchester City or Arsenal anymore than it already lays, the knock-on effect could be huge. In just two weeks, Tottenham will host the champions in the biggest remaining blockbuster.

Spurs also face Liverpool at the weekend, but Jurgen Klopp's April combustion has left them all but mathematically out of the race. The big one, especially with the three other games being Wolves (home), Fulham (away), and West Ham (home), is when Pep Guardiola's side travel to north London.

It has been a nightmare fixture for City since the 'move' to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in 2019. Their 1-0 FA Cup fourth-round win earlier this year was not only the first victory at the new ground but the first (and still only) goal there too.

After Arsenal did the business in the North London Derby on Sunday themselves, they will be hoping for a favour from their rivals. Simply put, Spurs are the biggest obstacle facing City, even if Wolves have a strong record against the top sides this season. Their drop in form and injury issues have made the fixture much less frightening for Guardiola.

For Arsenal, the best chance of seeing Tottenham take any points off City will be to have their own hopes to play for. A team fighting for something is a tougher test than one 'on the beach', after all.

Victory for Tottenham in SW6 wouldn't exactly turn things in their favour - the gap to Villa in fourth is currently seven points, though there are two games in hand - but it would keep things alive. Unai Emery's side have a horribly out-of-form Brighton to play, as well as the newly ragged Liverpool and mid-table Crystal Palace left to face.

Arsenal need as much to be riding on the Tottenham vs Manchester City clash as possible. The best way for things to be at their most lively and tense would be with Champions League hopes at stake.

There is still a question of just how Spurs fans would feel during the game themselves as they both fight to achieve their own aspirations, but at the cost of possibly strengthening the title chances of a hated foe. That is a bridge to be crossed further down the line.

For now, Arsenal will be urging Tottenham to follow their lead and beat Chelsea. Then attention can turn to just how things might look against City five days later.