James Maddison’s brilliant response after Bukayo Saka copies ‘darts’ celebration

James Maddison’s brilliant response after Bukayo Saka copies ‘darts’ celebration

Tottenham’s James Maddison had the last laugh as he helped deny Arsenal victory after Bukayo Saka copied his ‘darts’ celebration in the 2-2 draw in the north London derby.

Maddison set up both of Son Heung-min’s equalisers and was player of the match at the Emirates as Spurs produced an impressive performance to earn a point under Ange Postecoglou.

Previous Tottenham sides may have crumbled after Arsenal twice took the lead, with Saka’s strike deflecting off Cristian Romero in the first half before the England winger converted a penalty after the break.

On both occasions, Saka celebrated by pretending to throw a dart towards the corner flag, taking up Maddison’s trademark celebration from the first few weeks of the Premier League season.

Afterwards, Maddison revealed that it was the result of “trash talk” between himself and Saka while away on England duty earlier this month, with the Arsenal forward appearing to have the upper hand after his shot went in off Romero.

But Maddison got his own back as he set up Son’s first equaliser, beating Saka to the ball as he raced to the byline and cut the cross back to his Spurs strike partner.

“I got told he did the darts celebration,” Maddison said afterwards. “He must have still been doing it when I turned him for the first goal. I’ll have a word with him.”

Postecoglou meanwhile hailed Tottenham’s character in the 2-2 draw as Spurs continued their unbeaten Premier League start under the new boss. "It’s not about being happy with the result, for me it was about the performance," Postecoglou said.

"You can get a result here, a draw, and like I said before you can walk away knowing that ‘you know what, we escaped’, but I don’t have that feeling now.

"I think we went toe-to-toe with a top team and at times I thought we really asserted our dominance on the game. At times they did but that’s what happens when you face top sides.

"Even if we had lost today, and I don’t like losing, but for me to keep pushing these guys, they need to feel that out there that what we talk about and work on, they can see it come to fruition and when it does against a top team, being brave with our approach, that’s the key thing. For me I’m pleased."