Fan with head injury
A fan with a head injury outside White Hart Lane before the North London football derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur Reuters

Violence has flared between supporters at the highly-anticipated North London derby between Arsenal and Tottenham Hotspur. Baton-wielding police on horseback were at pains to control the crowds as scuffles broke out around the White Hart Lane stadium.

Two men were arrested in separate incidents as fans were shepherded through the junction of High Road and Park Lane on their way to the match. Fans had thrown blue smoke bombs and beer cans at the police and supporters were knocked to the ground with at least one sustaining a head injury as the tension mounted prior to the match kick off between the two teams at 12.45pm.

Arsenal fan and House of Commons speaker John Bercow also attended the match. He was not involved in any of the incidents and was not injured in the disruption.

John Bercow
Speaker of the House John Bercow attended the North London derby despite violence flaring outside the ground Reuters

The North London derby has been the subject of many violent incidents and rival supporters are now escorted to football grounds by police. Ten Arsenal fans were arrested after smashing up seats and tearing out hoardings in White Hart Lane following a Capital One Cup match in September 2015 and during a Premier League fixture in November, Tottenham fans smashed up the toilets in Arsenal's Emirates stadium in what was seen as a revenge attack.

A statement from the Metropolitan Police said: "Two men were arrested in connection with public order offences ahead of the Arsenal/Tottenham Hotspur football match taking place at White Hart Lane today.

"The two individuals were detained separately, in unconnected incidents, around 12:30hrs at the junction of High Road and Park Lane. They have been taken to north London police station where they currently remain. An appropriate policing plan is in place for the event."

Football Twitter feed Transfer Related took to Twitter and said: "Outside White Hart Lane today. Wow."

Tottenham, who were three points ahead of their bitter rivals at the start of the match, were desperate for a wining score that would have allowed them to trump Leicester City at the top of the Premier League table on goal difference. As it was, the full-time score was a 2-2 draw only gifting Tottenham one point and keeping them in second place.