Awkward moment Paul Merson tries to wind up Michael Dawson after the north London derby – but Arsenal legend is met with a wall of silence live on Sky Sports

  • Paul Merson tried to irritate Michael Dawson with a jibe after Arsenal beat Spurs
  • His taunt was met with a wall of silence by Dawson, a former Spurs defender
  • Can Arsenal win a trophy for progress? The Gunners have recovered, but there is the final hurdle Listen to It’s All Kicking Off! podcast

Paul Merson and Michael Dawson had some awkward moments of silence on air after Arsenal’s 3-2 win over Tottenham.

They had just watched Arsenal survive a second-half comeback from Spurs and were finishing their match debrief on Sky Sports when social disaster struck.

Merson, formerly an Arsenal striker, tried to taunt Dawson, once of Tottenham, but his tongue-in-cheek joke was met with silence.

“It’ll stand them in good stead for next year, won’t it, that battle?” Merson said, nodding to Dawson.

Presenter David Jones and fellow pundits Roy Keane and Micah Richards allowed themselves a grin, but Dawson didn’t seem to get it – nor did he care.

Paul Merson (centre) tried to deceive Michael Dawson (centre-right) by suggesting Spurs’ season was over

But Dawson didn't respond, leaving Merson confused as there was an awkward silence

But Dawson didn’t respond, leaving Merson confused as there was an awkward silence

Three seconds of silence – which felt more like three minutes at the time – followed as Dawson remained mute before Jones continued the conversation.

Merson gestured to Dawson, confused as to why he hadn’t responded.

He had essentially said Tottenham’s season and their Champions League hopes were over, even though they still have two games in hand to close the seven-point gap to fourth-placed Aston Villa.

But the light mockery apparently didn’t register with Dawson – unless he was following all of us.

Arsenal thought they were on their way to the three points when an own goal from Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg, plus strikes from Bukayo Saka and Kai Havertz, gave them a 3-0 lead at half-time.

It was the first time since 1959 that they had led 3-0 on the pitch of their bitter rivals.

However, Spurs had a lifeline when David Raya gifted them the ball and Cristian Romero – who consistently played as if he was a striker and not a defender – finished in the 65th minute.

They were riding the crest of a wave and a late penalty from Heung-min Son had everyone on edge, but Arsenal held on.

Arsenal survived a second-half comeback to win 3-2 and move five points clear of Man City

Arsenal survived a second-half comeback to win 3-2 and move five points ahead of Man City

Had Dejan Kulusevski been awarded a penalty in the first half after a challenge from Leandro Trossard, which both Dawson and Richards felt was a penalty, the story might have been different.

Arsenal extended their lead at the top of the table to five points over Manchester City, who had two games in hand, going into Sunday afternoon’s clash against Nottingham Forest.

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