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Arsenal v Spur, 19.03.2000

FA CARLING PREMIERSHIP
SUNDAY 19TH MARCH, 2000
ARSENAL 2 (2) TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (1)

Arsenal scorers:-
Armstrong (o.g.), 20 Henry, 45 (pen)

Spurs scorer:- Armstrong, 31

Referee:- Paul Durkin

Attendance:- 38,131

Teams:-

Arsenal (4-4-2):- Manninger; Dixon, Luzhny, Adams(capt), Silvinho; Parlour, Vieira, Grimandi, Overmars (sub Ljungberg, 55); Henry (sub Winterburn, 75), Kanu

Subs not used:- Lukic(GK); Bergkamp, Suker

Booked:- Grimandi, Adams, Parlour

Sent off (second bookable offence):- Grimandi (85)

Spurs (4-4-2):- Walker; Carr, Perry, Campbell (capt), (sub Young, 72), Taricco; Ginola (sub Korsten, 85), Anderton, Freund, Leonhardsen; Armstrong, Iversen (sub Ferdinand, 60)

Subs not used:- Baardsen; Clemence

Booked:- Carr, Anderton, Ferdinand

Facing an Arsenal side that started without Seaman, Winterburn, Keown, Petit, Bergkamp, and Suker, one felt that a result was "gettable", especially following a confidence boosting 7-2 win last week, and with Arsenal still recovering from their midweek toils. However, although Spurs did take the game to their rivals, and were on top for the opening passage of the game, the hosts took the spoils of the usual tetchy battle. The first half had featured some attractive football, but proceedings got more scrappy in the second period, culminating in Grimandi's third dismissal of the season for his second bookable offence.

An early Freund throw was headed back by Iversen for Ginola to try a shot, but he didn't trouble Manninger. Ginola played predominantly on the right today, presumably as a ploy to occupy left back Silvinho, but the tactic did not bear fruit, as the Brazilian was involved in much of Arsenal's forward play. Spurs had another chance when Iversen scooped the ball high and wide, before Ginola and Taricco combined for the Argentinian full back to thread a ball into the box, which was snatched from Leonhardsen's feet by the goalkeeper.

Leonhardsen was next in action near the right touchline, as he picked up the ball, and passed swiftly to the advancing Anderton who got to the edge of the area, and sent a ground shot just to the left of goal. The Spurs defence was called into notable action for the first time, when Henry found Kanu with a cross from the left, but between them, the defence cleared the danger. Silvinho's smart run into the box was then thwarted by Carr.

After 10 minutes, Freund, who was most influential during this first phase, got into a forward position, and with the help of Iversen got the ball to Leo whose shot forced a save from Manninger. Then came a danger signal for Spurs, as Vieira was allowed to the near post without a tracker, but failed to get a touch to a Silvinho free kick. Walker then had to get down sharply to a Kanu shot after the big African had got round Sol Campbell for once.

Arsenal took the lead after 19 minutes. Overmars sent a cross in front of goal, and Taricco had to clear from Parlour. Silvinho took the kick and Henry got a glancing header at the near post, that left Walker standing. This goal was subsequently deemed to be a Chris Armstrong own goal.

Spurs equalised after 31 minutes, when Armstrong got in front of the defence to meet a glorious Ginola cross from the right, and send a powerful glanced header into the net for his ninth goal of the season, and his sixth this year. Arsenal were soon on the attack again, as Walker saved an Henry free kick, going low to his left.

Grimandi got his first booking for a late tackle on Sol Campbell, and then Overmars ended another run with a chipped shot that found the side netting. Almost on the stroke of half time, Taricco conceded a penalty when Kanu sent Parlour through. Henry converted easily.

Chances were few and far between in the second half, but Henry got the better of Perry and crossed in front of Kanu, but Walker was first on the scene. Spurs had lost their composure, and too many passes were going astray, particularly from all of the Spurs midfield. Ginola was having one of his quieter games, and Iversen disappeared from the scene. Vieira had a useful dipping shot fall on top of the net, and then Iversen was replaced by Ferdinand, who had an immediate impact, being involved in virtually all the Spurs attacks that followed.

I suppose it was a compliment to Spurs that Wenger actually replaced an attacker with a defender, when Winterburn made his entrance at the expense of Henry. Sol Campbell also made his exit, suffering a knock. Spurs tried ever so hard over the last ten minutes to get the equaliser, but it was not to be. Perhaps the best effort came from Freund, who should have done better when he had some space to shoot on the edge of the area, after a Carr cross from the byeline.

Grimandi got his marching orders for a late challenge on Carr, who was at last being allowed to get forward. Carr retaliated, pushing Grimandi to the ground, and got a yellow card from referee Durkin.

Somewhat miraculously, due to the week-end's results, Spurs still hold seventh place in the league, but they are 9 points behind fifth place.

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