| TEAM LINE UP :|
| SEAMAN D|
| DIXON L|
| WINTERBURN |
| VIEIRA |
| ADAMS T|
| ANELKA |
| BERGKAMP |
| OVERMARS |
| KEOWN M|
| PARLOUR |
| PETIT ||
| BOULD S|
| MANNINGER |
| HUGHES S|
| GARDE |
| BOA MORTE |
| PETIT |
| OVERMARS |
Tony Adams crashes Bergkamp's free kick against the bar...
And congratulates Petit who put in the rebound.
Marc Overmars spectacularly hooks in our winner...
FULL TIME REPORT|
|ARSENAL|| vs ||NOTTINGHAM F|
|2|| - ||1|
| Attendance : 38064|
| They say the teams that challenge for the championship are those who can play poorly and win.
Although this was not a dire Arsenal performance, their 2-1 victory over newly-promoted Nottingham Forest was tougher than many would have expected.
Manu Petit had opened the scoring and after a brief period of pressure, the Gunners were, to be blunt, lacklustre.
Marc Overmars settled it four minutes after Highbury had been stunned with Geoff Thomas' equaliser.
Despite the optimism and excitement that greeted the new season, the Gunners struggled to break down a resolute Forest side who maintained their shape despite some early pressure.
With an offside trap working well, and the woodwork coming to the rescue when Anelka finally got through, it was frustrating from the fans, who expected more.
Beasant had been alert to the challenges Arsenal set him and new signing Darcheville went closest with a near post effort that Seaman was well positioned to save at the near post.
Thomas almost opened the scoring at the beginning of the second half, slicing an inviting cross wide when it seemed easier to score.
But Manu Petit, all conquering hero and World Cup winner, put the Gunners ahead in the 60th minute with a simple header.
Ray Parlour had won a free kick on the right, Bergkamp took it and when Adams' effort hit the bar, Petit followed up.
Anelka then hit a shot just wide and we looked certain to add to a slender lead before Thomas shocked the home crowd.
He evaded three challenges before hitting a 20 yard shot past the despairing dive of David Seaman.
But the fears were calmed ten minutes from time when Marc Overmars showed his class and intelligence.
With Anelka drifting offside, Overmars ran through and although his first shot was blocked, a lofted overhead kick floated over Beasant and into the far corner.
Bergkamp may have made it safe when put through by Petit with seconds remaining but the Champions held on and got off to a winning start.
Arsene Wenger said:
"We got three points without being at our best.
Physically we were short of preparation, but the spirit was right.
We did not have enough penetration and we have no real goalscorer like Ian Wright was.
All the other players have to score more goals now.
I don't think we will sign a player before the European deadline now.
The deal for Kluivert is not far from dead because we cannot make an agreement with Milan.
To sign a player before Thursday will be very difficult."
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