NEWSROOM
TEAM LINE UP :
Seaman
Dixon
Vivas
Adams
Keown
Vieira
Ljungberg
Parlour
Overmars
Anelka
Bergkamp
SUBSTITUTES:
Kanu
Diawara
Petit
SCORERS:
Kanu
Bergkamp 2



Dennis sends Highbury into ecstasy with his first late goal.


The Jumbotron says it all!


Kanu blasts home our second.


Overmars is delighted with his new team-mate.


Dennis caps a great night with his second.


A perfect 10.
FULL TIME REPORT

ARSENAL vs Sheffield Wednesday
3 - 0
Attendance : 37,792

A late double strike from Dennis Bergkamp pushed Arsenal into second place in the Premiership - but the real hero was Manu Petit.

A surprise substitute, Petit came on 20 minutes from the end to the biggest cheer on a night of tension and fear that the title may be leaving Highbury.

But his quick thinking set up Bergkamp's first to finally end Sheffield Wednesday's stubborn resistance when it seemed they would not be breached.

As the visitors started to re-group following a foul on Patrick Vieira, Petit quickly chipped the ball into the area and Bergkamp slotted it away.

A second from Kanu and Bergkamp's final insult on the visitors means the Gunners are keeping up the pressure on Manchester United at the top of the table.

Arsene Wenger was in no doubt about the importance of the substitution. He said: "Petit had only started kicking the ball on Sunday and I did not expect to play him, but when he came on, he gave us the options of longer balls.

"I hoped not to play him but I had no real option with 20 minutes left but to bring him on.

"I thought for a long time that we had tried everything and we had problems to get into our pace.

"They frustrated us and Srnicek had a great game, but 27 attempts on goal showed how much we put into the game.

"As we got into the game, they got tired and I knew Dennis Bergkamp could make a difference, showing his intelligence in the way he got into position and finished the first goal."

But before the goal, it looked as if Arsenal would have one of those frustrating evenings that can be the difference between winning and losing championships.

Just as former Owls goalkeeper Kevin Pressman had played for his life in the game at Hillsborough earlier in the season, so now Pavel Srnicek seemed to be a one-man wall intent on denying every shot that came his way.

But Nicolas Anelka certainly looked sharp, twisting and turning with ease and taunting the opposition into making a rash challenge and the young Frenchman should have opened the scoring quarter of an hour into the game.

Tony Adams made a fine interception and played the ball through to Anelka, and Srnicek made his only mistake of the evening.

He was always favourite to win the race for the ball, but the Czech fumbled, Anelka picked it up and looked certain to score before a desperate goal-line clearance by Emerson Thome.

But we had a scare of our own soon after when Benito Carbone got behind the defence, David Seaman and Martin Keown got tangled and Petter Rudi shot wide with the defence backtracking.

Arsenal didn't seem to be totally firing, with Fredrik Ljungberg losing the ball all too often and damaging the balance of the team.

Bergkamp tried to win the game on his own, battling through a host of tackles before shooting towards the far corner and stretching Srnicek into a fine save.

Moments later, he swung in a teasing cross from the left that Patrick Vieira failed to connect with at the near post.

With Kaba Diawara replacing the ineffectual Ljungberg at half time, Arsenal re-grouped.

Marc Overmars went over to the right with Diawara on the left, but the nerves were showing.

Diawara almost made an instant impact, hitting the post after starting a counter-attack involving Bergkamp, Anelka and Overmars.

But the desperation to ensure we won the game extended with the introduction of Kanu in place of Anelka with just under half an hour remaining.

Wednesday started to play deeper, content to sit in their own half and Srnicek had to make another fine save from Diawara after a neat reverse pass from Bergkamp.

Srnicek was seemingly playing for his life, clawing the ball away from Diawara's header after Bergkamp had crossed and then turning Overmars' near post blast into the side netting.

Shots were raining in from all angles and from a Bergkamp corner, Tony Adams headed wide at the far post before Bergkamp finally scored.

When Overmars got free on the left three minutes later, he set up Kanu who dinked back and forth before blasting the tension-releasing second into the roof of the net.

Bergkamp's second came from a break which left Arsenal with three against two, Overmars racing forward before letting Bergy finish it off.

Sheffield Wednesday manager Danny Wilson admitted Arsenal must be strong candidates to retain their crown.

He said: "I don't see why they can't win it again. They are hitting form at the right time. After 83 minutes we thought we might get something out of the game but the three players they brought on would get into any team."

Yet again we left it late, but we're right in the championship chase and that's all that matters.

ARSENAL MAGAZINE
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