NEWSROOM
TEAM LINE UP :
SEAMAN
DIXON
ADAMS
KEOWN
WINTERBURN
PARLOUR
VIEIRA
PETIT
OVERMARS
BERGKAMP
ANELKA
SUBSTITUTES:
VIVAS
KANU
DIAWARA
SCORERS:



Dennis Bergkamp is denied by Leeds' Lucas Radebe.
FULL TIME REPORT

LEEDS UNITED vs ARSENAL
1 - 0
Attendance : 40,124

SORRY to be the bearer of bad news folks, but the Premiership title's destiny is out of our hands. Leeds striker Jimmy Hasselbaink scored the late Leeds goal which could now take the Premiership title back to Manchester United.

I can assure all Arsenal supporters that the advantage has not switched to Old Trafford without a fight. We gave everything in this game, Nigel Winterburn literally spilt blood and we survived a penalty on the stroke of half-time.

But even that escape did not turn out to be a turning point in Arsenal's favour. Arsene Wenger and the players threw their all into scoring a second half winner and created enough chances to do so, but were so unlucky in front of goal and Leeds always retained their composure.

Wenger said: "Manchester United are favourites now. It is not over, but it will be if they get something from their game against Blackburn on Wednesday night. I am an optimist so we shall wait and see but obviously we are disappointed tonight.

"It was a huge tactical mistake to concede the goal because even a point would not have been too bad. We still created sufficient chances to win the match, but no-one can say Leeds did not give everything to win and I hope Blackburn and Tottenham now do the same against Manchester United."

Assured of fourth place in the table, irrespective of this result, showed from the start that they were not going to hand Arsenal the victory we needed, and went close to taking the lead with only a minute gone when David Batty volleyed inches wide from 20 yards out. Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink flashed a shot across the face of David Seaman's goal a moment later.

Arsenal began to settle after that as Dennis Bergkamp got into the game. He almost set Nicolas Anelka clear in one attack and then created a good chance for himself in the 15th minute only for Nigel Martyn to tip his curling, right foot shot away for a corner.

There was little to separate the sides for the next 20 minutes as the game was fought out in midfield and there were bookings for Ray Parlour, Emmanuel Petit, Patrick Vieira and Hasselbaink of Leeds.

But it was pretty much Arsenal all the way to half-time as we began to take control. Anelka produced a reaction save from Martyn with a back heel on the half hour and then let fly with a 20-yard drive which the Leeds keeper only just tipped over.

Bergkamp shot a couple of feet wide soon after and an Arsenal break through appeared imminent. It nearly came from Overmars, in the 35th minute but he shot past a post from the left having been put clear by Anelka.

Martyn saved with his feet from a close range Martin Keown shot as we applied more pressure from a corner, but Leeds held out. In fact, it took a brilliant save from Seaman to deny Harry Kewell from 25 yards out on the stroke of half-time.

Leeds remained dangerous after the break and could have had a second penalty when Adams clattered into Smith in the 55th minute. Adams escaped punishment that time but was duly booked for fouling the teenage Leeds striker a few minutes later.

And the yellow card kept coming from referee Gary Willard and there were further bookings for Batty, Smith and Harte, who became the ninth of the match when he pulled back Bergkamp.

Wenger replaced Overmars with Kanu in the 64th minute and there was briefly a sense of optimism, three minutes later, when Bergkamp burst into the Leeds penalty area. His first shot was cleared by Lucas Radebe and his excellent rebound attempt was knocked away for a corner by Martyn.

Another corner followed in our next attack. Petit swung the ball in and Adams volleyed over the bar.

Wenger had to act again and, with 19 minutes to go, sent on Kaba Diawara for Parlour and we now had four strikers on the pitch and four thousand loyal supporters to urge the champions on from behind Seaman's goal.

There was a lengthy hold-up with 15 minutes to go when Nigel Winterburn suffered a cut face in a collision with Alf Inge Haaland and was carried off on a stretcher. Wenger reported afterwards that Winterburn may have suffered a broken nose, cuts and severe bruising.

Enter Nelson Vivas and nearly exit Arsenal as Smith headed inches over from the ensuing free-kick. Yet Arsenal do not give up that easily and went straight back on to the attack. Kanu slipped a ball through to Diawara who was denied by a second goal-line clearance in his short time on the pitch.

Further bad fortune followed when he headed a Vivas corner onto the cross bar in the 84th minute.

But Leeds had not read the script and rather than letting one in, went up to our end and scored an 86th minute winner. They had just narrowly missed through Batty, but Hasselbaink could not miss when he headed in from close range after Kewell had flicked on a Smith cross.

The assistant linesman signalled that six extra minutes would be played due to Winterburn's injury, but we needed more.

It's not over, but it ain't looking too good - pray, hope, sing and dance for a Blackburn win on Wednesday.

By: Nick Callow

ARSENAL MAGAZINE
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