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Sunday, August 1, 1999 Published at 17:23 GMT 18:23 UK

Sport: Football

Parlour gives Gunners Wembley win

Ray Parlour beats a stretching David May to score the winning goal

Man Utd 1-2 Arsenal

Ray Parlour sent Manchester United's treble-winners crashing to earth with a late goal to give Arsenal victory in the Charity Shield.

The midfielder hit a fierce strike 13 minutes from time, after a Kanu penalty had cancelled out David Beckham's opening goal, as the Gunners secured their second successive win over United in the Wembley curtain-raiser.

John Murray: "Kanu sparked Arsenal's second-half comeback"
It was the first time Sir Alex Ferguson's all-conquerring team had been beaten in any competition in 1999.

And while the result will have little long-term consequence, Arsenal will take heart from the tussle as they look to launch an effective challenge to United's Premiership crown.

Ferguson and United, though, will point to the fact that they lost the Charity Shield 3-0 to the north London side last season and went on to win three trophies - while Arsenal finished the season with nothing.

Wembley weather

Arsenal's Martin Keown: "I've never played in such extreme temperature in this country"
The English season got under way in glorious sunshine, as the winter game kicked off in sweltering London temperatures on the first day of August.

Fears that the match would be devalued by the clubs fielding experimental line-ups were dispelled when two strong sides were announced.

[ image: David Beckham is mobbed by his team-mates after his brilliant free-kick]
David Beckham is mobbed by his team-mates after his brilliant free-kick
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger, though, was forced through an injury crisis to reshuffle his first-choice team.

With Marc Overmars, Dennis Bergkamp, Tony Adams and David Seaman all injured, Wenger gave a debut to Brazilian Silvinho, while Frederick Ljungberg partnered Kanu in attack.

For United, Mark Bosnich - Peter Schmeichel's replacement in goal - played his first game in the shirt and Jordi Cruyff was given a rare place in the starting XI.

Speciality strike

Beckham broke the deadlock with a trademark free-kick on 36 minutes - but only after some confusion, with the goal initially credited to Dwight Yorke.

[ image: Andy Cole of United and Arsenal's Gilles Grimandi tussle for the ball]
Andy Cole of United and Arsenal's Gilles Grimandi tussle for the ball
England midfielder Beckham - arguably the best striker of a dead-ball in the Premiership - crashed a swerving 30-yard free-kick against Alex Manninger's crossbar.

Yorke followed up to beat the Austrian keeper to the ball and head home - but replays showed that Beckham's original effort had clearly crossed the line on the rebound.

United were on top for most of the first half and they continued in the same vein after the break.

Kanu on the spot

But Arsenal pulled level midway through the second half.

Dennis Irwin - United skipper in the absence of the injured Roy Keane - was adjudged to have pulled back Patrick Vieira, although he only won the penalty after producing an elaborate dive.

[ image: Blonde ambition: Emmanuel Petit beats United goalscorer David Beckham to the ball]
Blonde ambition: Emmanuel Petit beats United goalscorer David Beckham to the ball
Kanu stepped up and stroked a confident penalty into the bottom left-hand corner of Bosnich's goal.

United were shaken from the slumbers by the goal and they set about Arsenal with renewed vigour.

Yorke fluffed a clear chance after out-pacing the defence and two minutes later Manninger kept out a fierce Cole effort with an athletic right-handed save.

But the Gunners were in determined mood and they too searched for a winner - and with more success.

Kanu, the most impressive player on display, made the goal with a superb through-ball and Parlour beat Bosnich with a rasping, angled drive that went in off the far post.

There was still time for United to search for an equaliser - but this time Beckham could not repeat the damage with a speculative free-kick in injury time.


Arsenal: Manninger, Dixon, Winterburn, Vieira, Keown, Ljungberg, Parlour, Silvinho, Petit, Grimandi, Kanu. Subs: Taylor, Wreh, Malz, Boa Morte, Luzhny, Lukic, Vernazza.

Man Utd: Bosnich, Neville, Irwin, Berg, Stam, Beckham, Butt, Cole, Cruyff, Scholes, Yorke. Subs: Sheringham, Solskjaer, May, Wilson, Curtis, Greening, Culkin.

Referee: Graham Barber (Tring)

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