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The BBC's John Murray reports
"Henry's penalty secured Arsenal's 50th league win over their rivals"
 real 28k

Thierry Henry
"It was my first north London derby and there was a lot of tension"
 real 28k

Sunday, 19 March, 2000, 17:18 GMT
Derby delight for Henry

Henry's pressure forces Armstrong into an own goal
Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham

Thierry Henry inspired Arsenal to a hard-fought victory over their north London neighbours Tottenham at Highbury.

The French striker's persistence made the Gunners first goal, which was deflected by Spurs frontman into his own net.

Armstrong made amends with a smart header to ensure Spurs were always in with a chance.

Match facts
20: Armstrong puts through his own net from an Arsenal corner
31: Armstrong equalises for Tottenham
45: Henry's penalty puts the Gunners back in front
85: Grimandi is sent off for clashing with Carr
But Henry scored a penalty in first-half injury time to put the home side back in front in the spring sunshine.

And although Tottenham battled throughout, even the late dismissal of Arsenal's French midfielder Gilles Grimandi could not help them snatch a point.

Arsenal, without injured England goalkeeper David Seaman and with Dennis Bergkamp left on the bench, still had too much for their arch rivals.

And George Graham's hopes of earning a result at his former club were dashed by Henry's winner.

The victory takes Arsenal back above Chelsea into fourth place in the Premiership and revives their hopes of securing a Champions League spot.

Henry at double

Kanu's prodigious skills offered the Gunners' best attacking option in the early stages and Spurs keeper Ian Walker was called upon to make a sharp save low to his left from the Nigerian's snapshot.

Arsenal's Vieira out-jumps goalscorer Armstrong
Arsenal took the lead after 20 minutes, with the kind of goal that was Graham's trademark during his Highbury era.

Silvinho whipped over a corner from the right and Henry beat a statuesque Spurs defence to the ball, flicking a near-post header off Armstrong and and into the net.

The goal was initially credited to Henry, but the Frenchman put his hands up after the game and admitted the decisive touch had come from Armstrong.

Spurs so nearly levelled in similar fashion soon after - but this time Silvinho was on hand to hack Steffen Iversen's header off the line from a Darren Anderton corner.

Ginola tries to get past Silvinho
The equaliser was not long in coming, however, as David Ginola sent over a fizzing cross and Armstrong glanced a superb header across Manninger and into the far corner.

The goal only served to fire Arsenal to more urgent probings. Walker did well to save a curling Henry free-kick and Marc Overmars just missed with a clipped effort following a solo run.

But the pressure became too much for Spurs and they were unable to hold out to half-time.

Ray Parlour was tripped by Mauricio Taricco as he burst into the box and Henry sent Walker the wrong way with his penalty deep into first-half stoppage time.

Iversen was well marshalled by Luzhny
Steffen Iversen - hat-trick hero in Spurs' 7-2 demolition of Southampton last week - struggled up front and was replaced by the fit-again Les Ferdinand as the visitors tried to force their way back into the contest.

But Arsenal were comfortably on top for most of the second half, as they jealously guarded their slim lead.

Arsene Wenger pulled off Henry for veteran defender Nigel Winterburn as he looked to secure the victory.

The tactical change just gave Spurs renewed hope, however, and Chris Perry came close with a header, before a fine run and cross from Stephen Carr created a clearcut opening for Ginola, who blasted wide.

Tottenham's Carr tackles double hero Henry
The hothouse derby temperature suddenly increased when Grimandi clashed with Carr on Arsenal's left flank. A scuffle broke out and referee Paul Durkin booked Carr before brandishing a red card for Grimandi.

It was the third time the Frenchman has been sent off during his Arsenal career.

The reduction to 10 men proved of little consequence for Arsenal, though, and they safely negotiated the last few minutes to wrap up maximum points.


Arsenal: Manninger, Dixon, Adams, Luzhny, Silvinho, Parlour, Grimandi, Vieira, Overmars, Kanu, Henry.
Subs: Winterburn, Ljungberg, Suker, Bergkamp, Lukic.

Tottenham: Walker, Carr, Campbell, Perry, Taricco, Anderton, Freund, Leonhardsen, Ginola, Iversen, Armstrong.
Subs: Ferdinand, Korsten, Baardsen, Young, Clemence.

Referee: P Durkin (Dorset)

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