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Monday, March 2, 1998 Published at 18:41 GMT

Sport: Football

Arsenal drop points in championship chase

Arsenal moved back into second place in the FA Premiership on Monday night after a goalless draw away to West Ham.

Dave Woods reports on a 'sterile' match (42")
But the Gunners will be disappointed with a performance which will do little to frighten Manchester United - the league leaders. Arsenal are now 11 points behind United having played two games less.

The point leaves West Ham in eighth place, chasing a place in Europe next season.

The London clubs produced a dull game. In the wet and blustery conditions both midfields were guilty of poor passing, and neither team looked prepared to risk pushing many players up front.

The Arsenal goalkeeper, Alex Manninger, was forced to make two brilliant saves. The first from from Eyal Berkovic midway through the first half was spectacular.

The Israeli international found himself in space in the area and his right foot effort seemed destined for the top corner. But Manninger had different ideas and threw himself acrobatically to his right to tip the ball round for a corner.

In the second half, former Gunner John Hartson had the ball at his feet inside the six-yard box with Manninger off balance and moving in the wrong direction. Hartson poked the ball goalwards, but again the athletic Austrian managed to turn and smother the ball.

Arsenal's best chance fell to the Portuguese under-21 international, Lois Bore Morte. He ran on to a long free kick and produced a deft shot on target, only to see the Hammers' keeper Bernard Lama stick out a foot and push the ball wide.


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