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Sunday, September 20, 1998 Published at 16:57 GMT 17:57 UK

Ten-man United shot down by Gunners

The Highbury crowd show their appreciation to captain Tony Adams

Arsenal 3-0 Manchester United

Final whistle, Alan Green match report
Nicky Butt was sent off for the second consecutive game as debutant Fredrik Ljungberg wrapped up Arsenal's fourth straight victory over Manchester United.

The Double winners, who have struggled for form in the early weeks of the campaign, burst into life at exactly right the moment - and dispirited United were left chasing the game.

England manager Glenn Hoddle, former Spurs boss Christian Gross and Simply Red star Mick Hucknall were among a 38,000 capacity crowd which squeezed into Highbury to see the first big clash of the Premiership season.

[ image: Tony Adams heads Arsenal in front]
Tony Adams heads Arsenal in front
Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger brought in young Stephen Hughes for Emmanuel Petit, who was injured against Lens on Wednesday.

Alex Ferguson also rang the changes with Sweden's Jesper Blomqvist, a £4.4m signing from Parma, replacing Ole Gunnar Solskjaer and Butt coming in for fellow England international Paul Scholes.

Fergie pushed Ryan Giggs up front to play alongside Dwight Yorke.

Jordi Cruyff, the forgotten man of Old Trafford, was preferred on the bench to Andy Cole.

Arsenal, who beat United 3-0 in the Charity Shield, got off to a bright start in the autumn sunshine but United, wearing a new all-black kit, had the first shot on goal when David Beckham's free kick was well held by David Seaman.

Lee Dixon and Marc Overmars had a couple of shots on goal and it was no surprise when the Gunners took the lead in the 13th minute.

Tony Adams puts Arsenal ahead
Tony Adams rose higher than Jaap Stam and Peter Schmeichel to head in Hughes' superbly flighted free kick.

United gradually came into the game and in the 29th minute almost drew level. Beckham was allowed to drift infield and his shot bounced off Seaman's right hand post and spun across the goal to safety.

But Arsenal remained a potent challenge at the other end.

In the 33rd minute Ray Parlour's deflected shot flew just past Schmeichel's post and eight minutes later the over-worked Dane made a fine save from Nicolas Anelka.

First goal for Anelka

The Frenchman, who had not scored so far this season, would not be denied.

Nicolas Anelka makes it two
On 44 minutes he beat the offside trap and ran onto a Bergkamp through ball and when Schmeichel saved his initial shot with his outstretched boot he pounced on the rebound and buried it.

[ image: Nicolas Anelka tussles with Roy Keane]
Nicolas Anelka tussles with Roy Keane
The second half got off to an explosive start with two bookings and a sending off.

First Hughes was booked for a foul on Beckham, who was lucky to escape a caution himself when he appeared to tread on Hughes a couple of minutes later.

Butt receives his second red card in five days
Then in the 51st minute Butt was caught out at the back and brought down Patrick Vieira as he headed for the penalty area.

Referee Graham Barber had no doubts and immediately brandished the red card. Roy Keane was furious with the decision and earned himself a yellow card for dissent.

Butt takes an early bath

[ image: Butt out - Nicky takes the long walk]
Butt out - Nicky takes the long walk
It was Butt's second dismissal in successive games, having been sent off against Barcelona in midweek.

Arsenal began making greater inroads into the 10 men and Anelka should have put them 3-0 up in the 64th minute.

Yorke misplaced pass was intercepted by Hughes and he found Anelka, who shot wide.

Fredrik Ljungberg makes his mark at Highbury
The Gunners' blissful afternoon was completed in the 84th minute when Swedish super sub Ljungberg, who had come on six minutes before, chipped Schmeichel to make it 3-0.

Arsenal: Seaman, Dixon, Winterburn, Vieira, Adams, Anelka (Ljungberg 78), Bergkamp, Overmars, Keown, Parlour, Hughes. Subs not used: Bould, Wreh, Manninger, Garde.

Manchester United: Schmeichel, G Neville, Irwin, Stam, Beckham, Butt (sent off 51), Giggs, Blomqvist, Keane, Yorke, Berg. Subs: P Neville, Cruyff, Van Der Gouw, Scholes, Solskjaer.

Referee: Graham Barber (Pyrford, Surrey)

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