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Saturday, September 25, 1999 Published at 18:01 GMT 19:01 UK


Gunners leave it late again

Patrick Vieira battles with Watford's Allan Smart

Arsenal 1-0 Watford

Arsenal saviour Kanu made amends for his Champions League penalty miss when he scored an 86th-minute winner at Highbury to close the gap on Premiership leaders Man United.


The BBC's Steve Tongue: "Chamberlain had beaten out everything"
Last week at The Dell Thierry Henry netted with 10 minutes to go, while the Gunners scored twice in injury time against AIK Solna in midweek.

This week it was the Nigerian who made sure of three Premiership points, turning in the area to fire home just as it appeared the Hornets would come away with a point.

Kanu, who missed a penalty against Fiorentina which would have given Arsenal a valuable Champions League away win, had earlier hit the post twice in five minutes - first with a thundering 25-yard shot, then with a header.

Standing ovation

But with four minutes to go he latched onto a long throw from Ukrainian right back Oleg Luzhny and held off Welsh defender Robert Page before coolly sliding the ball beneath Chamberlain.

Kanu was devastated after his penalty miss but he was given a standing ovation when he was brought off just a few seconds after his goal.

Arsenal started with Dennis Bergkamp and Davor Suker on the bench and although Kanu and Henry created chances, stubborn Watford almost managed to hold out.

They had only four efforts on goal compared to Arsenal's amazing 30 - Allan Smart heading hteir best effort just wide as keeper Alex Manninger.

Watford's limited front line was missing the injured Tommy Mooney and only occasionally inspired by the running of their 950,000 Dutch new boy Nordin Wooter.

Chambers' saves

Graham Taylor's men dragged 10 men back behind the ball whenever danger threatened in the same way that had worked so effectively against Chelsea and Liverpool.

Veteran goalkeeper Alec Chamberlain did his bit, pulling off a string of top class saves to deny the elegant Gunners, despite the addition of Suker and Bergkamp with twenty minutes to go.

When - with the final whistle looming - Chamberlain somehow beat out Martin Keown's thunderbolt and then knocked away Kanu's follow-up, he appeared to have done enough to earn his side a valuable point.

But Kanu was not to be denied.

Teams:
Arsenal: Manninger, Luzhny, Keown, Adams, Silvinho, Ljungberg, Parlour, Vieira, Overmars, Henry, Kanu.
Subs: Winterburn, Vivas, Suker, Bergkamp, Lukic.
Watford: Chamberlain, Gibbs, Palmer, Robinson, Kennedy, Foley, Hyde, Page, Williams, Wooter, Smart.
Subs: Ngonge, Wright, Day, Easton, Bonnot.
Referee: P Durkin (Portland)




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