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The BBC's Simon Hill
""It'll be another 60 if they perform like this"
 real 28k

Sunday, 21 November, 1999, 13:34 GMT
Dutch delight as Gunners hit five
The Gunners Mark Overmars opened the 'Boro floodgates

Arsenal 5-1 Middlesbrough

Mark Overmars scored a hat trick, with Dennis Bergkamp adding two more as Arsenal turned on the style to completely overrun Boro at Highbury.

Overmars opened the scoring from a Bergkamp pass, before the striker got in on the act with a delightful individual effort before half time.

The same player added his second and his side's third just after the break.


We looked hungry again.
Arsene Wenger
Hamilton Ricard gave Boro a consolation after 68 mins, but it was a humiliating afternoon for the visitors who looked hopelessly outclassed for the second time in a year.

Seven months ago, the Gunners handed Middlesbrough a 6-1 pounding at the Riverside.

Open season

It is a win that will do much to bolster Arsenal's Premiership-topping pretensions.

They put the visitors to the sword from the outset as the Gunners' Dutch duo turned in arguably their best performance of the season.

Boro were lucky not to have conceded many more goals
Emmanuel Petit should have set the alarm bells ringing for Boro with a 25-yard free kick that scraped the crossbar.

Then Bergkamp and Overmars combined to force keeper Mark Schwarzer to make three good saves in quick succession.

The first goal came as Bergkamp dispossessed Boro's Robbie Stockdale.

The Dutchman sent a through-ball, which he delivered to Overmars for the opener.

Match facts
26 mins: Overmars starts rout
Half-time: Bergkamp nets either side
61 mins: Overmars on the rebound
68:Ricard consolation
78: Overmars hat trick
The Gunners had clearly declared open season on the Boro woodwork as Ray Parlour, among others, hammered a host of shots desperately close.

Goal number two came courtesy of a tangle between Bergkamp and Middlesbrough's Juninho.

The Brazilian robbed his Dutch opponent, only to immediately relinquish the ball and see the striker slam it into the back of the net from 22 yards.

Four minutes into the second half, Bergkamp scored his second. Fredrik Ljungberg served him the perfect pass to put Arsenal 3-0 up.

Ginaluca Festa was then penalised for handling in the area and Overmars stepped up to take the spot kick in preference to the penalty-shy pairing of Kanu and Bergkamp.


The second Arsenal goal just before half time really killed us.
Boro's Bryan Robson
The shot was saved by Schwarzer, but the Dutchman gathered the deflection and scored.

With 12 minutes to go, Overmars completed his hat-trick following a superb passage of interplay between substitutes Davor Suker and Nelson Vivas.

To add to Boro's woes, Paul Ince, Paul Gascoigne and Brian Deane were all booked before Ricard pulled back a consolation goal.

Teams:

Arsenal: Seaman, Dixon, Winterburn, Adams, Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Overmars, Parlour, Petit, Grimandi, Kanu. Subs: Vivas, Suker, Manninger, Henry, Upson.

Middlesbrough: Schwarzer, Fleming, Vickers, Festa, Cooper, Gascoigne, Ince, Deane, Ricard, Juninho, Gavin. Subs: Mustoe, Beresford, Campbell, Armstrong, Stockdale.

Referee: N Barry (Scunthorpe
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Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.