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Arsene Wenger talks to BBC Radio 5 Live
"We had a shaky start"
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Monday, 29 November, 1999, 09:09 GMT
Highbury hails Henry the second

Dean Sturridge Dean Sturridge fires Derby into a surprise lead

Arsenal 2-1 Derby

French striker Thierry Henry was the toast of Highbury with two goals on Sunday as Arsenal came from behind to beat Derby.

With the Gunners trailing to Dean Sturridge's surprise early opener, 10m record signing Henry found the target in either half to give his side the three points.

Victory takes Arsene Wenger's title-chasing team back into the top three of the Premiership.

Match facts
2: Sturridge gives Derby the lead
11: Henry equalises for Arsenal
50: Henry's second wraps up the win
But the result merely increases the problems for Jim Smith's relegation-threatened Derby, who remain rooted in the drop zone.

Henry - given a rare start ahead of Davor Suker and Kanu - produced a performance of strike play reminiscent of his fellow Frenchman Nicolas Anelka, who he replaced up front in the summer.

Twice his pace destroyed the Derby defence and finished with calm assurance.

And as Arsenal took complete control of the match after drawing level, he was unlucky not to claim a hat-trick.

Sturridge stunner

The Gunners may have been hot home favourites, but they suffered a sucker punch in the second minute of the game.

Derby's debutant Israeli Avi Nimni hit a through-ball which deflected off Tony Adams into the path of Sturridge, who clipped the ball over helpless Arsenal keeper Alex Manninger.

Shell-shocked they may have been, but Arsenal regrouped and nine minutes later they were level.

Thierry Henry is congratulated by Dennis Bergkamp Thierry Henry is congratulated by Dennis Bergkamp
Marc Overmars created the chance, directing proceedings with a point of the finger before sending a slide-rule pass to Henry, who in turn side-footed past Derby keeper Mart Poom.

Henry could have put Arsenal ahead soon after but, when Spencer Prior made a hash of Dennis Bergkamp's pass, he shot into the side netting.

Henry was clearly enjoying his taste of first team action and four minutes before the break he thundered a ferocious 25-yard shot just wide with Poom well beaten

Derby, their marking all over the place, were under siege for long periods.

Overmars and Ray Parlour failed to hit the target with headers from corners.

And Poom also had to turn a fierce effort by Overmars round a post in first-half stoppage time before seeing Giles Grimandi hook a loose ball over the top.

Double act

But it only took six minutes of the second half before Overmars snapped into action with another finely-weighted ball that sent Henry in behind the Derby defenders and he drilled home the winner.

Emmanuel Petit of Arsenal tussles with Seth Johnson Emmanuel Petit of Arsenal tussles with Seth Johnson
Derby never looked like breaking the chains of Arsenal's dominance after that - and only some slapdash finishing let them off a hiding.

Henry blasted over the bar and Stefan Malz was unlucky when he crashed a fierce drive against the underside of the bar after fellow substitute Suker laid the ball back.

And Emmanuel Petit, who shrugged off a knee injury to play, should have scored in stoppage time but, with the goal gaping, he tried to set up Kanu instead of having a shot himself and it caught the big Nigerian offside.


Arsenal: Manninger, Luzhny, Adams, Upson, Winterburn, Parlour, Petit, Grimandi, Overmars, Henry, Bergkamp.
Subs: Suker, Malz, Lukic, Kanu, Vernazza.

Derby: Poom, Prior, Carbonari, Laursen, Delap, Johnson, Powell, Nimni, Dorigo, Sturridge, Burton.
Subs: Hoult, Elliott, Robinson, Kinkladze, Murray.

Referee: A D`urso (Billericay)

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