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The BBC's Arsene Wenger
"I look at it as two points lost"
 real 28k

Monday, 3 January, 2000, 22:00 GMT
Owls scrap for vital point

Emmanuel Petit slips the ball under Wednesday's keeper


Sheff Wed 1-1 Arsenal

Arsenal were unable to break down Sheffield Wednesday as the Premiership's rock-bottom club almost stole a win at Hillsborough.

A week after the Gunners beat top of the table Leeds, they were unable to grind down a battling Owls outfit in a thrilling second-half contest.

After a dire first 45 minutes brightened by a goal for Emmanuel Petit, the game came alive with a strike in reply for the home side by Gerald Sibon, making only his fourth league start of the season.


Marc Overmars Marc Overmars: Injury worries
And the match was almost won for Wednesday with a Niclas Alexandersson shot that smashed off the post in the dying minutes.

It was a bad result for Arsenal, who are hoping to capitalise on Manchester United's absence at the World Club Championship in Brazil during January.

Before the interval, the match was a bland and unexciting encounter shot through with scrappy exchanges and poor skill.

In fact, the most significant event in the first quarter was probably the loss to Arsenal of Marc Overmars in the 21st minute to an ankle injury.

It is especially worrying for the Gunners given that Kanu is away for more than four weeks on international duty in the African Nations' Cup. There is no news as yet on how serious the injury is.

With five minutes to go before half-time, Arsenal went ahead as Thierry Henry latched onto a ball from Fredrik Ljungberg and played it through to Petit, who slotted the ball under Pavel Srnicek.

The Gunners then missed a golden opportunity to go two ahead early in the second half when Kanu played in Henry only for the Frenchman to drill the shot at the keeper.

Wednesday replied with a goal courtesy of 2m Ajax transfer Sibon and for a moment it looked as if the stunned visitors were going home with no points as Alexandersson thundered in a strike on the turn in the 78th minute.

David Seaman was beaten by the pace of the shot, but blushes were saved in the Londoners' camp by the thickness of the woodwork.

Full report follows

Teams:

Sheff Wed: Srnicek, Nolan, Atherton, Walker, Hinchcliffe, Alexandersson, Jonk, Sonner, Briscoe, Sibon, De Bilde.
Subs: Pressman, Cresswell, McKeever, Staniforth, Nicolson.

Arsenal: Seaman, Luzhny, Adams, Grimandi, Silvinho, Ljungberg, Vieira, Petit, Overmars, Kanu, Henry.
Subs: Manninger, Dixon, Winterburn, Keown, Suker.

Referee: M Reed (Birmingham)

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Links to other FA Carling Premiership stories are at the foot of the page.