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The BBC's John Murray
"Bradford have won themselves three points to be proud of"
 real 28k

Saturday, 5 February, 2000, 18:45 GMT
Bradford stun Arsenal

Saunders Veteran Dean Saunders milked adulation from the home support


Bradford 2-1 Arsenal

Arsenal's title hopes suffered a potentially fatal blow as they slumped to a shock defeat at relegation-threatened Bradford.


10: Windass stuns Seaman and Arsenal
13: Henry's goal looks set to launch a Gunners bombardment
57: Saunders claims three vital points for City
Veteran striker Dean Saunders claimed a second-half winner to leave the Gunners nine points adrift of leaders Manchester United, having played a game more.

Earlier Dean Windass' opener had been cancelled out by Arsenal's French striker Thierry Henry.

Valley Parade erupted at the final whistle, as a sell-out 18,000 crowd celebrated a famous win and three priceless points in the Bantams' fight to escape the drop.

One spectator who will have been impressed was Benfica striker Jorge Cadete, who was in Yorkshire to talk over a possible move to City, and was on his feet at the end to applaud the victors.

Basement side

Bradford have struggled since promotion last season and they have spent most of the campaign slumped in the relegation zone and trying to battle their way to results.

But they were a different prospect altogether against the Gunners, with an impressive display of possession football.



Any point in the Premiership is a hard-fought point - especially three against Arsenal. Our performance was outstanding, as was the players' work-rate.
Bradford manager Paul Jewell
And they went ahead as early as the 10th minute, after Henry had City keeper Aidan Davison at full stretch with a right-foot drive.

It was a surprise opener and England keeper David Seaman was the villain of the piece for the title contenders.

Windass was felled by Gilles Grimandi just outside the area and while Seaman was still organising his defensive wall, the 30-year-old striker sent a curling strike into the back of the net for his 100th league goal.


Henry Thierry Henry rues a missed chance
Normal service looked to have been resumed after just three minutes, though, as Henry - selected in attack in the absence of Dennis Bergkamp and Kanu - levelled the scores with a low shot that beat Davison.

Arsenal were now back in the game - and all the signs were that Bradford would be turned over.

Davor Suker struck the ball after 25 minutes when he should have scored after being sent clean through on goal.

Davison denies Gunners

Davison produced another fine save to keep out Frederick Ljunberg's diving header from a Stefan Malz cross.

And it proved as inspirational moment - because within minutes Bradford were in front.

Gareth Whalley found Saunders with a precise pass and the former Welsh international fired the ball under the advancing Seaman for his sixth goal of the season.

Shellshocked Arsenal again fought back and could have equalised immediately - but another Ljunberg header was cleared off the line by Wayne Jacobs.

Arsenal boss threw Bergkamp on after nine weeks out through injury - but even the Dutch master could not turn the game around.

Teams:

Bradford: Davison, Halle, Wetherall, O'Brien, Jacobs, Lawrence, McCall, Whalley, Beagrie, Saunders, Windass. Subs: Southall, Wright, Blake, Sharpe, Dreyer.

Arsenal: Seaman, Dixon, Keown, Ljungberg, Winterburn, Suker, Henry, Parlour, Petit, Grimandi, Malz. Subs: Bergkamp, Manninger, Luzhny, Hughes, Cole.

Referee: A D'Urso (Billericay)

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