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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
"We became stronger as the game went on"
 real 28k

Sunday, 26 March, 2000, 16:54 GMT
Veteran helpless to stop Gunners

Midfield battlers: Vieira and Eustace
Arsenal 3-0 Coventry

Arsenal kept in the hunt for the Champions League with three second half goals.

But the margin of victory would have been far wider without veteran Coventry keeper Steve Ogrizovic.

The 42-year-old made his first appearance in 15 months due to a back injury sustained by Magnus Hedman.

During the first half he produced a superb one-handed save from Arsenal's Oleg Luzhny and also charged out smartly to deny Ray Parlour.

Key moments
Arsenal dominate first half without creating much
50: Henry slides ball past Ogrizovic
79: Grimandi slams home second
80: Kanu makes score cruel on experienced keeper
He was in equally good form after the break, but had no chance as Thierry Henry, Gilles Grimandi and substitute Kanu all exploited poor defending to score.

The first half saw Tomas Gustafsson heading off the line but Arsenal were reduced to long range shots.

The best was Dennis Bergkamp's off-target attempt from 25 yards, although Gary McAllister produced a similar effort for the visitors.

The Gunners also had a penalty claim turned down, when Sky Blues defender Richard Shaw seemed to knock down Ray Parlour's return pass to Bergkamp with his arm.

Treatment and beaten

Ogrizovic was soon back in the action after the break, tackling Marc Overmars on the edge of the area.

The Coventry keeper was caught by the Dutchman and received treatment for a head injury.

Goalscorer Henry and Coventry defender Gustafsson
Whether he was still dazed when Henry scored two minutes later did not really matter.

The keeper was helpless to stop the French striker in a one-on-one situation after he had been played in behind the Sky Blues defence.

Arsenal continued to dominate, with Bergkamp and Emmanuel Petit both going close with free kicks.

Petit then went down heavily under a challenge from Yousef Chippo, and the Frenchman looked to be in real pain as the Moroccan was booked.

Within a minute Petit shook off his apparent discomfort to charge to the edge of the area and shoot against the post from 25 yards.

Ogrizovic then produced a series of fine saves, the first from Overmars who could hardly believe how the experienced stopper had moved so smartly to push the effort wide.

Two minutes, two goals

The second goal finally did come from a corner when Coventry's marking let them down and Grimandi slammed the ball into the roof of the net.

A minute later Kanu exploited a misfiring Sky Blues offside trap to step around Ogrizovic and roll the ball into the net.

But there was still time for the oldest player on the pitch to state his case for the man of the match award.

Yet another fine save maintained respectability for the visitors, and they finally achieved a first shot on target in injury time when David Seaman saved from substitute Normann.


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

Coventry: Ogrizovic, Shaw, Gustafsson, Hendry, Chippo, McAllister, Eustace, Froggatt, Hadji, Whelan, Roussel. Subs: Telfer, Breen, Normann, Quinn, Kirkland.

Referee: B Knight (Orpington)

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