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The BBC's Steve Wilson
"Arsenal were reeling and lucky not to concede a penalty"
 real 28k

Saturday, 1 April, 2000, 16:08 GMT 17:08 UK
Ten-man Gunners survive again

Kanu scores one of his two strikes
Wimbledon 1-3 Arsenal

The Gunners won this London derby despite going behind and having defender Oleg Luzhny sent off just before half-time.

It was the third time in the last four matches that Arsenal have won with 10 men.

Nigerian striker Kanu scored twice after Andreas Lund had given the Dons an early lead.


Key moments
12 mins: Lund strikes to give Dons the lead
33: Kanu looks offside but goal is given
41: Second for Nigerian striker
43: Luzhny sent off
98: Euell dismissed, Henry scores penalty
Luzhny was then dismissed for a professional foul two minutes before the break.

Wimbledon's Jason Euell joined him two minutes from time for hauling down Thierry Henry who then scored from penalty spot.

Luzhny's dismissal meant he was the 29th player to be sent off during Arsene Wenger's three-and-a-half-year reign at Highbury.

But there was a burning sense of injustice in the Gunners' camp.

Harsh decision

Television replays showing that the Ukrainian defender hardly touched Lund while there were team-mates in close proximity.

Despite enjoying a man advantage for half the match Wimbledon lacked the imagination to break down a determined defensive effort.



Maybe we deserved some in the past, but if you put the last three together it's difficult to say that Arsenal are a dirty team

Arsene Wenger on 29 red cards
Michael Hughes was the only player to display any inventgion and it was from his right wing cross which Lund scored.

The Norwegian striker rose virtually unchallenged to head just inside the far post as keeper David Seaman either slipped or hesitated.

Their might have been a second Wimbledon goal but Marcus Gayle's mazy run ended with the striker being tackled.

Seaman's reactions did not let him down when Hughes found Euell unmarked at the far post.

The keeper was also relieved to see a ferocious half-volley from the Northern Irishman clear the crossbar by a couple of inches.

Arsenal lacked a cutting edge up front until Kanu equalised in controversial fashion.

Kanu possibly offside

Dennis Bergkamp threaded a short through-ball to the Nigerian inside the penalty area and he turned to strike his shot powerfully past Sullivan.



We tried hard. I saw lots of fighting spirit, and with a bit of luck we could have taken a point, but we were up against a very strong team who were very smart in the second half

Egil Olsen
There was more than a hint of offside about Kanu's position before he struck.

But there were no possible arguments about the Nigerian's second goal four minutes later.

The striker rose above Kenny Cunningham and Lund to meet Silvinho's corner and head past Sullivan.

Luzhny was then sent off with a furious Patrick Vieira having to be pulled back from referee Uriah Rennie by team-mate Lee Dixon.

But Arsenal regrouped, with Marc Overmars sacrificed as Petit came on and Gilles Grimandi dropped back into defence.

Gunners defend well

Sullivan denied Bergkamp soon after half-time before the Dons stepped up the pressure and Hughes hit a crisp volley which Seaman managed to parry around the post.

But with Petit and Viera protecting the excellent Martin Keown and Grimandi, the Dons struggled to find their way past the massed ranks of Arsenal defenders.

Substitute Henry troubled them with his pace on the break and with two minutes left the Frenchman raced clear onto Vieira's through-ball.

He was clearly brought down by Euell, who had to be sent off considering the earlier decision, before Henry sent Sullivan the wrong way with the penalty.

Teams:

Wimbledon: Sullivan, Cunningham, Blackwell, Andersen, Jupp, Hughes, Euell, Roberts, Andresen, Lund, Gayle. Subs: Ardley, Badir, Willmott, Davis, Francis.

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

Referee: U Rennie (Sheffield)

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