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Sunday, 16 April, 2000, 17:00 GMT 18:00 UK
Arsenal thrash ten-man Leeds

Thierry Henry scored his 20th goal of the season
Leeds 0-4 Arsenal

Leeds' failure to beat their closest rivals this season has cost them dear, and a second defeat by Arsenal capped a poor showing against the top clubs.

Manchester United, Liverpool, and Aston Villa had already done the double over the Yorkshire club and Leeds had just one win, away at Chelsea, to show for their efforts against the Premiership's best.

A first-half goal in from Henry gave Arsenal a slim advantage but a dismissal for Leeds' defender Ian Harte shortly before the break was an ominous sign.



Harry Kewell was unable to make his mark

In the second half, Arsenal took full advantage of their extra man and goals for Martin Keown, Nwanko Kanu, and a late strike from Marc Overmars, compounded Leeds' recent miseries, and put Arsenal right back in the hunt for a Champions League spot.

The two clubs were pursuing the same domestic aims and before the game Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had described the tie as his club's "biggest game of the season".

The contest promised a fascinating battle between the youth of the Leeds front men against the unsurpassed experience of the Arsenal defence.


Match facts
21 mins - Henry opens the scoring
44 mins - Leeds lose defender Harte
70 mins - Rare goal for Arsenal's Keown
82 mins - Kanu makes it three
90 mins - Substitute Overmars wraps it up

Goalkeeper David Seaman was making his 450th appearance for the club while Lee Dixon was on the pitch in an Arsenal shirt for the 550th time.

Yet, it was Leeds who made the most of the early play, possessing a spring in their step which understandably has been lacking in their recent outings.

Arsenal were forced to clear their lines twice in the opening three minutes following good work from Michael Bridges and a fierce shot from Harry Kewell.

The Elland Road crowd was then mesmerised by a storming run from Harry Kewell in the 15th minute which could have resulted in a great individual goal.

Seaman however, made himself impregnable and Kewell was forced to pass it to Alan Smith who struck it high and wide.



Dennis Bergkamp had a disappointing match

Despite their early promise, Leeds were rocked on 21 minutes by a superb goal from Thierry Henry who took advantage of some poor defending to score for the sixth game in a row bringing his tally for the season to 20.

He controlled a beautiful pass from Parlour wide on the right and with the most delicate touch steered it past Martyn.

Leeds suffered a further blow when defender Ian Harte was shown the red card for petulantly kicking out at Dennis Bergkamp whom he felt had deliberately careered into him.

Leeds boss David O'Leary had some adjustments to make at half-time to compensate for the loss of Harte and Michael Bridges made way for Jason Wilcox.

Aresenal should have doubled their advantage when Bergkamp and Henry found themselves two against two in front of Martyn's goal.

But Bergkamp's poor cross was behind Henry and by the time he had recovered, he was only able to shoot the ball straight at the Leeds keeper.

Tribute

Bergkamp in fact was disappointing and was replaced with 20 minutes left on the clock by Nwanko Kanu.

Arsenal's second goal came courtesy of a corner which Keown thundered into the roof of the net after his first headed attempt rebounded of Henry.

Their third followed a marvellous weaving run from Silvinho whose shot was palmed away by Martyn into the path of Kanu who couldn't miss.

A fourth from substitute Marc Overmars on 90 mins wrapped up an impressive display.

The crowd immaculately observed a minute's silence before the match in memory of the two Leeds' fans murdered in Galatasaray, and the victims of the Hillsborough disaster 11 years ago.

And Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger and his players presented their Leeds' counterparts with floral tributes to be placed outside the ground.

Teams

Leeds: Martyn, Kelly, Woodgate, Haaland, Harte, Bakke, Bowyer, McPhail, Kewell, Smith, Bridges. Subs: Hopkin, Huckerby, Wilcox, Duberry, Robinson.

Arsenal: Seaman, Dixon, Adams, Keown, Silvinho, Parlour, Vieira, Petit, Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Henry. Subs: Winterburn, Overmars, Malz, Kanu, Manninger.

Referee: S Dunn (Bristol)

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