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The BBC's David Oates
"There's no mystery to Leicester City"
 real 28k

Sunday, 9 January, 2000, 18:52 GMT
Leicester hold out for replay

Henry tries to hold off a challenge from Leicester's Oakes

Arsenal 0-0 Leicester

Leicester City earned themselves an FA Cup replay at Filbert Street, as they held tournament favourites Arsenal to a 0-0 draw after playing the closing stages with just 10 men.

The sending off was poor. I've seen endless players run away with the ball and they never get booked.
Leicester boss Martin O'Neill
Darren Eadie's controversial dismissal with 10 minutes on the clock seemed to have tipped the scales decisively in Arsenal's favour.

But battling Leicester somehow clung on, their well-drilled defence repelling a flurry of assaults on Pegguy Arphexad's goal.

In truth, though, neither side produced much in the way of an attacking threat in a dour match that offered more in the way of bookings than genuine chances.

I believe Savage should have been off the field. What he has done is not acceptable.
Arsene Wenger
Along with Eadie's dismissal - for two yellow cards after he carried on running with the ball when the whistle had blown - referee Mike Riley took the names of eight other players.

But the game was far from unruly and did not seem to warrant as many cards as were actually flourished.

The worst challenge of all came when Robbie Savage raked substitute Kanu's leg with his studs - a foul that Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger felt deserved a red card instead of a yellow.

African overlooked

All the pre-match fuss over Kanu's selection for the tie proved largely academic.

The referee was not afraid to punish players in a battling contest
The Nigerian striker, who had looked set to miss the game through international commitments until a late U-turn by his national federation on Saturday, was relegated to a place on the bench.

Davor Suker was preferred to Kanu up front, alongside Thierry Henry.

And the Croatian should have shot Arsenal into an early lead when he found himself in a glorious position after just seven minutes, but his first touch let him down and Leicester cleared with ease.

Sitter for Suker

Suker's eyes lit up mid-way through the first half when he was on the end of Arsenal's best early move.

It's like you're going to play, then you're not going to play.
Arsenal striker Kanu on his on-off weekend
Henry destroyed the Leicester defence with a penetrating run and curling cross from the left - but just as Suker was poised to pounce, Eadie somehow slid in to steal the ball off his toes with a brilliant tackle.

Leicester frontman Emile Heskey - who was a late participant after shaking off a bout of flu - suffered a torrid time at the hands of the Arsenal defence

The England international was felled by a number of crunching challenges, before earning a booking himself for a retaliatory foul on his marker Gilles Grimandi.

Kanu comeback

Arsenal were becoming increasingly frustrated at their inability to break down Leicester's defence, so Wenger introduced Kanu's unpredictable skills with an hour on the clock.

The African's arrival at the expense of Stefan Malz sparked Arsenal back into life.

Frederik Ljungberg should have scored for the Gunners from a 70th minute corner - but he fluffed a header when he was found unmarked at the back post.

A Kanu break then sent Suker clear with just Arphexad to beat - but the French keeper flung himself to his right to superbly beat away the Croat's rising shot.

Nine minutes from time referee Riley turned yellow to red, as Eadie was sent off for a second bookbale offence, apparently for time-wasting.

Arsenal quickly took advantage of their numerical superiority and Steve Walsh had to hack the ball clear from under his own bar following Henry's testing cross.

In a frantic finale, Leicester's defenders flung their bodies in front of the ball as Arsenal laid siege to the visitors' area.


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

Leicester: Arphexad, Sinclair, Taggart, Walsh, Eadie, Lennon, Savage, Oakes, Zagorakis, Heskey, Elliott.
Subs: Gunnlaugsson, Gilchrist, Campbell, Marshall, Hodges.

Referee: M Riley (Leeds)

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