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Jurgen Macho
"It was unbelievable for me"
 real 14k

Sunderland manager Peter Reid
"That's a great result for us."
 real 14k

BBC Five Live's Mike Ingham
reports from The Stadium of Light
 real 14k

Saturday, 19 August, 2000, 18:27 GMT 19:27 UK
Quinn header edges out Gunners

Kanu got little change from Holloway
Sunderland 1-0 Arsenal

A 53rd minute header from Sunderland's Niall Quinn was enough to to outgun Arsenal at the Stadium of Light.

Black Cats midfielder Michael Gray swept down the left hand side and sent in a teasing cross into the penalty area which eluded the flapping arms of David Seaman and fell onto the grateful head of Quinn who made no mistake from six yards.

It was what Peter Reid's men deserved for a battling and resilient performance, reminiscent of the team's spirit of last season.

Arsenal had a hatful of chances during the match with Ray Parlour guilty of spurning two of the best and then Thierry Henry missed an effort late on.

To add to the Gunners' woes Patrick Vieira was sent off after striking Darren Williams in second-half injury time.

It seemed that without the services of Emmanuel Petit, the Gunners were far for open in the middle of the park allowing Sunderland's midfield to roam more freely.

Patrick Vieira
Vieira (r) was handed a red card

Petit's supposed replacement, Swede Freddie Ljungberg, began to operate through the heart of the home side.

Unlike the Frenchman, Ljungberg did not sit back and after 15 minutes he almost gave Arsene Wenger's side the lead, but his shot was well saved by onrushing Thomas Sorensen.

A full house at the Stadium of Light were being treated to a vibrant contest as the decibels around the arena soared as did the action on pitch level.

Arsenal were in the ascendancy and Thierry Henry slowly began to stamp his authority on the game.

"Patrick Vieira has tried to play football today and some other players have not tried, and in the end, he is sent off because he had a bad reaction. First I'd send off the guy of Sunderland. I looked at him after the game and I didn't see anything on his face
  Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

First an effort on goal from inside the penalty area was charged away by Varga and then his low cross from the right hand touchline should have been put away by Ray Parlour.

However it was not until the half-hour mark that the game saw its second clear chance which fell to Arsenal and Parlour yet again.

Busy midfielder Patrick Vieira charged through the Sunderland midfield and unleashed a shot inside the 18-yard box which Sorensen managed to palm away.

The loose ball fell to Parlour and with a empty goal in sight, struck his effort high and handsomely wide of the Sunderland net.

Mr Wenger is a very intelligent man and he's entitled to his opinion, but I think he should stick to his own players. I don't comment on his players and he shouldn't comment on my players and just get on with the game
  Sunderland boss Peter Reid
The Black Cats best chance of the half fell to Eric Roy whose clever one-two with striker Niall Quinn on the edge of the area ended with the midfielder scuffing his shot wide of David Seaman's right post.

Arsenal came back with efforts from Ljungberg and Henry just before the interval but had to be content with a 0-0 scoreline as they retreated into their dressing room.

An injury picked up by Sorensen in the first half meant that new signing Jurgen Macho had to come in as his replacement after the break.

But he had little to contend with as workmanlike performances from Chris Makin and Gray in the centre of the park kept the Gunners at bay.

Varga in defence was having an outstanding debut with the crowd applauding every touch in the late summer's sunshine.

The inclusion of Dennis Bergkamp and new recruits Robert Pires and Lauren added little sparkle to a subdued Gunners attack.

Macho saved well from Henry late in the game when it was easier to score and then Vieira was given his marching orders by referee Steve Dunn - a bad day at the office for day for Wenger's men.


Sunderland: Sorensen, Makin, Gray, Roy, P. Butler, Varga, Kilbane, Thirlwell, Holloway, Quinn, Phillips. Subs: Macho, Williams, Reddy, Bould, Nunez.

Arsenal: Seaman, Dixon, Vieira, Keown, Adams, Ljungberg, Henry, Parlour, Silvinho, Grimandi, Kanu. Subs: Pires, Bergkamp, Manninger, Lauren, Luzhny.

Referee: S Dunn (Bristol)

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