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Wednesday, 6 November, 2002, 21:41 GMT
Black Cats stun Arsenal
Sunderland players celebrate their victory over Arsenal
Sunderland players celebrate their victory
Arsenal 2-3 Sunderland

A Marcus Stewart brace inspired a youthful Sunderland side to recover from a two-goal deficit and dump Arsenal out of the Worthington Cup.


We were naive to lose the game but unlucky as well
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Arsene Wenger had made 11 changes to the team that beat Fulham on Sunday, but the inclusion of Robert Pires and Francis Jeffers saw Arsenal race into that two-goal lead.

Pires' goal was the first the Footballer of the Year has scored since damaging a cruciate knee ligament in March.

Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson had also juggled his resources, making nine changes to the side that drew with Charlton on Sunday.

Wilkinson's team combined youth with experience, a mixture which was reflected by Sunderland's goalscorers.

Just after the restart 21-year-old Kevin Kyle revived Sunderland's hopes before Stewart took centre stage.

As Arsenal struck two goals in just over half an hour the idea of Sunderland winning this match seemed inconceivable.

It was Pires who gave Arsenal the lead with a superb effort in the ninth minute.

After a foul by Darren Williams on Kanu, Giovanni van Bronckhorst pulled a low free-kick back from the left, and Pires powered a 20-yard drive through a crowd of players.

Arsenal's Robert Pires celebrates scoring the opener
Pires gave Arsenal the lead

Jeffers then had a couple of efforts, first driving across the face of the goal and then sending a shot straight into the arms of goalkeeper Jurgen Macho.

If Jeffers' aim was amiss on these two occasions he proved more accurate 12 minutes from the break.


Considering the terrific inexperience in the side, they've done very well.
Sunderland manager Howard Wilkinson

Kanu powerfully rode two tackles in a run from the half-way line and measured his pass through to Jeffers, who slipped two defenders to steer the ball into the back of the net.

In the 56th minute Marcus Stewart's back-flick from a corner allowed Kyle to rise above the Arsenal defenders and power home a close-range header.

Sunderland equalised in the 70th minute through a Stewart header after Michael Proctor crossed superbly from the left.

Two minutes later the comeback was complete when Stewart headed his second of the night, getting in ahead of Oleg Luzhny to convert substitute Matthew Piper's cross.


Arsenal: Taylor, Tavlaridis, Luzhny, Stepanovs, Svard, Toure, van Bronckhorst, Pennant, Pires, Jeffers, Kanu. Subs: Shaaban, Volz, Garry, Sidwell, Thomas.

Sunderland: Macho, Williams, Varga, Thome, Thirlwell, McCartney, Rossiter, Proctor, Schwarz, Kyle, Stewart. Subs: Piper, Clark, Byrne, Dickman, Turns.

Referee: A Wiley (Staffordshire).

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 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Mark Pougatch
"This could be the result Sunderland need"
 VOTE RESULTS
Has the competition regained its sparkle?

Yes
 54.97% 

No
 45.02% 

18082 Votes Cast

Results are indicative and may not reflect public opinion

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