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BBC Sport's Mike Ingham
"For Newcastle it was damage limitation"
 real 14k

Ray Parlour
"I should score more really"
 real 14k

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger
"We confirmed today we can play well"
 real 56k

Saturday, 9 December, 2000, 15:03 GMT
Arsenal thrash sorry Newcastle
Ray Parlour
Hat-trick hero Ray Parlour gets off the mark at Highbury
Arsenal 5-0 Newcastle

Arsenal's emphatic dismantling of Newcastle was highlighted by a Ray Parlour hat-trick.

Goals from Thierry Henry and Kanu further separated the sides but such was the Gunners' dominance there could have been more.

Arsenal's defence has not conceded a goal at Highbury for six games and had little to worry about from Newcastle.

The visitors' back line was carved up at will, highlighting Newcastle's woeful record in London where they have not won in two years and 21 visits.

There were few signs that things were about to improve at Highbury as Arsenal took an early two goal lead.

After that Arsenal were flying with Henry, Kanu and Parlour tormenting the Newcastle defence.


Ray Parlour was outstanding not only because of his goals but for his work-rate which was unbelievable
  Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Henry had already powered his way behind the Newcastle defence twice when the hosts took a 13th-minute lead.

Gilles Grimandi's long punt was delivered from well inside the Arsenal half.

Henry made light work of controlling the ball inside the Newcastle box.

A single touch wrong-footed defender Aaron Hughes and Henry took full advantage of the space to drive the ball past Shay Given.

Vivas and Solano
Nelson Vivas and Nolberto Solano challenge at Highbury
Three minutes later Arsenal extended the lead with Kanu providing the skill.

A run through central midfield and a delightful chipped pass found Parlour whose finish was delivered across Given with power and accuracy.

Freddie Ljungberg then made space on the right but was wasteful with his cross.

Given had to race out his area to head clear after Newcastle were caught by Lee Dixon's lob over the top.

Newcastle could only muster a long shot from Warren Barton and a Noberto Solano free-kick.

They escaped again when Henry set up Robert Pires but a weak shot went straight into Given's arms.

Perfect Pass

Just before the break Pires created space for himself but shot over and within seven minutes of the restart the Newcastle defence was split three times.

Given thwarted Henry and Kanu was unable to get a touch after another run from his French striker partner.

After 52 minutes Ljunberg's perfect through ball found Kanu and the Nigerian ran clear and placed the ball past Given for 3-0.


We just got smashed, it was as simple as that. They had too much quality for us
  Newcastle manager Bobby Robson
Newcastle were in disarray and were lucky when Henry and Ljunberg wasted chances as Arsenal were given almost too much time on the ball.

It was not until the final 10 minutes that Newcastle threatened when Alex Manninger saved well from Kieron Dyer.

Arsenal were not finished as Given made a fine triple save from substitute Dennis Bergkamp.

But the Irish keeper could do little to stop Parlour's near post header from Henry's cross making it four for Arsenal.

With the last kick of the game Parlour timed his run to perfection to control a through pass on his knee and slide the ball past Given.


Arsenal: Manninger, Dixon, Keown, Adams, Pires, Ljungberg, Henry, Parlour, Grimandi, Vivas, Kanu.
Subs: Bergkamp, Wiltord, Lauren, Luzhny, Lukic.

Newcastle: Given, Barton, Acuna, Lee, Dyer, Speed, Griffin, Solano, Hughes, Lua-Lua, S. Caldwell.
Subs: Domi, Bassedas, Harper, Cordone, Glass.

Referee: M Dean (The Wirral)

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