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BBC Sport's Simon Brotherton
"Arsenal totally outclassed their opponents"
 real 14k

Arsene Weger
"We could have scored more"
 real 14k

Jim Jefferies
"We have to take our chances"
 real 14k

Tuesday, 30 January, 2001, 21:37 GMT
Arsenal ease past Bantams
Ashley Cole, Lauren, Robert Pires
Lauren (centre) celebrates with Cole and Pires
Arsenal 2-0 Bradford City

Arsenal moved into second place in the Premiership with a comprehensive victory over Bradford that leaves the Yorkshire side firmly rooted at the foot of the table.

Goals from Ray Parlour and Lauren gave Arsenal victory at Highbury, but the scoreline flattered the visitors, with Arsenal twice hitting the post in the second half and dominating throughout.

Bradford set out their stall with just one attacker, but that solitary striker, Ashley Ward, might have given the Bantams a shock lead after just four minutes.

Peter Atherton's through ball unhinged the Arsenal offside trap, but Ward was unable to keep his shot down when he was one-on-one with David Seaman, chipping tamely wide for a glaring miss.

Ray Parlour
Ray Parlour opens the scoring for the Gunners
Suitably chastened by that escape, Arsenal proceeded to take control and the recalled Thierry Henry almost punished Bradford within seconds but his shot from a narrow angle went across the face of the goal.

Arsenal had to be satisfied with half chances thereafter until they took the lead with a bolt from the blue after 17 minutes.

Dennis Bergkamp's lay-off set Parlour on his way and he unleashed a stunning strike along the surface from 30 yards out.

The lead was doubled after 26 minutes, when an excellent Lee Dixon cross was met by Cameroon international Lauren, who headed home from six yards out.

That knocked the stuffing out of the visitors, with Arsenal looking like scoring with every attack.

Henry fired wide almost immediately, while Patrick Vieira squandered a great chance after 30 minutes.

However, Bradford were almost thrown a lifeline in the final minutes of the half, but Seaman saved well from Wayne Jacobs.

With the match effectively over as a contest, Arsenal were showing off their party pieces, with Bergkamp, Henry and Parlour showing their full repertoire of tricks.

Parlour came close to his second after 61 minutes after a brilliant Arsenal move. Andy O'Brien lost possession and some quick passes from Bergkamp and Henry set the midfielder clear, but his low drive crashed back off the post.

Ray Parlour and Dean Windass
Ray Parlour and Dean Windass clash
The Gunners, completely dominant, had the ball in the net minutes later, but Henry's deflected effort was ruled out for offside.

Bradford, desperately seeking inspiration, brought in David Hopkin and Robbie Blake, but that failed to alter the pattern of the game.

Indeed, Hopkin was booked within minutes of his introduction as frustration mounted.

With Parlour particularly prominent, Arsenal continued to press, with a Bergkamp effort deflected wide after 70 minutes.

Arsenal were denied by the woodwork again after 74 minutes when the impressive Ashley Cole struck the post, while Pires then sent a free header straight at Gary Walsh.

Arsenal's failure to take their chances might have given Bradford some hope, but they were singularly unable to mount any sort of fightback.


Arsenal: Seaman, Dixon, Stepanovs, Vieira, Adams, Pires, Bergkamp, Lauren, Henry, Parlour, Cole.
Subs: Wiltord, Manninger, Grimandi, Luzhny, Kanu.

Bradford: Walsh, Myers, McCall, Ward, Molenaar, O'Brien, Windass, Atherton, Jacobs, McKinlay, Jess.
Subs: Blake, Sharpe, Davison, Saunders, Hopkin.

Referee: C Wilkes (Gloucester)

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