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BBC Sport's Ian Brown
"Arsenal deserved the spoils"
 real 14k

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"We've started to be more consistent"
 real 56k

Saturday, 10 February, 2001, 17:03 GMT
Henry fires Gunners past Ipswich
Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry beats Richard Wright at Highbury
Arsenal 1-0 Ipswich

Arsenal secured another crucial three points without netting the flood of goals their first-half dominance had threatened.

They had to settle for a solitary Thierry Henry goal to inflict a fifth consecutive defeat on stuttering Ipswich, who tried in vain to hold the Gunners at bay.

Within 10 minutes of his introduction as a substitute just before the hour mark, Henry showed his team-mates the route to goal.

Having sat on the bench watching chance after chance go begging, Henry replaced Lauren and had an immediate effect.

  Key moments
5 mins: Wright tips Bergkamp's curling effort wide.
18 mins: Wiltord is denied brilliantly by Wright.
57 mins: Henry replaces Lauren.
58 mins: Stewart wastes a great chance for Ipswich.
66 mins: Henry fires Arsenal into the lead.

Dennis Bergkamp did what the Ipswich defence failed to do by spotting Henry in acres of space, and once the Frenchman was given a clear run on goal, the result was inevitable.

With just Richard Wright to beat, Henry steadied himself and then slotted the ball to the keeper's left.

A minute earlier, Marcus Stewart had missed Ipswich's best chance of the game, failing to convert Martijn Reuser's cross at the far post.

But Ipswich posed little threat to the Arsenal goal and the size of their squad must be of concern to George Burley.

Even after the deadlock was broken Arsenal's frustrations continued, as Gilles Grimandi and Fredrik Ljungberg picked up needless bookings for dissent.

We needed this win and so in the end I had to give Thierry a run
  Arsene Wenger
Wright had single-handedly kept the visitors in the game in the opening 25 minutes.

The young England keeper made four outstanding saves to deny Bergkamp, Wiltord, Lauren and Cole.

The pick of the stops denied Wiltord after 18 minutes.

Bergkamp nodded the ball into the path of Wiltord and the Frenchman unleashed a thunderous drive that Wright acrobatically tipped over the bar.

Gilles Grimandi
Grimandi picked up a booking for dissent
Ipswich, with five men strung across the midfield and Marcus Stewart playing as a lone striker, offered very little threat to the Arsenal goal.

What danger they did offer invariably stemmed from Reuser.

And the Dutchman troubled David Seaman with a 25-yard free-kick that the keeper fumbled even though it was straight at him.

An Ipswich defence already depleted by injuries and suspension then lost Croft and Brown's introduction saw George Burley's team switch to a five-man defence.

Richard (Wright) was magnificent and I'm sure the England coach will get a glowing report about him after this
  George Burley
Arsenal's frustration continued after the break and with little sign of an opening goal, Henry was introduced to good effect.

The game was preceded by a minute's silence for 17-year-old Niccolo Galli who was killed in a motor accident in Italy on Friday afternoon.

The Bologna youngster spent last season on loan at Highbury.

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

Ipswich: Richard Wright, Clapham, Venus, Croft, Bramble, Holland, Jermaine Wright, Magilton, Reuser, Scowcroft, Stewart. Subs: Naylor, Brown, Branagan, Abidallah, Karic.

Referee: R Harris (Oxford)

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16 Jan 01 |  Football
The Premiership pretenders
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