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BBC Sport's John Murray
"Two goals in the last twenty minutes did the trick"
 real 14k

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger
"We needed to be patient because Tottenham were well organised"
 real 56k

Caretaker Tottenham boss David Pleat
"For 70 minutes we did a very good containing exercise"
 real 56k

Arsenal striker Thierry Henry
"We are quite happy with the victory but we know it wont be the same on Sunday"
 real 56k

Saturday, 31 March, 2001, 16:07 GMT 17:07 UK
Gunners take Spurs apart
Thierry Henry and Alton Thelwell fight for the ball
Thierry Henry and Alton Thelwell fight for the ball
Arsenal 2-0 Tottenham

Two superbly taken second-half goals from Robert Pires and Thierry Henry were enough to sink an injury-hit Tottenham at Highbury.

The dress-rehearsal for next week's FA Cup semi-final between the two sides showed the difference in class between the north London rivals.

Tottenham's incoming boss Glenn Hoddle might have been impressed by the determination Spurs showed, but there would have been no justice had the Gunners not secured all three points.

The game got off to a subdued start as the Spurs fans marked the one-minute's silence for David Rocastle in impeccable manner.


It was a strange game for me and a strange game for many players who knew they wouldn't be playing in the FA Cup semi-final
  Spurs caretaker manager David Pleat
Steffen Iversen had the first half-chance for Spurs but scuffed his third-minute shot across goal after finding space in the area.

Henry boasted the first opportunity of the game for the home side but his free-kick went wide of the goal while the Spurs keeper Neil Sullivan was still lining up his wall.

The game was punctuated by half-chances for Arsenal but the Spurs defence and Sullivan in particular remained dogged in resistance.

In the seventh minute - a Henry snap-shot hit the post, with Sullivan beaten this time.

Tottenham's game plan was to hit Arsenal on the break, mainly through the running of Simon Davies but clear-cut chances for the visitors would be at a premium.

  Match incidents
7 mins: Henry hits post
30 mins: Pires shot saved by Sullivan
70 mins: Pires fires past Sullivan to make it 1-0
86 mins: Henry jinks past Perry to slot home (2-0)

However, with Spurs players behind the ball when Arsenal were in possession it was going to take a stroke of skill to break the deadlock.

The break nearly came on the half-hour mark, Silvain Wiltord and Henry combining well on the edge of the box before Robert Pires had his shot well saved by the ever-reliable Sullivan.

The best chance of the half for Tottenham fell to Davies as he jinked his way through the Arsenal defence with eight minutes to go.


We had plenty of chances in the first half and still ended up needing a second goal, but we are happy with the win
  Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
But the midfielder's shot was deflected past the goal by Arsenal's veteran defender Lee Dixon.

A minute after the break Henry again had Sullivan in action after Wiltord knocked the ball inside. But Scotland's keeper was equal to his shot.

Wiltord found himself free but his drive ended up in the seats as Arsenal piled forward.

Wiltord then hit the side netting after being put through by Pires after an hour. Sullivan then made saves from the ever-threatening Wiltord and Dixon as Spurs desperately clung on.

However, the stroke of genius did come after 70 minutes.

Pires attacked the Spurs right, cut inside the box and directed his shot past a despairing Sullivan.

Spurs came into the game after the goal but there was no way Arsenal were going to jeopardise their hunt for a Champions League spot.

The game was put beyond doubt by Henry, who waltzed past Perry to slot home on the stroke of time.


Arsenal: Seaman, Dixon, Keown, Adams, Cole, Vieira, Parlour, Lauren, Pires, Henry, Wiltord. Subs: Manninger, Ljungberg, Edu, Luzhny, Kanu.

Tottenham: Sullivan, Gardner, Young, Doherty, Perry, Thelwell, Freund, Iversen, Davies, Korsten, Ferdinand. Subs: Walker, Etherington, Hillier, Piercy, Ferguson.

Referee: P Durkin (Dorset).

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