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BBC Sport's Ian Brown
"Nationwide League here they come"
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
"We were mobile and that gave problems to their defenders"
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Wednesday, 11 April, 2001, 21:17 GMT 22:17 UK
Arsenal trounce sorry Man City
Kanu (centre) volleys Arsenal's fourth and final goal
Manchester City 0-4 Arsenal

An under-strength Arsenal side proved far too good for Manchester City at a depressed Maine Road.

The visitors scored four unanswered goals in the first 35 minutes to cement the most convincing of victories.

City were woefully inept in defence and failed to create hardly any meaningful chances during the first-half.

Fredrik Ljungberg grabbed two goals and Sylvain Wiltord and Kanu one apiece for dominant Arsenal.

City improved in a scoreless second-half, but the damage had already been done.

Arsenal rested Tony Adams, Lee Dixon, Robert Pires, Patrick Vieira and Silvinho and handed a first start to the Brazilian midfielder Edu.

Ljungberg opener

The Maine Road faithful were stunned when the depleted visitors scored the opener from the first real chance of the game after eight minutes.

England defender Ashley Cole, who was impressive throughout, played a cross in from the left, which Richard Dunne and Steve Howey should have cleared for City.

They failed to do so and the ball fell to Wiltord.

The French striker laid it into the path of Ljungberg and the Swede slotted coolly past Carlo Nash.

Nash was making his debut for City after a move from Stockport and the match quickly turned into a nightmare for him.

Because within moments of the restart Arsenal had scored again.

Ray Parlour passed to Wiltord from the right and the striker contrived a shot into the far corner of the goal, despite the close attentions of Dunne.

Arsenal dominant

City's confidence understandably seemed to drain away and the crowd started to become restless.

And by the 16th minute Arsenal had gone further ahead.

Kanu, who was a constant threat for the Gunners, slipped a lovely pass through to Ljungberg.

The Swede out-paced City's pedestrian defence before lobbing the ball over the out-rushing Nash.

City did briefly rally and had chances through Alfie Haaland and the largely ineffective Paulo Wanchope.

But they were struggling to get the ball off an assured Arsenal and were giving it away cheaply when they did get possession.

The game was starting to resemble a practice match, with the visitors carving out chances at will.

After 35 minutes they had a fourth. Cole broke into City's area, but played an awful ball to Kanu, who had raced alongside him.

But Howey again missed his kick and allowed the Nigerian striker to score on the half-volley.


City were more determined and organised after the break, which was not really much of an achievement.

And Kennedy started to make some in-roads down the left-wing, but Goater and Wanchope failed to make the best of the Irishman's crosses.

But it was Arsenal who continued to create the clearest opportunities.

The best fell to Thierry Henry, who came on as a late substitute.

Nash smothered a Ljungberg shot and the ball eventually fell to Henry on the edge of the six-yard box.

With time to spare and only the keeper to beat, the forward slashed his shot wildly wide of goal.

The main excitement of the half came when a male streaker ran onto the pitch and lunged at Kanu on the right wing.

In common with most of City's defence, he was woefully short of stopping his man.

Man City: Nash, Dunne, Granville, Haaland, Howey, Wiekens, Tiatto, Kennedy, Whitley, Wanchope, Goater. Subs: Ostenstad, Charvet, Huckerby, Kanchelskis, Weaver.

Arsenal: Seaman, Cole, Luzhny, Stepanovs, Keown, Lauren, Ljungberg, Parlour, Kanu, Wiltord, Edu. Subs: Vieira, Manninger, Henry, Silvinho, Vivas.

Referee: N Barry (Scunthorpe).

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