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BBC Sport's Alan Green
"This was tepid stuff from O'Leary's team"
 real 14k

Leeds boss David O'Leary
"Arsenal were the best team"
 real 56k

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"It was a massive game for us today"
 real 56k

Saturday, 5 May, 2001, 16:20 GMT 17:20 UK
Arsenal outgun Leeds
Fredrik Ljungberg celebrates scoring
Fredrik Ljungberg is delighted with his opening strike
Arsenal 2-1 Leeds United

Goals from Freddie Ljungberg and Sylvain Wiltord were enough to give Arsenal the points and a Champions League spot in a lively affair with Leeds at Highbury.

Ian Harte struck a stunning free-kick to reduce the deficit but despite the visitors' valiant efforts in the final 15 minutes, Arsenal were able to cling on.


I hope the FA will take a look at those two incidents involving Martin Keown because some things have happened that should have been dealt with and weren't
  Leeds manager David O'Leary
A win was vital for both sides with progression into Europe's premier event next season beckoning - so it was never going to be a clash for the faint-hearted and seven bookings was a modest return.

Following last November's hot-blooded clash at Elland Road, there seemed to be a number of unfinished personal duels, but in between the two or three ugly confrontations, the quality of football was outstanding.

A joyous Swede

The opening exchanges were as dazzling as the London sunshine, with the hosts looking sharp and hungry.

  Key moments
17 mins: Ljungberg gives Arsenal the lead
56 mins: Wiltord doubles the lead
57 mins: Ian Harte scores a stunning free-kick

Arsenal came within a whisker of taking the lead in the first two minutes, as Wiltord tried in vain to slide on to Thierry Henry's teasing cross ball.

It was Henry involved again, as he shot from 25 yards - but the ball was fisted away by the Leeds keeper.

Ljungberg looked anything but a goalscorer two minutes before his goal.

A Wiltord cross to the unmarked Swede was headed disappointingly over, but it was his and Henry's trickery that helped to break the deadlock.

The swiftness of passes between the pair inside the box bemused the Leeds defenders - and after going around Nigel Martyn, Ljungberg calmly poked the ball home.

Three minutes before the interval, Leeds had their best chance of the half with an Olivier Dacourt pass splitting open the Arsenal defence.

Patrick Vieira scraps for the ball with Eirik Bakke
Vieira and Bakke in a full-blooded challenge
Robbie Keane charged through on goal but Tony Adams, initially outpaced, recovered well and a last-ditch tackle denied the Irishman.

The acrobatics of Martyn prevented Arsenal scoring a second goal on the stroke of half-time.

Gilles Grimandi broke free on the right and a looping cross fell to Lee Dixon whose firm volley was spectacularly stopped by the diving Martyn.

England's current goalkeeper David Seaman could only watch in admiration at the other end.


Maybe Martin Keown was sometimes a bit nervous and reacted, but Mark Viduka is a difficult player to play against
  Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

After all his efforts, Wiltord was a worthy goalscorer on 56 minutes.

Vieira threaded the ball through, and after spinning around two defenders, the French striker slammed the ball past the outstretched Martyn.

The players had hardly recovered their breath and Leeds were back in the game.

Adams carelessly conceded a free-kick on the edge of the box and Harte stepped up to curl in a trademark strike.

Leeds kept pressing but it was the hosts who had the clear-cut chances to increase their lead.

In the final 20 minutes, Henry could have grabbed a hat-trick - his best opportunity was a miraculous miss from a Robert Pires cross.

Harte almost equalised with a long-range punt from 50 yards - but the ball was nudged on to the post and cleared to the delight of the Highbury faithful.

With Liverpool winning, Leeds' best hopes of a Champions League place next season now rest on winning the competition - their efforts continue at Valencia on Tuesday.


Arsenal: Seaman, Dixon, Keown, Adams, Cole, Ljungberg, Vieira, Grimandi, Pires, Wiltord, Henry. Subs: Bergkamp, Manninger, Parlour, Silvinho, Upson.

Leeds: Martyn, Kelly, Ferdinand, Matteo, Harte, Bowyer, Bakke, Dacourt, Kewell, Keane, Viduka. Subs: Woodgate, Robinson, McPhail, Wilcox, Burns.

Referee: P Jones (Loughborough)

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