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Saturday, 29 September, 2001, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Henry fires Gunners top
Thierry Henry celebrates Arsenal's first goal
Henry has scored eight times in ten games this season
Derby County 0-2 Arsenal

Two goals from Thierry Henry delivered the three points Arsene Wenger's men needed to leapfrog Bolton and Leeds at the top of the Premiership.

But for eight second-half minutes it all could have been so different for the Gunners, as Derby County poured forward in search of an equaliser after Martin Keown's 55th minute sending off.

The England defender was shown his second yellow card for tripping Malcolm Christie on the edge of the box.

  Key moments
10 mins: Keown picks up yellow for tangling with Christie
21 mins: Henry scores with superb free-kick
34 mins: Christie shoots straight at Wright when free on goal
46 mins: Derby throw Kindladze on, Kanu replaces injured Jeffers
55 mins: Keown sent off for second yellow
63 mins: Henry scores second to kill off Derby's hopes
82 mins: Wright denies Burton with brave stop

While Keown can have no complaints about that decision, his first card from the far too fussy Rob Styles was particularly harsh.

With their most experienced defender off the field, Arsenal had to face the immediate danger of a Fabrizio Ravanelli free-kick from 18 yards.

Richard Wright, making his Arsenal debut, was equal to the task, getting down well to his right to stop the Italian's effort.

But just as the home fans began to believe their team could earn something from a game they had been given little chance in, referee Styles made his second significant intervention of the afternoon.


The players had a lot of criticism after Wednesday night but they showed the right response and they showed character
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Andy Oakes spilled the ball at Kanu's feet and in his attempt to retrieve the situation the Derby keeper and Kanu ended up in a pile on the floor.

There looked to be no blame on Oakes' part, and a Derby defender was in close attendance to clear up the loose ball.

Styles saw it differently, and Henry lashed home the penalty to claim his eight goal of the new season.

The French international scored Arsenal's first goal after 21 minutes.

Francis Jeffers cleverly drew a foul from the Derby defence to give the visitors a free-kick directly in front of goal, 20 yards out.

Henry's strike into the top right-hand corner was exquisite, although Oakes might have organised his wall better.


What disappointed me was when they went down to 10 men we couldn't take advantage of the extra man we had
Derby County manager Jim Smith
Derby worked hard throughout, and created a number of half-chances, but they were some way short of the incisiveness needed to breach the Arsenal defence.

For Arsene Wenger and Arsenal, Keown's indisgression was the only hiccup in a comfortable day's work.


Derby: Oakes, Jackson, Riggott, Higginbotham, Boertien, Murray, Powell, O'Neil, Johnson, Christie, Ravanelli. Subs: Grant, Burton, Kinkladze, Mawene, Valakari.

Arsenal: Wright, Lauren, Keown, Upson, Cole, Ljungberg, Vieira, van Bronckhorst, Pires, Henry, Jeffers. Subs: Wiltord, Taylor, Grimandi, Luzhny, Kanu.

Referee: R Styles (Waterlooville)

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Pat Murphy
"Derby were dreadful"
Arsenal goalkeeper Richard Wright
"We looked really good today and very solid"
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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