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Saturday, 20 October, 2001, 15:54 GMT 16:54 UK
Arsenal pegged back
Thierry Henry
Thierry Henry scored Arsenal's third goal
Arsenal 3-3 Blackburn
E-mail your reaction to Football Talk

Arsenal went top of the Premiership despite being held by a spirited Blackburn side at Highbury.

David Dunn, being watched by England coach Sven Goran Eriksson, scored his second goal two minutes from time to earn Blackburn a share of the spoils.

  Highbury goals
41 mins: Keith Gillespie gives Blackburn the lead.
47 mins: Robert Pires equalises for Arsenal.
53 mins: Dennis Bergkamp puts the Gunners into the lead.
58 mins: Blackburn draw level with a 30-yard David Dunn goal.
78 mins: Thierry Henry gets the winner for Arsenal.
88 mins: Dunn equalises for Blackburn.
After Keith Gillespie's opener for Rovers, Arsenal found the net through Robert Pires, Dennis Bergkamp and Thierry Henry, only to be twice pegged back by Dunn.

But the visitors deserved a point after a tenacious, tactically astute display.

They played a 4-5-1 formation, stifling Arsenal and their talisman Patrick Vieira.

And in Dunn, the visitors had a player capable of turning the match in a moment.

Bergkamp went desperately close in the first half for Arsenal with a curling shot from the right edge of the area that had Friedel beaten but went marginally wide.

Pires, who was a constant threat down the Gunners left flank, claimed for a penalty when he went down under a challenge from Friedel.


If he (David Dunnn) keeps working hard he can go as far as he likes
Graeme Souness
Blackburn manager
But Blackburn's tactic of attacking on the break worked perfectly on 41 minutes.

Matt Jansen picked the ball up 35 yards from goal and jinked forward before playing an excellent ball to Keith Gillespie.

The Irish winger broke into the area and hit a low shot that beat Richard Wright at his near post.

Even though the ball was deflected, the Arsenal keeper will have been disappointed not to have done better.

But the Gunners equalised within three minutes of the re-start. The impressive Pires dribbled into the area and struck a shot that went through Henning Berg's legs and past Friedel into the far corner of the net.

Arsenal then went in front soon after. Pires cut the ball back to Bergkamp and though Friedel got his hand to the Dutch striker's first-time shot, he could not stop it spinning into the net.

The home side were beginning to dominate and looked set to win at a canter.

But Blackburn came back at them and pulled level through Dunn.


The result is disappointing but not the performance
Arsene Wenger
Arsenal manager
The talented midfielder hit a 30-yard shot that was deflected off Gilles Grimandi and beat the despairing Wright.

Arsenal piled forward and duly resumed the lead in the 78th minute.

Substitute Sylvain Wiltord held the ball up well in the left of the area before squaring to Henry, who controlled with his right foot and dispatched coolly past Friedel with his left.

But Blackburn, and Dunn, had the last word.

Gary Flitcroft was foiled inside the Arsenal area by Wright and the ball was deflected out to Dunn, who slid to send the ball into the net from 20 yards.


E-mail your reaction to Football Talk:
Arsenal fans
here | Blackburn fans here

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

Blackburn: Friedel, Berg, Bjornebye, Short, Tugay, Flitcroft, Dunn, Gillespie, Johnson, Neill, Jansen. Subs: Bent, Hughes, Filan, Johansson, Hignett.

Referee: U Rennie (Sheffield)

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BBC Sport's David Oates
"Arsenal are back on top"
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