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Sunday, 25 November, 2001, 17:55 GMT
Barthez errors gift Arsenal win
Thierry Henry
Henry fires home Arsenal's third
Arsenal 3-1 Man Utd

E-mail your reaction to Football Talk

Two calamitous errors from Fabien Barthez gifted Thierry Henry two goals and Arsenal the points at a joyous Highbury.

With Arsenal dominant but the game locked at 1-1, Barthez mis-hit a clearance straight to Henry to give his compatriot a simple finish.

With Sir Alex Ferguson threatening to explode on the bench, Barthez then spilled a through-ball to allow Henry to repeat the trick.

  Key moments
14 mins: 0-1 Scholes sidefoots past Taylor from six yards
48 mins: 1-1 Ljungberg chips Barthez from the edge of the box
80 mins: 2-1 Henry seizes on Barthez's mis-hit clearance
85 mins: 3-1 Barthez drops ball and Henry slips loose ball into the empty net

United were dismal throughout, and despite Paul Scholes' early goal looked nothing like Premiership favourites.

Ironically, it was only Barthez who kept them in it before that amazing finale.

Arsenal had pulled level just after the break with a sublime piece of skill from Freddie Ljungberg.

Gary Neville gave the ball away to Robert Pires, who cut inside and found the Swede 25 yards out.

Ljungberg took one touch before chipping the ball over Barthez with impudent precision.

It was the signal for a period of Arsenal dominance which should have led to more goals.

Henry burst into the box but was muscled off the ball by Blanc.

Ray Parlour tumbles under the challenge
Parlour goes down in the tackle

A moment later, the striker tumbled in the area under Wes Brown's challenge but referee Jones waved play on.

Kanu found himself in acres of space with just Barthez to beat, only to stab weakly at the ball.

United were hanging on, offering little up front and plugging the gaps at the back with increasing desperation.

Bergkamp came on for Kanu and almost made an immediate impact.

With United pushing up, he set Henry free - but the Frenchman again wasted the chance as Barthez blocked.

I'm very pleased with the performance and the character of the side
Arsene Wenger

Arsenal started the match brightly, with Barthez twice saving Henry free-kicks

But United took the lead against the run of play.

Ruud van Nistelrooy fed Silvestre down the left. The full-back skipped past Lauren and drove in a precise low cross which Scholes sidefooted home.

It was Scholes' first Premiership goal of the season, and one of few attacking threats United offered in the first half.

Slipping and sliding

Arsenal camped out on the edge of United's box but found themselves confronted with a wall of golden shirts.

With rain falling incessantly and the players slipping and sliding, neither side found it easy to string together passing moves.

Patrick Vieira and Roy Keane gave each other less room than a battery chicken and the tackles flew in again and again.

Henry made himself a couple of half-chances but Barthez's handling - before his nightmare final ten minutes - was impeccable despite the conditions.

Arsenal: Taylor, Lauren, Campbell, Upson, Cole, Parlour, Vieira, Ljungberg, Pires, Henry, Kanu.
Subs: Bergkamp, Wiltord, van Bronckhorst, Grimandi, Stack.

Man Utd: Barthez, Gary Neville, Blanc, Brown, Silvestre, Beckham, Veron, Keane, Fortune, Scholes, van Nistelrooy.
Subs: Butt, Phil Neville, Carroll, Yorke, Solskjaer.

Referee: P Jones (Loughborough).

BBC football correspondent Mike Ingham
"Fab but not groovy in goal"
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
"I'm delighted"
Arsenal's Thierry Henry
"It was important for to win"
Should Man Utd drop Fabien Barthez?



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