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Wednesday, 23 January, 2002, 22:03 GMT
Arsenal maintain title push
Giovanni van Bronckhorst (back) heads Arsenal's opening goal
Van Bronckhorst (back) arrives to head Arsenal in front at Filbert Street
Leicester City 1-3 Arsenal

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Goals from Giovanni van Bronckhorst, Thierry Henry and Silvain Wiltord helped Arsenal see off a determined Leicester and keep the pressure on Premiership leaders Manchester United.

Van Bronckhorst made the breakthrough with his first goal for the club since his 8.5m move from Rangers in the summer.

Thierry Henry added a second to take his tally for the season to 24 but Leicester staged a rousing finish.

  Key moments
15 mins: Henry spurns the first chance of the game
26 mins: Henry hits post from free-kick
32 mins: Van Bronckhorst opens the scoring
42 mins: Henry scores his 24th goal of the season
67 mins: Izzet gets one back for Leicester
80 mins: Wright denies Elliott to preserve Arsenal's lead
90 mins: Wiltord seals the points with a superb strike

Muzzy Izzet pulled a goal back for the home side in the 67th minute but the Gunners re-grouped and substitute Sylvain Wiltord grabbed a third in stoppage time.

This vital victory takes them into second spot, a point behind United but with a game in hand.

Van Bronckhorst was only playing because Freddie Ljungberg picked up knee and ankle injuries in the 1-1 draw at Leeds.

But he took his goal well in an Arsenal performance that tailed off in the second half.

The visitors, however, played some nice football in the early stages, with Ray Parlour at the centre of much of their best work.

Henry came within a whisker of giving Arsenal the lead after 15 minutes when he latched onto a ball from Robert Pires. He turned quickly but his shot went marginally wide.

Leicester goalkeeper Tim Flowers did well to save Patrick Vieira's 20-yard free kick as the visitors stepped up the pressure.

Foxes striker Jamie Scowcroft then picked up the first yellow card of the night for a bad challenge on Van Bronckhorst.

Arsenal's Ray Parlour battles for the ball
Arsenal's Ray Parlour battles for the ball

Leicester nearly paid dearly for that rash moment with Henry bending in a superb free kick that beat Flowers but hit the post.

Arsenal finally scored on 32 minutes following a sweeping move.

Henry sent the ball out to Luzhny on the left and he delivered a cross into the area. Van Bronckhorst got away from his marker to flick a header beyond Flowers.

Leicester went further behind in the 42nd minute when Henry clinically took advantage of confusion in the home defence.

Leicester manager Dave Bassett rang the changes at half time bringing on Matthew Jones, Ade Akinbiyi and Trevor Benjamin for Davidson, Stefan Oakes and Scowcroft.

But Arsenal continued to look threatening, and Ashley Cole and Patrick Viera both went close.

Wiltord blinder

Leicester, however, got a lifeline when they pulled a goal back through Izzet.

He rose above a crowd of defenders to send a header beyond Richard Wright following a corner from Andy Impey.

Arsenal were grateful to Wright in the 80th minute for maintaining their narrow lead.

He instinctively turned away a header from Elliott at the foot of the post following a free kick from Alan Rogers.

Wiltord grabbed a third goal in stoppage time with a magnificent effort from 25 yards.

Leicester: Flowers, Impey, Sinclair, Laursen, Elliott, Davidson (Jones 45), Savage, Rogers, Oakes (Benjamin 45), Izzet, Scowcroft (Akinbiyi 45).
Subs Not Used: Andrews, Stewart.
Booked: Scowcroft, Izzet.
Goals: Izzet 68.

Arsenal: Wright, Luzhny, Keown, Campbell, Cole, Parlour (Grimandi 79), Vieira, Van Bronckhorst (Upson 90), Pires, Henry, Bergkamp (Wiltord 79).
Subs Not Used: Stack, Dixon.
Goals: Van Bronckhorst 33, Henry 43, Wiltord 90.

Att: 21,344

Ref: D Elleray (Harrow-on-the-Hill).

BBC Sport's Dave Woods
"Arsenal were left hanging on for a win"
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"Leicester gave everything"
Leicester's Callum Davidson
"We've just got to show belief ourselves."
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.


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