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Saturday, 23 February, 2002, 16:54 GMT
Arsenal hammer Fulham
Thierry Henry sidefoots his 26th of the season
Thierry Henry slots home his first and Arsenal's third
Arsenal 4-1 Fulham
E-mail your reaction to Football Talk

Arsenal moved into second place in the Premiership table with a resounding win over London rivals Fulham.

Two goals from Thierry Henry, one from Patrick Vieira and a rare Lauren goal comfortably wrapped up the points for the home side at Highbury.

Fulham equalised Lauren's opener through Steve Marlet but that was as good as it got as Vieira and Henry in particular went into overdrive.

The Gunners go above Liverpool after another impressive win, which preserves their 14-match unbeaten run.

Gunners midfielder Patrick Vieira
Vieira drove home his first goal of the season
The Gunners got off to the best possible start when midfielder Lauren bagged the opener after only five minutes.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst and Thierry Henry were involved before Sylvain Wiltord broke to the byeline.

The Frenchman spilled the ball back for Lauren, who tapped home from six yards.


It was a great performance, with great moves, mobility, power, technique and team spirit
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Fulham hit back and equalised through Marlet four minutes later.

The Frenchman peeled off a static Sol Campbell and was found by Rufus Brevett's high ball.

With David Seaman exposed Marlet was able to head over the England keeper and just inside an upright.

Fulham forward Steve Marlet
Marlet's equaliser was Fulham's one bright spot
That shock equaliser immediately sparked Arsenal back into life and they went ahead again on the quarter-hour mark.

This time Brevett was the villain, selling Fulham team-mate Andy Melville short with a weak back-pass.

In sneaked Henry who cleverly fed countryman Vieira.

Viera was able to smash the ball with the outside of his foot past keeper Edwin van der Sar for his first goal of the season.

Henry capped a first-half masterclass with a clinical side-foot finish five minutes before the interval.

His first touch put him clear of the Cottagers' defence. The French striker then took the ball in his stride before coolly slotting it past van der Sar.


We gave the ball away and had bad organisation. We have to learn from this
Fulham manager Jean Tigana

Arsenal clinched the win and another vital three points in the 59th minute.

Henry was again the marksman after a Lauren header hit the foot of Fulham's post.

It rebounded onto Henry's shins and into the net for his 27th goal of the season.

The second half then moved into stalemate as Arsene Wenger prepared for the midweek Champions League game against Bayern Leverkusen, substituting Pires and Henry.

Jeremie Aliadiere was introduced for Henry and the 18-year-old, who is the latest youngster to come off Arsene Wenger's French production line, gave a glimpse of the future to the home fans.


Arsenal: Seaman, Lauren, Campbell, Stepanovs, Luzhny, Pires (Grimandi 73), Vieira, Parlour, van Bronckhorst (Dixon 43), Wiltord, Henry (Aliadiere 81).
Subs Not Used: Edu, Wright.

Fulham: Van der Sar, Finnan, Goma, Melville, Knight (Boa Morte 56), Brevett (Harley 63), Legwinski, Malbranque, Collins, Hayles (Saha 61), Marlet.
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Ouaddou.
Booked: Goma.

Att: 38,029

Ref: U Rennie (Sheffield).

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Eleanor Oldroyd
"This was classic Arsenal"
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"We showed a lot of character"
Arsenal's Ray Parlour
"It was important to get this win"
Links to more Eng Prem stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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