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Last Updated: Saturday, 16 August, 2003, 16:00 GMT 17:00 UK
Campbell off in Arsenal win
Dejected Campbell is sent off

Arsenal 2-1 Everton

Arsenal opened the Premiership season with a win against Everton - but suffered more red card shame as Sol Campbell was sent off.

Campbell, at the centre of an FA investigation after kicking Manchester United's Eric Djemba-Djemba in the Community Shield, saw red in the first-half for a professional foul.

He upended Everton's Thomas Gravesen, but 10-man Arsenal responded in style with goals either side of the interval courtesy of a Thierry Henry penalty and Robert Pires.

Everton, who also had substitute Li Tie sent off for a second bookable offence in the dying seconds, pulled a goal back through Tomasz Radzinski.

Arsenal held on for the win, but will face further questions about their record of 51 red cards under boss Arsene Wenger.

Everton, with Wayne Rooney on the bench, started brightly and should have taken the lead after only six minutes.

25 mins: Sol Campbell is sent off for Arsenal.
34 mins: Thierry Henry gives Arsenal the lead from the penalty spot.
58 mins: Robert Pires doubles Arsenal's lead.
84 mins: Tomasz Radzinski pulls a goal back for Everton.
87 mins: Everton's Li Tie is sent off.

Radzinski's cross opened up the Arsenal defence and new goalkeeper Jens Lehmann reacted brilliantly to block a close range effort from youngster Nick Chadwick.

Arsenal's week of disciplinary woe took a turn for the worse after 25 minutes.

Everton's Danish midfield man Gravesen evaded two tackles before he was hauled down unceremoniously by Campbell.

Campbell was the last defender and referee Mark Halsey was left with no option but to show the red card.

Arsenal responded by replacing Sylvain Wiltord with Martin Keown - and instantly turning up the heat on Everton.


The Gunners had two penalty appeals turned down before Halsey finally pointed to the spot after 34 minutes.

Alan Stubbs handled as Henry attempted to lift the ball over him, and the Arsenal striker piled on the agony by stroking home the penalty.

Everton sent on Rooney after 56 minutes in a bid to get back into contention - but within seconds Arsenal doubled their advantage.

Goalkeeper Richard Wright blocked brilliantly from Henry and Patrick Vieira, but Pires was lurking and made no mistake from close range.

Everton set up a grandstand finish when Radzinski pulled a goal back after Arsenal failed to clear Rooney's corner.

And even after Li Tie was sent off for a second foul on Ray Parlour, Joseph Yobo headed over the top with the goal at his mercy.

Arsenal: Lehmann, Lauren, Cole, Campbell, Toure, Pires (Parlour 70), Vieira, Ljungberg, Silva, Wiltord (Keown 30), Henry. Subs Not Used: Jeffers, Bergkamp, Taylor.

Sent off: Campbell (25).

Booked: Vieira.

Everton: Wright, Pistone, Stubbs, Yobo, Unsworth (Li Tie 67), Watson, Pembridge (Naysmith 67), Gravesen, Linderoth (Rooney 57), Radzinski, Chadwick. Subs Not Used: Weir, Simonsen.

Sent off: Li Tie (87).

Booked: Gravesen, Rooney, Li Tie.

Attendance: 38,014.

Referee: M Halsey (Lancashire).

BBC Five Live's Steve Wilson
"This game had almost everything"

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"Sol is an honest guy and he admitted he touched him"

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