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Last Updated: Tuesday, 4 May, 2004, 20:53 GMT 21:53 UK
Portsmouth 1-1 Arsenal
Arsenal moved to within two games of an unbeaten Premiership season as they were pushed to the limit by Portsmouth.

Pompey threatened to end Arsenal's record-breaking sequence when striker Yakubu put them ahead from close range in the 29th minute.

But Jose Antonio Reyes volleyed his first Premiership goal after 49 minutes to extend Arsenal's run to 36 games.

Reyes and Thierry Henry hit the woodork for Arsenal while Jens Lehmann twice saved crucially from Yakubu.

Lomana LuaLua and Yakubu's pace was a constant threat throughout the first half as Arsenal were troubled in uncharacteristic fashion.

And after Ray Parlour's curling effort was well saved by Shaka Hislop, Pompey's strike pair both had opportunities to break the deadlock.

Yakubu sprinted clear to bring a fine stop out of Lehmann before LuaLua typically did all the hard work before blasting wastefully wide.

KEY MOMENTS
29 mins: Yakubu fires Pompey in front
49 mins: Jose Antonio Reyes levels for Arsenal

Reyes responded for the champions after 28 minutes with a left-foot drive that was deflected on to the bar via the shoulder of Sol Campbell.

But Portsmouth were ahead seconds later, Yakubu taking advantage of a ricochet off Kolo Toure to lift a finish over the advancing Lehmann.

Arsenal were galvanised and Hislop made a stunning save to deny Henry after he was set free by Parlour.

Hislop repeated the heroics after 48 minutes when Freddie Ljungberg teed up Henry, but the goalkeeper dived brilliantly to his left to turn the shot on to the bar.

There was no escape for Pompey as Arsenal levelled in their next attack, Reyes volleying home superbly from 18 yards after Henry's cross was only partially cleared.

Reyes should have put Arsenal in front after 52 minutes when he was clear, but slipped on the sodden surface and fired over.

Yakubu had a glorious chance to put Arsenal's unbeaten run in serious jeopardy 13 minutes from time when LuaLua flicked on Hislop's clearance.

He only had Lehmann to beat, but shot tamely at the goalkeeper, who made a crucial save.


Portsmouth: Hislop, Curtis, Stefanovic, De Zeeuw, Taylor, Stone, Quashie, Faye, Hughes, LuaLua, Yakubu (Mornar 80).
Subs Not Used: Wapenaar, Duffy, Harper, Sheringham.

Arsenal: Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Cole, Ljungberg (Aliadiere 90), Vieira, Parlour, Bentley (Kanu 61), Reyes (Keown 90), Henry.
Subs Not Used: Shaaban, Clichy.

Booked: Campbell, Parlour.

Attendance: 20,140.

Referee: M Riley (W Yorkshire).




WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Five Live's Ian Brown
"A richly entertaining game"


Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"It was a difficult match"



SEE ALSO
Portsmouth v Arsenal photos
04 May 04  |  Photo Galleries



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