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Last Updated: Saturday, 2 October, 2004, 15:50 GMT 16:50 UK
Arsenal 4-0 Charlton

Arsenal celebrate Freddie Ljungberg's opener
Arsenal extended their unbeaten run in the league to 48 games by thrashing shell-shocked Charlton at Highbury.

Dennis Bergkamp hit the post but he set up Freddie Ljungberg to put the Gunners ahead with a cool left-foot finish.

Thierry Henry doubled the lead with a remarkable finish, outrageously back-heeling the ball past Dean Kiely from eight yards with his back to goal.

Jose Reyes set up Henry for a sizzling third and Reyes made it 4-0 with a fierce drive after Henry's lay-off.

Charlton created the first opening, Danny Murphy being tackled on the edge of the box by Reyes and the ball squirming just wide of Jens Lehmann's right-hand post.

But Arsenal soon moved through the gears and Henry teed up Bergkamp to rifle a shot against the outside of the post from 22 yards.

After Charlton had failed to clear a cross the ball fell invitingly to Gael Clichy, but the young full-back could only volley high over the crossbar.

Bergkamp lined up another from 25 yards but Kiely moved across his goal comfortably to gather low to his right.

Charlton were hassling and harrying Arsenal and making life difficult for the hosts, but just after the half hour mark the Gunners took the lead.

Jason Euell carelessly gave the ball away to Henry and he fed Bergkamp, who crossed for Ljungberg to coolly guide past Kiely with his left foot.

Arsenal put the game beyond doubt three minutes into the second half and it came from a moment of pure genius from Henry.

The brilliant Frenchman received the ball on the corner of the six-yard box from Reyes and, with his back to goal and being tightly marked by Jon Fortune, he impudently back-heeled the ball past Kiely into the bottom corner.

The goal stunned Charlton and Arsenal began to run riot, Reyes seeing a shot blocked by Chris Perry and Henry slamming another shot just over.

Henry made it 3-0 after great approach play from Reyes, the Spaniard teeing up his team-mate to crash the ball in off the bar from 15 yards via Kiely's fingertips.

It got worse for the Addicks when Henry repaid the compliment, slipping the ball down the inside left channel and Reyes drilling low past Kiely into the far corner.

Reyes had a great chance to make it five when he jinked his way into the box and dummied past a defender, but he skied his right-foot effort with the goal gaping.

Henry received a well-deserved standing ovation when he left the pitch eight minutes from time after a striker's masterclass, replaced by Dutch forward Robin van Persie.

Captain Patrick Vieira almost got his name on the scoresheet in the dying moments but his close-range effort was wonderfully palmed away by Kiely.


Arsenal: Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Clichy, Ljungberg (Pennant 49), Vieira, Fabregas (Flamini 82), Reyes, Bergkamp, Henry (Van Persie 82).
Subs Not Used: Cygan, Almunia.

Booked: Vieira, Ljungberg, Clichy.

Goals: Ljungberg 33, Henry 48, 69, Reyes 70.

Charlton: Kiely, Young, Perry, Fortune, Hreidarsson, Murphy, El Karkouri, Kishishev (Rommedahl 66), Stuart (Holland 74), Euell (Johansson 66), Lisbie.
Subs Not Used: Andersen, Hughes.

Booked: Stuart.

Att: 38,103.

Ref: M Dean (Wirral).


WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger


Interview: Charlton boss Alan Curbishley




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