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BBC Five Live's Mike Ingham
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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
"I had the hope that we could comeback"
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Chelsea boss Gianluca Vialli
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Wednesday, 6 September, 2000, 21:04 GMT 22:04 UK
Arsenal earn amazing draw
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink breaks the deadlock
Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal

Arsenal staged an incredible comeback against Chelsea for the second season running to earn a point after they looked well beaten at 2-0 down.

Goals from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink and Gianfranco Zola put Chelsea in command, but the home side were stunned as the Gunners stormed back for a point.

Thierry Henry and Silvinho were the Arsenal heroes with goals


Even when you are playing against Arsenal, to play like that and not win is unbelievable. "You have to defend as a team and you have to defend well and I think we have not done that. We have definitely thrown away two points.
  Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
in the closing 12 minutes to deny Chelsea their first Premiership win at home against the Gunners since 1995.

There was much talk in the run up to the game about so-called 'needle' carrying over from the France-England clash last weekend, but there was no evidence of that in the early exchanges.

Arsenal should have scored on 15 minutes but Gilles Grimandi saw his near post header scream narrowly wide of the gaping goal.

Chelsea were denied an opener when Hasselbaink got on to the end of a lofted Dennis Wise pass only to see David Seaman superbly push his goal-bound effort around the post.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink celebrates goal

Both sides had further chances to score and Frank Leboeuf headed inches wide as the deadlock looked increasingly fragile.

Stunning

It was Hasselbaink who opened the scoring with a stunning solo goal on the half-hour.

The 15m striker took advantage of a dreadful tangle between Oleg Luzhny and Grimandi to pick up the loose ball and fire past Seaman from 20 yards.

Arsenal remained dangerous on the break with Henry twisting and turning to get past Marcel Desailly before shooting wide and then heading straight at the goalkeeper from Ray Parlour's centre.

The Gunners should have been level five minutes after the restart when Lauren played the ball inside to Kanu who turned and crashed a shot against the crossbar with the goal at his mercy.

Graeme Le Saux - back in the Chelsea starting line-up after his long-term injury - was lucky to escape a red card after an appalling tackle on Arsenal defender Lee Dixon.


When they went 2-0 ahead I thought it would be difficult for us but I took a gamble to bring on all the forwards from the bench. When you start playing Kanu as a defensive midfielder you think it might end up 4-0, but I thought lets go for it and take a gamble.
  Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger
Chelsea went 2-0 ahead when Leboeuf's chipped free-kick was chested down by Gustavo Poyet on the edge of the area into the path of Zola who took his time before dispatching the ball round Martin Keown and past the despairing dive of Seaman into the far corner.

Dixon continued until the 70th minute before being replaced by Sylvain Wiltord with Dennis Bergkamp coming on as well in place of Parlour while Mario Melchiot replaced Poyet for Chelsea.

Arsenal came back from 2-0 down 12 months ago with a Kanu hat-trick and Henry raised hopes of a repeat performance after 75 minutes with another wonderful goal.

Silvinho's chipped pass was chested back into his path by Bergkamp, the Brazilian then fed Henry first time and the Frenchman composed himself before firing past Cudicini into the far corner.

Hasselbaink almost sealed the three points with a blistering effort that clipped the outside of the post before a wonder-goal from Silvinho brought the sides level.

Leboeuf dispossessed Kanu with a sliding tackle but the ball fell to Silvinho on the left of the area and he slammed an unstoppable swerving drive past Cudicini at the near post.


Chelsea: Cudicini, Panucci, Babayaro, Leboeuf, Desailly, Poyet, Hasselbaink, Wise, Le Saux, Di Matteo, Zola. Subs: Hitchcock, Melchiot, Flo, Morris, Gudjohnsen.

Arsenal: Seaman, Dixon, Keown, Pires, Lauren, Henry, Parlour, Silvinho, Grimandi, Luzhny, Kanu. Subs: Ljungberg, Bergkamp, Wiltord, Lukic, Vernazza.

Referee: M Riley (Leeds).

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See also:

07 Sep 00 |  Photo Galleries
Wednesday's Premiership action - in pictures
06 Sep 00 |  Eng Prem
Fashanu apologises to Kanu
04 Sep 00 |  Arsenal
Adams turns up heat on Chelsea
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