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BBC Sport's Alan Green
reports from Brunton Park
 real 14k

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"That type of tackle should not be allowed"
 real 56k

banner Saturday, 6 January, 2001, 17:01 GMT
Wiltord guns down Carlisle
Arsenal celebrate
Arsenal celebrate Sylvain Wiltord's strike
Carlisle United 0-1 Arsenal

Carlisle and Arsenal first met 50 years ago to the day in an FA Cup third round tie.

The Gunners were held to a draw in the first match, but were beaten 4-1 in the replay.

The superstitious may have seen it as an omen.

And the romantics would have hoped Carlisle could go one better this time around and produce one of the biggest Cup shocks in the competition's history.

But there was to be no repeat of 1951 as Sylvain Wiltord's first half strike gave Arsenal victory at the first attempt.


I can show you his shin protector which is broken and full of blood
  Arsene Wenger on treatment of Patrick Vieira
Carlisle, lying bottom of the Football League, were always going to find it difficult against Arsene Wenger's Premiership title challengers.

Solid opening

To stand any chance of causing an upset, Carlisle needed to keep Arsenal at bay for at least the first 20 minutes.

They managed it, and created the best chances of the early exchanges.

Ian Stevens reached Scott Dobie's through-ball from the left ahead of Alex Manninger.

But the striker poked his shot wide of the post with Manninger beaten.

  Key moments in the match
22 mins Sylvain Wiltord puts Arsenal ahead
28 mins Tempers flare after Prokas' nasty challenge on Vieira
50 mins Ljungberg shot is saved by Glennon

Stevens' finishing was woeful throughout, and he had missed an earlier opportunity to give his side the lead.

Richard Prokas' looped pass found Stevens in space but the striker missed his kick as the ball came down.

Wrexham and Walsall had famously dumped Arsenal from the Cup in previous years, but it took 22 minutes for any fears Arsenal may have had to ease.

Wiltord scored with his first chance, slotting the ball home with a right footed strike from the edge of the penalty area.

Strong running and an excellent pass from Patrick Vieira had created the opening.

That fact was clearly not lost on Carlisle and the Frenchman was targeted for some harsh treatment soon after.


That was two very committed players going for the ball and when that happens someone sometimes gets hurt
  Ian Atkins on Prokas' tackle on Vieira
And tempers flared when Arsenal players reacted angrily to Prokas' challenge on Vieira.

The vicious, two-footed lunge warranted at least a yellow card, but while Prokas escaped a caution, Arsenal's Nelson Vivas was booked for his protests.

Before the match, Carlisle boss Ian Atkins said: "for this match you could stick a bucket out there with a mop in it or a potato with a carrot for a nose".

And at times Carlisle's marking would have been tighter if he had.

Patrick Vieira and Scott Dobie
Vieira challenges Dobie

But despite the time and space afforded them, Arsenal failed to add to their solitary strike, and were reduced to long-range efforts.

Bergkamp's neat flick, turn and volley came close to giving the score-line a fairer reflection of Arsenal's dominance.

Spurned opportunity

Freddie Ljungberg missed a glorious chance after the break to score Arsenal's second when he latched on to a Robert Pires pass.

But his hesitation allowed Carlisle 'keeper Matt Glennon to block at the Swede's feet.

Wiltord fired in the rebound, but Glennon completed a double-save when he turned the goal-bound strike around the post.

Bergkamp was next to spurn an opportunity to add to Arsenal's lead.

Pires again split the home defence and Bergkamp's initial shot was saved by Glennon.

But after the ball bounced off Ljungberg, Bergkamp was guilty of over elaborating in the area when a quick snapshot may have proved more profitable.

Wenger's side continued to enjoy the lion's share of posession and territorial advantage, but the floodgates never opened.

Carlisle can hold their heads high that they were not disgraced and can take some confidence form their performance into their fight for survival and league status.


Carlisle United: Glennon, Whitehead, Darby, Winstanley, Birch, Hemmings, Connelly, Soley, Prokas, Dobie, Stevens.
Subs: Heggs, Halliday, Hore, Thwaites, Inglis.

Arsenal: Manninger, Dixon, Stepanovs, Vivas, Cole, Parlour, Vieira, Ljungberg, Pires, Bergkamp, Wiltord.
Subs: Silvinho, Malz, Danilevicius, Lukic, Halls.

Referee: S Lodge.

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