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banner Saturday, 5 January, 2002, 14:01 GMT
Arsenal outgun Watford
Watford appeal for offside as Henry celebrates
Watford appeal for offside as Henry celebrates
Watford 2-4 Arsenal

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Arsenal became the first team to reach the fourth round of the FA Cup as they recorded a comfortable win against Watford at Vicarage Road.


We want to win the FA Cup, especially after losing in the final last season
Arsene Wenger
Two goals in the first ten minutes, from Thierry Henry and then Fredrik Ljungberg, set them on their way.

Gifton Noel-Williams struck back for the Hornets - but Kanu's second-half header and Dennis Bergkamp's tap-in sealed the victory before Watford scored a late consolation.

Watford have now exited the FA Cup at the third round stage 10 times in 12 years, including the last five seasons in succession.

  Key moments
8 mins: Thierry Henry puts Arsenal ahead
10 mins: Fredrik Ljungberg doubles the Gunners' lead
13 mins: Noel-Williams halves Watford's deficit
63 mins: Kanu restores Arsenal's two-goal lead
85 mins: Dennis Bergkamp makes it four
90 mins: Marcus Gayle pulls one back for Watford
It is an unwelcome statistic, but Gianluca Vialli's side were at least spared further embarrassment, as Arsenal squandered a host of chances that would have given them a crushing victory.

Arsenal have been guilty of over-elaboration in front of goal this season.

And Robert Pires' shocking second-half miss typified their sometimes apparent lack of no-nonsense finishing.

With the goal gaping, the Frenchman took an unnecessary extra touch on the ball and the opportunity went begging.

Gary Fisken tackled by Giovanni Van Bronckhorst
Fisken is tackled by Van Bronckorst
Substitute Bergkamp showed how it should be done late on, passing Ashley Cole's centre into the net.

By then Arsenal had virtually secured passage to the next round, after Kanu finally accepted a chance to score his first goal since November and put his side 3-1 up.

He nodded in from Henry's cross, but wasted a number of other chances and could have claimed a hat-trick.

Watford had briefly rallied earlier to give themselves a glimmer of hope when Noel-Williams scored with an excellent header to halve their deficit.


There's a big gap between the Premiership and the First Division - you could see it today
Gianluca Vialli
At that time they were already facing an uphill task.

Henry had slotted home after rounding the keeper and Ljungberg netted 95 seconds later as the Gunners raced into a 2-0 lead.

In the closing moments of the match, Marcus Gayle made the scoreline look less convincing when he grabbed a second for Watford.

It earned a bit of respectability - but Watford have no complaints after being comprehensively outplayed and well-beaten.


Watford: Chamberlain, Cox, Vega, Issa, Blondeau, Fisken (Helguson 79), Nielsen, Vernazza (Hand 90), Gayle, Smith, Noel-Williams.

Subs Not Used: Baardsen, Wooter, Doyley. Booked: Fisken.

Arsenal: Taylor, Luzhny, Keown, Campbell, Cole, Ljungberg, van Bronckhorst, Vieira, Pires, Kanu (Wiltord 82), Henry (Bergkamp 82).

Subs Not Used: Grimandi, Upson, Stack.

Attendance: 20,105

Referee: A Wiley

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
BBC Sport's Mike Ingham
"Damage limitation appeared to be the name of the game"
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger
"It was a big blow for Watford"
Watford boss Gianluca Vialli - BBC Sport
"They forced us to make mistakes"
See also:

05 Jan 02 |  Football
West Brom see off Black Cats
Links to more FA Cup stories are at the foot of the page.

 

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