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Thursday, 18 July, 2002, 08:14 GMT 09:14 UK
Arsenal thrash Stevenage
Pascal Cygan
Pascal Cygan impressed on his Arsenal debut
Stevenage 1-6 Arsenal

Pascal Cygan made an assured Arsenal debut as last season's double-winners kicked off their new campaign with an easy win over Nationwide Conference side Stevenage.

Gunners boss Arsene Wenger views 28-year-old Frenchman Cygan as the centre-back successor to 35-year-old Highbury legend Tony Adams.

Cygan played for 71 minutes and impressed with his composed style, dominating in the air, making smooth interceptions and showing good distribution.

A capacity crowd turned out for long-serving Borough boss Paul Fairclough's testimonial between a Stevenage past-and-present XI and Wenger's men, who started with eight first-team players in their line-up.

Juan's lucky drive gave Arsenal the lead - and after Robin Trott's tame equaliser, Edu smacked home a sensational 25-yarder and Liam Chilvers netted number three.

Jermaine Brown was the next scorer with a header, before Paulinho fired in the fifth and Graham Barrett completed the rout.

It was nearly all one-way traffic, with a barrage of shots from the north London club, as Stevenage were out-classed.

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