Arsenal 2 - 0 Leicester City

(Adams 35, Platt 66)


Seaman, Dixon, Winterburn, Vieira, Bould, Adams, Platt, Wright, Bergkamp, Keown, Hughes (Parlour 76). Subs Not Used: Merson, Lukic, Marshall, Shaw.

Leicester City

Keller, Whitlow, Watts, Lennon, Taylor (Campbell 72), Robins (Claridge 63), Hill (Izzet 63), Elliott, Marshall, Lawrence, Guppy. Subs Not Used: Poole, Rolling.






S J Lodge (Barnsley).

hope we won't speak about Manchester United today, said Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger after this win. He then proceded to speak about - yes, you've guessed it - Manchester United.

"It was an excellent win by them at Blackburn, who are a difficult team to beat at home." said Wenger. "An I would now like to be in Alex Ferguson's shpes."

"It's not impossible for us but to be three points clear, a game in hand, and three games at home to finish is a fantastic position to be in."

Wenger admits that getting into the Champions Cup as the second team in the Premiership is now Arsenal's only realistic aim.

"If we get 64 points then we will be sure of a place in Europe, but it would be nice to finish second."

And after seeing Cup-weary Leicester taken apart by Bergkamp, the Arsenal manager is now convinced his Dutch star is ready to challenge for the European Footballer of the Year title next season.

Wenger said: "He is now the right age and has all the necessary talent. It is rare to find a player who can both score and create goals. It is so enjoyable to watch Dennis play these days." And watch Bergkamp was all that the Leicester defence could do for most of the match.

Some of his touches were magnificent and while his own goalscoring chances were restricted by close marking, he opened up the way for others.

Arsenal's first goal was a perfect example of their new style and Wenger's influence in which defenders are encouraged to move forward. A quick break put Wright clear and he found Adams storming forward in support. His ball to Bergkamp on the right flank was superbly controlled and when the accurate cross arrived in the box, there was Adams continuing his run to dive low and head in.

It was a midfielder who benefited from Bergkamp's generosity for the second. This time he dropped deep before putting in a perfect pass that allowed Platt to run into the penalty area and place his shot wide of the keeper.

Only twice in the whole match did Leicester threaten the Arsenal goal. A first-half shot by Robins forced Seaman to save it at the foot of the post. An later the keeper was a little lucky when he fumbled Elliot's header and saw the ball hit the post.

But although Leicester were without six of last Sunday's Coca-Cola Cup Final, either injured or rested for Wednesday's replay with Middlesbrough, manager Martin O'Neil admitted it would have made little difference if they'd all played. He said: "We were the second best team by a long way."

O'Neil still does not consider his own team safe from relegation and neither does he write off Arsenal's title chances.

"They are an excellent team and with Liverpool and United still to play each other, I don't think it's over yet." was his message to the cautious Wenger, who also buried any hopes the Gunners fans may have of Italian star Baggio moving to Highbury.

He said: "Every Italian player seems to want to be in England now and they all have agents who spread stories like the one about Baggio. But I never sign a player who is exactly the same as anyone I already have - and with Bergkamp playing so well I definately don't need Baggio.


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Last Updated: Sunday April 13, 1997 11:34:10 GMT Daylight Time

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