Henry turns on style for Double winners

Arsenal 4 Everton 3

Arsenal 4 Everton 3

Arsenal marked their coronation as double winners with a record-breaking victory against Everton in which Thierry Henry turned on the style.

A much-changed Arsenal side seized an early lead through Dennis Bergkamp, which ensured that they became the first side to score in every Premiership game in a season.

While Lee Carsley and Tomasz Radzinski capitalised on defensive weaknesses, Henry struck back twice and then substitute Francis Jeffers made his mark against his former club before Steve Watson’s late consolation .

Arsenal supporters were asked at the half-time interval to stop singing a derogatory chant about Tottenham fans, which relates to Campbell’s move from White Hart Lane.

It had little immediate effect. Then again, neither did the team’s attempts to spice up their game immediately after the restart, although they were at least showing more attacking adventure.

Henry’s cross-shot flashed across the face of goal, while a smart move involving the striker and his compatriot Sylvain Wiltord ended in Edu’s first-time shot being grasped by Simonsen.

Henry also came close to capitalising on a deep cross by Edu only for David Unsworth to scramble the ball clear.

Arsenal were still having trouble in coping with Carsley’s surges from midfield and his volley was tipped around the post by Wright.

The sight of David Ginola warming up on the touchline was enough to enliven the home supporters, who had been rather lulled into temporary silence by their team.

Otherwise, however, the match was scrappy, and so on came Francis Jeffers for Parlour and Vieira for Wiltord to enliven the proceedings.

Wright still had to be smartly off his line to deny the dangerous Carsley and he did even better to block a shot by Radzinski after the Everton striker had smartly fooled Luzhny.

So it was completely against the run of play that, with 18 minutes left, Henry capitalised upon Edu’s through-ball to calmly slot his shot past Simonsen and put Arsenal 3-2 ahead.

Arsenal finally started to turn on the style in the closing stages, although Jeffers initially had a torrid time in front of goal.

The £10million summer signing, who has struggled with form and fitness ever since his arrival, was denied on one occasion by Simonsen and then fluffed an open goal after Henry set him up on a plate.

However, his head did not drop against his former club and he rose to the occasion to head home Arsenal’s fourth goal with seven minutes left.

Reserve keeper Taylor duly came on to ensure his championship medal and was left exposed as Steve Watson struck a third goal for Everton in the final stages, but nothing could dampen Arsenal’s double celebrations.

More in this section


Latest news from the world of sport, along with the best in opinion from our outstanding team of sports writers

Sign up

Select your favourite newsletters and get the best of Irish Examiner delivered to your inbox