Bergkamp floods Forest
Nottingham Forest 0 Arsenal 1 Bergkamp 60 Attendance: 27,222
Sunday 11 February 1996
They could hardly complain. Arsenal were not exactly scintillating but they were compact, well-briefed and might have won by a wider margin. Forest were so lacking in ideas that David Seaman scarcely dirtied his goal-keeping gloves.
Forest remain essentially an attractive passing side but their inability to score goals has become a chronic malaise. Not since the beginning of November have they managed to tot up more than two in the same match and more often than not they have had to be content with one. "It has reached the point when our defence know they have to keep a clean sheet if we are to have any chance of winning," their manager, Frank Clark, lamented.
The absence of Ian Woan and the improving Andrea Silenzi - both injured - hardly helped, although the return of Steve Stone added bite on the right. Bryan Roy, whose own form has tended to rise and fall with the team's, looked out of touch. It was a timely moment for Kevin Campbell, in his best form since leaving Highbury last summer, to remind Arsenal of his talents, if only he had been given the semblance of a chance.
Arsenal, respectful of Forest's home form, set out primarily to contain but overdid it at first. It took them half an hour to muster a worthwhile attempt on goal. But then Martin Keown, up for Glenn Helder's corners was close to heading his side in front twice within two minutes.
It needed all Bruce Rioch's encouragement to instill greater ambitions in his side for the second half, which began with Ian Wright going close after Helder and Paul Merson had worked an opening on the left. The goal soon followed, Bergkamp seizing possession from a defender and exchanging passes with Wright, whom Forest tried to catch offside. Wright's return was neatly tucked away.
Leaden-footed, Forest almost conceded a second when Wright was allowed free access to a Bergkamp cross with 13 minutes of the match remaining. The forward headed against the bar and even managed a second bite before Mark Crossley pushed the ball to safety. To cap Forest's afternoon, the substitute Jason Lee was went off close to the end, having been booked twice in as many minutes.
"I'm less concerned with losing the home record than with the fact that we played with so little wit and quality," Clark said. A month away from a stern European test against Bayern Munich, he has good reason to be worried.
Latest in Sport
Royal Rumble 2015: Roman Reigns triumphs after The Rock returns to set-up Wrestlemania showdown with Brock Lesnar
Google trolls Tottenham with Oxford dictionary definition of 'lackadaisical'
Gabriel Paulista: Talented Brazilian could grow into world-class defender at Arsenal
Phil Neville backtracks on Tomas Rosicky 'I'd smash him' comments from Match of the Day 2
Floyd Mayweather ends the carnival this week and picks his next fight - but will it be Amir Khan, Manny Pacquiao or Miguel Cotto
- 1 Double chins could be 'cured' without surgery or dieting using new injection
- 2 The BBC has just done more to eradicate ‘terrorism’ than all our wars since 9/11
- 3 Dog thinks owner is drowning in lake, dives in and tries to pull him out
- 5 Thank heavens for Louise Mensch and her foul-mouthed tweets to world leaders
'We would evict Queen from Buckingham Palace and allocate her council house,' say Greens
French court convicts three over homophobic tweets, in case hailed as a 'significant victory' by LGBT rights campaigners
Greece elections: Syriza and EU on collision course after election win for left-wing party
British Muslim school children suffering a backlash of abuse following Paris attacks
Islamic history is full of free thinkers - but recent attempts to suppress critical thought are verging on the absurd
British grandmother Lindsay Sandiford faces execution by firing squad in Indonesia
£125 - £150 per day + Negotiable: Tradewind Recruitment: A 'wonderful primary ...
£90 - £140 per day: Tradewind Recruitment: Our client is an 11-16 mixed commun...
£32000 - £36000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A rapidly developing company in...
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Application Architect/Developer - Peterborough, Cam...