Degryse keeps Wednesday afloat
Sheffield Wednesday 1 Arsenal 0
Tuesday 09 April 1996
Sheffield Wednesday 1 Arsenal 0
Wednesday have not scrambled aboard the Premiership lifeboat yet, but a goal on the hour from their Belgian international striker Marc Degryse has at last given them a firm grip on one of the lifebelts.
Arsenal, still hoping to reach Europe next season, failed yesterday largely because Ian Wright was as anonymous as Degryse was influential. With Wednesday finding it difficult to shake off the relegation jitters, better finishing from Arsenal could have steered the match irreversibly their way before the home side broke into their stride.
Disciplined at the back and ever willing to run into space off the ball, Arsenal made Wednesday look like the away team early on, and David Hirst was left to forage alone up front while his colleagues battened down the hatches. John Hartson had one shot deflected by Kevin Pressman's legs and screwed another wide before Paul Merson forced Pressman to touch over the bar, but Arsenal failed to turn their dominance into goals.
When Wednesday briefly raised the siege, their pretty, one-touch football was broken up by the Arsenal back four. And then the Dutchman Regi Blinker decided to run at them. The full-backs, Peter Atherton and Lee Briscoe, began to offer support down the wings and gradually the tide was turned. Atherton floated a shot on to the bar after Hirst's attempt had been charged down and Hirst failed to make a clean connection from Degryse's through ball.
Arsenal were now living increasingly dangerously and Lee Dixon had to scramble the ball away after Guy Whittingham's cross gave Hirst and Mark Pembridge shooting chances.
Degryse's growing influence started to look as if it would be decisive after the break. David Seaman was forced to save his angled drive at the second attempt and then he found Hirst with a cross that his striking partner volleyed over.
Degryse, who cost Wednesday pounds 1.5m from Anderlecht in the close season finally, and inevitably, broke Arsenal's resistance with his 11th goal of the season. He found Whittingham on the right, moved into space for the return and tucked his drive low to Seaman's left. Wednesday never looked back, and only Seaman's agility prevented Degryse doubling his tally when Whittingham put him clear.
Sheffield Wednesday (4-4-2): Pressman; Briscoe, Newsome, Walker, Atherton; Pembridge, Whittingham, Sheridan, Blinker (Waddle 82); Hirst (Kovacevic 84), Degryse. Substitute not used: Nicol.
Arsenal (4-4-2): Seaman; Dixon, Keown, Linighan, Marshall; Bergkamp, Platt, Helder (Shaw, 66), Merson; Wright, Hartson (Rose 66). Substitute not used: Hillier.
Referee: S Dunn (Bristol).
Latest in Sport
The muddy truth of the Christmas Truce game
Alexis Sanchez video: Turns out the Arsenal forward is brilliant at playing the piano too
Burnley forward George Boyd has sympathy for Brendan Rodgers - because he struggled with Liverpool on Football Manager
James Milner lives up to 'boring' tag in brilliant Manchester City Christmas video
Sir Alex Ferguson on Jose Mourinho: 'He's good looking, speaks five languages, wins everything - it's unfair'
- 1 Planes go hybrid-electric in important step to greener flight
- 3 Antonio Martin shooting: Mayor says there should be 'no comparison' to Ferguson
Nigel Farage defends Kerry Smith 'ch***y' comment: 'If you are going for a Chinese, what do you say you’re going for?'
Rozanne Duncan: Ukip expels councillor for 'jaw-dropping' comments made in BBC TV interview
Germany anti-Islam protests: 17,000 march on Dresden against 'Islamification of the West'
British actor Idris Elba cannot star as James Bond because he is black, says shock jock Rush Limbaugh
Panic Saturday: 13 million Britons spend £1.2bn – while 13 million others across the country live in poverty unable to afford food
BBC director Danny Cohen: Rising UK antisemitism makes me feel more uncomfortable than ever
£20000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This full service social media ...
£24000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: We are 'Changemakers in retail'...
Very Competitive: Austen Lloyd: Senior Conveyancer - South West We are see...
Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: DORSET MARKET TOWN - SENIOR PROPERTY SOLICITOR...