Football: Bergkamp puts Arsenal in clear - Sport - The Independent

Football: Bergkamp puts Arsenal in clear

County 1 Arsenal 2

A WEEK AGO Arsenal were still caught up in the Nicolas Anelka saga but it has only taken 180 minutes of football for their summer of discontent to mature into an autumn of promise. The season may still be embryonic but the Gunners already lead the nascent Premiership, five points ahead of their main rivals, Manchester United, and three ahead of Chelsea.

Although the margin of victory was narrow, and the closing moments tense, Arsenal fully deserved last night's second success in four days over East Midlands opposition. Though a stunning goal from Emmanuel Petit after 39 minutes was swiftly cancelled out by Rory Delap, Arsenal secured victory through Dennis Bergkamp's second goal of the season two minutes into the second period.

Arsenal gave Thierry Henry his first start in place of Marc Overmars and Matthew Upson a rare, and welcome, appearance for Gilles Grimandi, who was on the bench.

Derby, who replaced the injured Tony Dorigo and Dean Sturridge with Stefan Schnoor and Mikkel Beck, began more brightly, but were quickly forced back by Arsenal's fluent passing and movement. After six minutes Ray Parlour won a free-kick from Schnoor. Taken by Dennis Bergkamp it was only half- cleared and Patrick Vieira brought a decent save from Mart Poom with a 20-yard volley.

Though Rory Delap headed over from a 16th-minute corner the balance of the first half-hour was more accurately reflected by a brace of shots each from Henry, Bergkamp and Emmanuel Petit. However only two, from Bergkamp and Henry, brought Poom into action.

Derby's response was to increase their aggression but it only brought bookings for Darryl Powell and Horacio Carbonari to add to the five incurred at Elland Road on the opening day.

Arsenal, unusually, resisted the temptation to trade bruises, instead concentrating on their passing. They were almost rewarded by fate when a Seth Johnsen pass was inadvertently diverted by Steven Lodge, the referee, into Kanu's path. Only a fine, diving save from Poom saved Lodge embarrassment.

The pressure was bound to tell eventually and, after 39 minutes, Petit finally got his range right with a spellbinding 28-yard shot which dipped and curled its way past Poom. Given Arsenal's midfield dominance the match seemed settled, but Derby rallied to level before the break when Keown's clearance from Beck was rifled past Alex Manninger from 25 yards by Delap.

Having gained undeserved parity Derby threw it away within minutes of the restart. Their defence, perhaps fooled by Kanu's dummy, stepped up too late to play Bergkamp offside from Petit's pass. The Dutchman's finish was typically immaculate.

Derby, to their credit, refused to concede defeat, continuing to contest every loose ball and yard of space, Manninger tipping over the bar from a Carbonari free-kick just after the hour.

In an increasingly fractious match Schnoor was carried off after being hauled down by Kanu and Dixon received a forearm in the face from Prior.

Arsenal, however, generally kept their discipline and their tempers although Henry and Keown were both booked as Derby raised the pace at the end.

Derby County (3-5-2): Poom; Laursen, Carbonari (Harper, 78), Prior; Delap, Powell, Johnson, Baiano, Schnoor (Borbokis, 60); Eranio, Beck (Burton, 78). Substitutes not used: Hoult, Elliott.

Arsenal (4-4-2): Manninger; Dixon, Keown, Upson, Winterburn; Parlour (Silvinho, 22), Vieira, Petit, Henry (Boa Morte, 85); Kanu (Luzhny, 74), Bergkamp. Substitutes not used: Lukic (gk), Luzhny, Boa Morte, Grimandi.

Referee: S Lodge (Barnsley).

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
peopleThe report and photo dedicated to the actress’s decolletage has, unsurprisingly, provoked anger
Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
property
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
The programme sees four specialists creating what they believe are three perfect couples, based on scientific matchmaking. The couples will not meet until they walk down the aisle together
tvUK wedding show jilted
Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
You've been framed: Henri Matisse's colourful cut-outs at Tate Modern
artWhat makes a smash-hit art show
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Sport
Mikel Arteta pictured during Borussia Dortmund vs Arsenal
champions league
Voices
Yes supporters gather outside the Usher Hall, which is hosting a Night for Scotland in Edinburgh
voicesBen Judah: Is there a third option for England and Scotland that keeps everyone happy?
Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Arts and Entertainment
Robin Thicke and Pharell Williams in the video of the song, which has been accused of justifying rape
music...and he had 'almost no part' in writing it
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior QA Engineer - Agile, SCRUM

£35000 - £50000 per annum + benefits: Ashdown Group: Senior QA Engineer (Agil...

Marketing Executive - West Midlands - £28,000

£26000 - £28000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Digital Marketing Executive (SEO, PP...

Retail Business Analyst

£40000 - £50000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our retail client ...

Senior C++ Developer

£400 - £450 Per Annum possibly more for the right candidate: Clearwater People...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week