O'Leary fears confirmed as Leeds youngsters fall

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The Independent Football

Arsenal shrugged off any lingering hangover from Sunday's defeat at Coventry with a 2-0 victory over Leeds that stretched their unbeaten home record to nine games.

Arsenal shrugged off any lingering hangover from Sunday's defeat at Coventry with a 2-0 victory over Leeds that stretched their unbeaten home record to nine games.

The Swedish international Fredrik Ljungberg put the Gunners in front in the 32nd minute after Nigel Martyn failed to hold on to a Kanu drive. The Nigerian striker then provided the inspiration for Arsenal's second 13 minutes after the interval, setting up Thierry Henry.

For the Leeds manager, David O'Leary, the result confirmed what he has been saying all season. "People say I talk us down and that I should get a life and get some belief," the Irishman said. "But you could see from this match why I say we are still learning our trade."

At Anfield, it took Liverpool 58 minutes to break down the resolute Wimbledon defence but then Michael Owen netted his eighth of the season.

The Dons' Marcus Gayle pulled it level at 1-1 against the run of play, but a superb free-kick by Patrik Berger restored the lead and Robbie Fowler's 150th goal for the Reds gave Liverpool a 3-1 win, their eighth victory in the last 12 games.

Fowler said: "Because of my injuries and the time I have been out, the 150th has been a long time coming. I wouldn't say it was one of my best goals. I don't score too many with my head, but I was pleased to see it go in, particularly because I had connected with the ball on the edge of the box.

"It was right in front of the Kop, and the fans here have always been great for me. There seemed to be 40,000 people willing the ball to go in."

The Wimbledon manager, Egil Olsen, said: "I felt we had control of the game for long periods and Liverpool didn't have too many chances. We had to defend like we did. You can't come to Anfield and expect to outplay Liverpool."

Duncan Ferguson and Alan Shearer struck for Newcastle as Leicester lost at home for the third game in succession. Ferguson notched his third goal in as many games after 21 minutes, his partner rounding Tim Flowers to make it two after 53 minutes. Theo Zagorakis pulled one back for Leicester.

Bradford City and Everton met for the first time in the league for 68 years and the Yorkshire club had the best of the exchanges on a poor pitch. Lee Mills and Dean Saunders saw shots brilliantly saved by Paul Gerrard as City took a handy point from the 0-0 draw and extended their home run to four games without defeat.

Watford and Southampton produced a 3-2 thriller in their first meeting for 11 seasons as the Hornets ended a five-match losing sequence. David Perpetuini scored his first goal on his third League appearance, Xavier Gravelaine adding the second on the half-hour.

The Saints hit back with two goals in three minutes, Luis Boa Morte scoring after 61 and Kevin Davies after 63, but Gravelaine wrapped up the scoring in the 65th minute to end a run of 11 games without a win for Graham Taylor's men.

Saints' second holiday defeat means they have only one win in 13 games and leaves them in deep trouble hovering above the relegation zone.

Derby County, without a win in their previous 12 trips to Upton Park, shocked the Hammers with Dean Sturridge's fourth-minute strike - their first goal in 448 minutes. A brilliant solo effort from Paolo Di Canio after 21 minutes ensured it finished 1-1.

The West Ham manager, Harry Redknapp, was ecstatic about the Italian's strike. "All the people who doubted me when I bought him, all those who thought I was an idiot, and 99.9 per cent of you did so, have all been proved wrong. We always dig at the best players, we're always looking for something wrong. Why doesn't he chase back, why doesn't he tackle? Why don't we just look at great players and enjoy what they give us? The man is a genius. His goal was worth the entrance fee alone."

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