Leeds United 0 Arsenal 0 Attendance: 35,502
Sunday 02 February 1997
By stifling their opponents for the 10th time in 14 games, Leeds will be happiest with the point, however drably gained. Given that this was the second meeting of George Graham's new charges with the side he once fashioned, one wonders if this is the way he enjoys the beautiful game being played.
Tony Adams' performance orchestrating the strangulation of Ian Rush and Brian Deane must be what Graham's latest import, Robert Molenaar, has to model himself on. The pounds 1m Dutchman is an uncompromising fellow with a lengthy kick who was rarely troubled by the Arsenal attack. But then for much of the game he was up against John Hartson who would have been unable to hold the ball up even if he had used his hands.
Hartson was replaced immediately he had spearheaded a three-on-one break. Unfortunately, he took so long to control the ball that both Ray Parlour and Nigel Winterburn had run past him into offside positions.
His replacement after 73 minutes was Wright, who played the pass of the game 11 minutes later. Perfectly weighted, it invited Parlour to rush on to it and shoot as Nigel Martyn came off his line, the ball going just over the bar.
Leeds, who have not scored in 12 of Graham's league games, did find the back of the net three times. In the 24th minute, Deane was offside when he steered in Lee Bowyer's best moment and two minutes later he repeated the feat from Rush. The recalled Leeds captain was convinced he had won the game in the dying minutes when he turned in Deane's low cross. He too was offside.
Leeds also had the best moment when Rod Wallace burst on to Deane's knockdown in the 64th minute and his shot was clawed away by David Seaman.
Arsenal could not create anything to match, although the play of Parlour, Stephen Hughes and Scott Marshall might have brightened Arsene Wenger's day.
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