Round-up: Bergkamp's grand entrance

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The Independent Online
Dennis Bergkamp made a stunning start to his Arsenal career with a superb hat-trick in Sweden last night. Bergkamp began Arsenal's first match in their pre-season tour as a substitute, but soon made up for lost time by hitting the net three times in the last six minutes.

It was a performance that left Bruce Rioch, the Arsenal manager delighted, even though it came at the end of an easy 8-1 victory against Kristianstads. "The first goal was outstanding," Rioch said. "It was crisp, clinical and showed the sort of thing we will be able to do.

"It was only a friendly, but winning games breeds confidence and I think all of the players will have gained from this game. We have not worked much on our teamwork or set-pieces because we have been doing mainly physical work, so it was nice to see that it can all come together in a match."

David Platt had a quieter debut, but Arsenal's already established players also turned in impressive performances. Ian Wright put them ahead with a 13th-minute penalty, John Hartson scored twice before the interval to give Arsenal a 3-1 half-time lead, and Paul Merson helped himself to two goals in a minute shortly after replacing Wright at the interval.

But the night belonged to Bergkamp, who opened his account in the 84th minute, added a second two minutes later, and completed his hat-trick on the stroke of full-time.

Paul Gascoigne kept up his goal-a-game start to his Rangers career in Copenhagen last night with a 52nd-minute free-kick, two minutes after Hvidovre had equalised a first-half header from Mark Hateley.

However, there were signs that Gascoigne's legendary temper is still not under control. He flared up at Michael Johansen after only eight minutes, and within 60 seconds he did it again. He was eventually booked before half-time for a heavy challenge.

Stan Collymore inspired Liverpool to a 1-0 victory over Birmingham on his debut last night. After 73 minutes, he broke from the half-way line and evaded two tackles, only to be stopped by the goalkeeper's challenge. Ian Rush was on hand to score the first goal for what could be a highly productive partnership.

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