Leicester 3 Arsenal 3
Arsenal's Dennis Bergkamp hit a brilliant hat-trick but a remarkable comeback
rescued a point for Leicester after they had looked dead and buried.
The home side trailed 2-0 with seven minutes to go only to claw the game back
to 2-2 via goals from Emile Heskey and Matthew Elliott.
Bergkamp then silenced the home fans by completing his hat-trick in the 93rd
minute but never-say-die Leicester rescued a point with skipper Steve Walsh's
The final whistle ended in angry scenes with Ian Wright, who had been
substituted, involved in a pitch confrontation with Walsh.
Dutchman Bergkamp again upstaged record-searching Wright, who will have to
wait until at least Sunday's North London derby with Spurs at Highbury to beat
Cliff Bastin's 50-year-old record of 178 goals for Arsenal.
He went into the game needing two more to overhaul the record but was again
below-par and managed only one worthwhile effort before being substituted after
But that was one of the few negative points in an impressive Arsenal
performance and the vision, pace, power and work-rate of Arsene Wenger's side
often left Leicester chasing shadows with Ray Parlour and Patrick Vieira having
fine games in midfield.
Both sides went into the match knowing that victory would take them level on
points with leaders Blackburn, but Arsenal dominated the opening 45 minutes.
The game began with three bookings in the first seven minutes - Neil Lennon
and Spencer Prior for Leicester and Bergkamp for the Gunners.
But the classy skills of Bergkamp, who had scored twice at Southampton on
Saturday, quickly rose to the surface and Leicester were caught napping in the
Marc Overmars played the ball to his fellow Dutchman on the edge of the area
and he had time to steady himself before arrowing an unstoppable shot past Kasey
Keller into the roof of the net.
Arsenal nearly increased their lead two minutes later when a weak clearance
only found Overmars on the edge of the area. His shot was beat out by Keller and
the lurking Wright planted the rebound into the side-netting.
Leicester made only sporadic raids into Arsenal territory while Walsh had one
of his most unimpressive 45 minutes in a Foxes shirt.
It was his error which presented the ball to Bergkamp and Leicester were
relieved to see Wright blaze the eventual pass from the Dutchman over the bar.
Leicester had appeals for a penalty turned down in the 41st minute when Lee
Dixon, back in the Arsenal side after recovering from an ankle operation, looked
to hold back Heskey.
Pontus Kaamark and Ray Parlour brought the number of bookings to five by the
The second half followed a similar pattern to the first with Arsenal totally
Wright volleyed over a Bergkamp centre - the sort of chance he has stuck away
when on song and Keller had to parry a powerful effort from Parlour around the
But there was an inevitability about a second goal and it arrived in the 61st
minute via Bergkamp after another fine move tore open the Leicester defence.
Dixon started the move and then Parlour's pass found Vieira on the left flank.
He had time to pick out the on-rushing Bergkamp and, as Keller advanced to
narrow the angle, he coolly chipped his shot into the net.
Heskey gave Leicester hope with his 83rd minute effort after David Seaman had
failed to collect a Garry Parker centre.
Then in injury-time Elliott looked to have completed a remarkable fight-back
when he drilled a low deflected shot past Seaman from 20 yards.
Back came Arsenal and Bergkamp chested down a centre from Platt to restore
their lead but then in the 95th minute Walsh headed in to send the home fans
Leicester: Keller, Kaamark, Guppy, Elliott, Prior, Walsh,
Izzet (Cottee 73), Lennon, Savage (Parker 73),Claridge (Fenton 63), Heskey.
Subs Not Used: Andrews, Whitlow.
Booked: Lennon, Prior, Kaamark, Elliott.
Goals: Elliott 90, Heskey 84, Walsh 90.
Arsenal: Seaman, Dixon, Winterburn, Vieira, Bould,
Wright (Anelka 78), Bergkamp, Overmars (Platt 82),Parlour (Hughes 82), Petit, Grimandi.
Subs Not Used: Lukic, Marshall.
Booked: Bergkamp, Parlour, Bould.
Goals: Bergkamp 9, 61, 90.
Ref: G P Barber (Pyrford).