Leicester 3 Arsenal 3

  • By: John Curtis, PA Sport
  • Last Updated: May 22 2012, 10:01 BST

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

last-gasp header.

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

77 minutes.

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

ninth minute.

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

interval.

The second half followed a similar pattern to the first with Arsenal totally

in command.

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

post.

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

into raptures.

Teams:

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.

Att: 21,089

Ref: G P Barber (Pyrford).