Leeds 1 Arsenal 1
Ian Wright began the new season just as he had ended the old one as his strike
earned Arsenal a share of the spoils at Leeds.
The England marksman scored his 175th goal for Arsenal after 35 minutes to
leave him just three short of Cliff Baston's record.
In the build up to the game, Leeds boss George Graham had likened his new
striker Jimmy Hasselbaink to Wright and the Dutchman lived up to his billing by
netting the equaliser three minutes before half time.
Arsenal had started the brighter and Ray Parlour fired a low cross across the
goal after three minutes but none of the Gunners could get a final touch.
A minute later, Nigel Martyn raced out of his box to head the ball away from
Emmanuel Petit's delicate through ball with Wright lurking.
Leeds responded, but the visitors nearly hit them on the break after 12
minutes with a flowing move involving Marc Overmars, Dennis Bergkamp, Parlour
and finally Patrick Vieira, who fired wide.
A minute later, Rod Wallace glanced a header wide from Gary Kelly's cross and
then Lee Bowyer shot wide from just inside the box.
Wallace released Hasselbaink in the 19th minute and his fiercely hit shot was
punched away by David Seaman.
Midway through the half Emmanuel Petit played in Overmars to pull the ball
back for Wright to shoot straight into Nigel Martyn's arms.
After 26 minutes Bergkamp threatened to break down the left, but Weatherall
snuffed out the danger.
A minute later following a succession of one-twos between Bergkamp, Wright and
Patrick Vieira, the Dutchman hit a tame shot which was easily collected by
Overmars showed he can defend as well as attack when he got back to head away
David Robertson's cross from Gary Kelly.
After 34 minutes Wright turned David Weatherall but Martyn saved his shot.
Arsenal won possession back straight from the goalkeeper's clearance and Wright
raced through on the left to score from an acute angle.
Leeds were level after 42 minutes when Wallace played Hasselbaink through to
In the 49th minute Bowyer burst into the Arsenal box but there was no Leeds
player following up for his pull back.
Leeds fans howled in vain for a penalty a minute later when Wallace went down
under a challenge from Gilles Grimandi.
Wright then shot wide from 25 yards as an angry Graham jumped from his bench
to protest that the England man was offside.
Grimandi, Remi Garde and Vieira were booked in the space of four minutes,
while Bowyer was also shown the yellow card soon afterwards as tempers flared.
After 62 minutes former England captain David Platt, wanted by Middlesbrough,
replaced the injured Vieira.
Two minutes later Bergkamp turned provider for Overmars, whose shot was well
blocked by Martyn.
David Hopkin then barged through the Arsenal defence and he nearly beat Seaman
with a cheeky backheel.
After 69 minutes Wallace diverted Lucas Radebe's goalbound header wide from
Bruno Riveiro's corner.
Two minutes later Petit became the fourth Arsenal player to be booked and in
the 74th minute Stephen Hughes came on for Overmars.
On 78 minutes Bergkamp hit an effort just past the upright.
Nine minutes from time Hopkin crossed towards Wallace, but Grimandi managed to
nip the ball away and prevent a goal.
Leeds then brought on Harry Kewell for Riviero and Alf-Inge Haaland for
In the 84th minute Radebe was lucky to escape a booking when he tugged
Bergkamp down on the edge of the area. Bergkamp floated the resultant free kick
over the bar.
A minute later Weatherall produced a superb tackle to dispossess Wright in the
box and in the final minute the centre half nearly won the game for Leeds when
he headed over from Kelly's corner.
Leeds: Martyn, Kelly, Robertson, Radebe, Wetherall, Wallace,
Hasselbaink, Ribeiro (Kewell 82), Bowyer, Hopkin (Haaland 83),
Subs Not Used: Lilley, Molenaar, Beeney.
Goals: Hasselbaink 42.
Arsenal: Seaman, Winterburn, Vieira (Platt 63), Bould, Wright,
Bergkamp, Overmars (Hughes 75), Parlour, Petit, Grimandi, Garde.
Subs Not Used: Anelka, Marshall, Lukic.
Booked: Garde, Grimandi, Vieira.
Goals: Wright 35.
Ref: D J Gallagher (Banbury)