"Breathtaking Arsenal throw down the gauntlet"

Wenger's embarrassment - Kanu's boot - Boro's embarrassment


What the papers said:

"This was perfection"

"Arsenal's resolve and sheer bloody-mindedness has to be admired. Thrillingly, rousingly, they proved there is a race in the title yet."

"This was not merely a purple patch, it was rainbow football."

"rampant attacking play."

"superior passing and organisation"

Steve Bould: "The best team performance I've been involved in"

"power-packed performance"

"WHAT a response"

"the Gunners blazed away with withering accuracy"

"When a Yorkshire crowd applauds the opposition off the field, then you know something out of the ordinary must have happened"

"At times it looked as though they had two or three extra players"

"an increasingly rich feast of counter-attacking"

"Arsenal made penetration appear easy."

"a tidal wave of brutal attacking football."

"a mouthwatering display"

"a mesmerising performance of championship-winning quality."

"rip Middlesbrough apart in a vicious demolition"

"a performance of the highest class"

"Arsenal were simply sensational"

"IT WAS overwhelming, ultimately a rout,"

"an exhibition of Arsenal's near-computerised teamwork"

"The stuff of champions."

"Arsenal's performance on Teesside amounted to a celebration of the sport, a glorious display of attacking, exotic skill that had even the Middlesbrough supporters standing on their feet to applaud in wonder and admiration."

"It was thrilling, breathtaking stuff."

"This is free-flowing, uninhibited magic. It will have to stop somewhere, but, for now, it is wonderful just to lap it up."

Wenger's embarrassment of riches

"Nicolas Anelka, who had gone seven matches without scoring and who owed his place to Dennis Bergkamp's injury, murdered the Boro defence with his pace."

"Patrick Vieira, whose majestic midfield play had done most to put Arsène Wenger's men in command from the start"

"Nicolas Anelka, Marc Overmars and Nwankwo Kanu were breathtaking."

"Anelka and Marc Overmars also in scintillating form,"

"Emmanuel Petit and Patrick Vieira dominant in midfield"

"Kanu and Nicolas Anelka led the rampage"

"Patrick Vieira and Emmanuel Petit allowed Anelka to cause havoc every time he got the ball"

"Pace makes space and the electrifying speed of Anelka and Marc Overmars in particular rendered Bryan Robson's defence almost an irrelevance at times"


Wenger: "the smell of goals around him"

"Kanu simply irrepressible"

"And there, at the hub of it all, was Kanu. An awkward looking character whose subtle touch belies his build, Wenger's acquisition from Inter Milan stood out as a unique talent."

"Kanu's mesmeric performance"

"Some of his passing was as exceptional as his second goal."

"a superb display"

Also starring ...

Gordon asks if he can play too; Parlour says no, it's mine

Seaman helps Deane's effort over the top ...

... and Gordon's round the post

Trying not to look embarrassed ...

Post-match press conference at Arsenal World

"For poor Boro, the second half was an embarrassment. They were comprehensively outclassed"

"Middlesbrough, who had won five of their previous seven matches and drawn the others, climbing into seventh place, were torn apart."

"Boro's highly-rated defence was ripped to shreds time and again."

Bryan Robson: "That's the best performace I've seen against us since I've been at Middlesborough Football Club"

Gary Pallister: "Arsenal were just breathtaking."

Thanks for quotes and photos to various newspapers, BBC, Carling, and AFCi, @fc and Arsenal World, and to the Boro websites (here and here); the video clips are on Gustav Nygren's site. Especial thanks to Arseweb for most of the links to the sources for these Awesome pages.

Updated: 28 June, 2002
comments & suggestions to: m.shade@btinternet.com