Arsène Wenger's first home game 19 October 1996

Not a classic match by any means, but a significant day in Arsenal's history.

Arsène Wenger was officially in charge of the Gunners for the first time a week earlier when two clinical strikes from Ian Wright earned a 2-0 win over Blackburn Rovers. But this was the first time he had met the Highbury crowd.

The Frenchman received a rapturous reception as he headed for the dugouts before the game against Coventry. However, Wenger could not inspire his players to a second successive victory despite a host of chances.

By now, Patrick Vieira was already a favourite with the Arsenal crowd. The midfielder started the game while another early Wenger signing, Remi Garde, was on the bench.

The new manager kept faith with the 3-5-2 formation favoured by his predecessor, Bruce Rioch. Wenger brought Dennis Bergkamp off the bench but even he was unable to engineer a breakthrough as the Sky Blues defended stoutly.

In fact, the most notable incident was an injury to Steve Ogrizovic. The Coventry goalkeeper was stretchered off four minutes from time after a collision with Wright.

Wenger did not have to wait long for his first win at Highbury. A week later, goals from Lee Dixon, Bergkamp and Wright saw Arsenal overcome Leeds, managed at the time by former Gunners boss George Graham.


Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 27 Jan 2006