Aston Villa

Premier League
December 9, 2001

Today's FreezeFrame takes us back to December 2001, and another fine win for Arsenal in a memorable campaign.

Arsène Wenger's side headed into the game six points behind leaders Liverpool and in need of a win to keep up the pace in the title race.

Leeds United, Newcastle and Aston Villa made up the numbers in the chasing pack, with Manchester United having made a hugely disappointing start.

This was a tale of two halves. Villa proved deadly on the counter-attack in the first half and took the lead after 20 minutes when former Gunner Paul Merson lifted the ball over Stuart Taylor from inside the box.

Just 15 minutes later they had a second when Lauren's poor clearance was pounced on by Steve Stone to rifle home.

But Arsenal turned on the style in the second half. Wenger sent on Sylvain Wiltord for Freddie Ljungberg, while Martin Keown replaced Matthew Upson to shore up the backline.

The changes worked instantly as Wiltord volleyed home a Ray Parlour cross a minute after the restart.

Arsenal continued to pour forward and eventually grabbed an equaliser through the mercurial Thierry Henry. Patrick Vieira robbed Jlloyd Samuel before crossing for Henry to slot past Peter Enckelman.

The home side did not let up and Villa eventually caved in the final minute. Robert Pires found Henry through the middle, and he made no mistake to seal a dramatic win for the Gunners.

The rest is history. Arsenal eventually overturned Liverpool at the top to romp home by seven points, completing a magnificent double after their FA Cup success over Chelsea.

Our FreezeFrame image shows Henry and Wiltord celebrating the winning goal against Aston Villa.

Arsenal: Taylor, Lauren, Upson (Keown 46), Campbell, Cole, Pires, Vieira, Parlour, Ljungberg (Wiltord 46), Henry, Bergkamp (Kanu 67). Subs not used: Stack, Grimandi.

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23 Mar 2012