[Flash: id="71542" alt="FreezeFrame%2C%20ManCity%20240410" title="FreezeFrame%2C%20ManCity%20240410"]


Manchester City

Premier League
March 5, 1996

Bruce Rioch's Arsenal tenure was fleeting, but it certainly wasn't forgettable. 

The man who succeeded George Graham before being replaced by Arsène Wenger took Arsenal into Europe in his solitary season - and this win was crucial in the final reckoning.

Arsenal's away form in 1995/96 was patchy at best but they were pretty formidable at Highbury, losing just twice in their 19 fixtures. And Manchester City, our next opponents, were one of the 10 teams to taste defeat at the famous old stadium.

Rioch was without top scorer Ian Wright for the visit of City so in stepped John Hartson to partner Dennis Bergkamp - and the big man enjoyed one of his finest days in an Arsenal shirt.

Hartson opened the scoring in the 29th minute and the Gunners doubled their advantage before half-time thanks to a rare goal in open play from Lee Dixon.

Gerry Creaney caused a few jitters among the home fans when he reduced the deficit nine minutes into the second half but Hartson responded immediately with a fabulous dipping effort from outside the box. That ended City's resistance and the three points were Arsenal's.

Hartson scored four goals in his 19 League appearances that term. Not a great haul by any means but, without this brace against City, Arsenal would have missed out on Europe.

Instead, a late double from David Platt and Bergkamp on the final day of the season secured a spot in the Uefa Cup - although Rioch would not stick around to guide Arsenal on the continent.

Our FreezeFrame image shows Hartson and City's Alan Kernaghan battling for supremacy in the second half at Highbury.

Arsenal team: Seaman, Dixon, Keown, Linighan, Winterburn, Merson, Rose, Platt, Parlour, Hartson, Bergkamp. Subs not used: Hillier, Marshall, Hughes

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23 Apr 2010