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FA Cup Third Round
Roker Park
January 17, 1997
Sunderland away is a tough enough fixture in its own right but Arsenal's task will be made even harder on Saturday thanks to mounting injury problems and the fatigue of international football.

If they need inspiration, they need look no further than January 1997 and a touch of class from Dennis Bergkamp which lit up a typical blood-and-thunder encounter on Wearside.

Arsenal and Sunderland were meeting for the third time in 11 days and the Black Cats had enjoyed the upper hand, earning a draw in the FA Cup Third Round before winning a Premier League game at Roker Park.

They fancied their chances of a second home win in the space of four days when Arsenal headed north for the FA Cup replay but, despite knowing so much about the Gunners, Sunderland could not legislate for a stroke of genius from their Dutch master.

The second half was just a minute old when Bergkamp produced a classy double drag-back to create space on the edge of the Sunderland box. Now facing the goal but faced with a defender, Bergkamp clipped a curling effort around his opponent, beyond the keeper Lionel Perez and into the top corner.

Peter Reid, in charge of Arsenal's opponents at the time, admitted afterwards: "I starting clapping myself, until I realised I was Sunderland's manager."

Stephen Hughes grabbed a second to end Arsenal's Sunderland trilogy on a high note and book their Fourth-Road berth. But our image focuses on that outstanding first goal as Hughes and captain Tony Adams congratulate Bergkamp.

Arsenal: Seaman, Winterburn, Vieira, Bould, Adams, Platt, Merson, Bergkamp, Keown, Parlour, Hughes. Subs not used: Morrow, Lukic, Shaw.

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19 Nov 2009