SUNDERLAND 0-2 ARSENAL
January 15, 1997
Today's FreezeFrame takes us back to January 1997 for Arsenal's FA Cup third-round replay against Sunderland at Roker Park.
What appeared to be an inconspicuous Cup tie just three months into Arsène Wenger's reign as manager was transformed into a fixture best known for one moment of pure inspiration.
This was the third meeting in 11 days between the two sides as Arsenal looked to avenge their narrow Premier League defeat in the North East just four days prior.
Sunderland had forced a 1-1 draw at Highbury in the first Cup meeting between the two sides after a rare Michael Gray strike had cancelled out John Hartson's early opener.
Heading into the replay at Roker Park, this was a competition that, after the success of 1993, had not proved too favourable. Arsenal had not progressed past the fourth round since, heading out even earlier in the previous two campaigns.
But the FA Cup had barely been introduced to Dennis Bergkamp by then.
After a drab first half on Wearside, it was Wenger's men - or Bergkamp more specifically - who took control. If the initial pirouette wasn't an omen of what was to follow, the finish certainly proved it.
After bamboozling a helpless Sunderland player with a double drag-back, the Dutchman glided into the box and clipped a delightful effort past Lionel Perez. He had no right to shoot, but that was Bergkamp all over.
Roker Park had seen its fair share of impressive goals over time, but in its last year, few would have dazzled like the Dutchman's.
Peter Reid, the hosts' manager on the day, admitted: "I starting clapping myself, until I realised I was Sunderland's manager."
Stephen Hughes, also pictured, capped the scoring in the 65th minute to seal Arsenal's progress to the fourth round.
Arsenal: Seaman, Winterburn, Vieira, Bould, Adams, Platt, Merson, Bergkamp, Keown, Parlour, Hughes. Subs not used: Morrow, Lukic, Shaw.
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