Nottingham
Forest
  17th
August
1998
Score
1 - 2
Venue:
HIGHBURY

Attendance:
38,064

Referee:
MIKE RILEY

Goal 1:
PETIT
(58 mins)

Goal 2:
THOMAS
(76 mins)

Goal 3:
OVERMARS
(79 MINS)



 
Arsenal
   
Beasant     Seaman
Bonalair     Dixon
Hjelde
(45 mins)
  Keown
Chettle     Adams
Rogers     Winterburn
Stone   Parlour
Johnson   Vieira
Thomas Petit
Armstrong   Overmars
Hodges   Bergkamp
Darcheville   Anelka
Substitutes     Substitutes
Freedman
(80 mins)
  Bould
Lyttle
(46 mins)
  Hughes
Dawson     Garde
Harewood
(82 mins)
  Boa Morte
Crossley     Manninger

© Nottingham Forest 1998

The Forest fire kicked off tonight in 5-man midfield formation that saw Glynn Hodges making his debut for Forest (at the age of 35) on the left wing with Johnson, Armstrong and Thomas in the middle.

 Stevie Stone occupied the right slot and the newly acquired Frenchman, Jean-Claude Darcheville, played on his own up front and more than proved himself with great bursts of speed and sneaky little dragbacks amongst his many tricks.

Arsenal applied the pressure from the start as expected with Beasant having to make a save in the 11th minute.

Just three minutes later, Beasant had to pull out all the stops to save a great shot from Overmars, and Hjelde stepped in to clear the second attempt by Anelka.

In the 17th minute, Darcheville showed his true pace to the fans as he scorched down the wing, leaving Keown in his wake.

Arsenal had their chances chiefly from Anelka and Overmars at the end of the first half, but Forest were by no means outclassed.

 A ball in from Johnson at 24 minutes found Thomas with a superb run into the box, but unfortunately he couldn't quite connect with the ball.

A great ball in by Bonalair on 35 minutes saw Darcheville take it down and try to chip it over Seaman but the angle was just too narrow.

Unfortunately Jon Olav Hjelde went off with a hamstring strain just before the end of the first half to be replaced by Des Lyttle, who played in midfield with Armstrong dropping back into the centre.

Chances were created at both ends immediately into the second half with Thomas at one end and Anelka at the other, both putting balls wide.

 In the 58th minute, the Premier league champions finally got the better of their Nationwide counterparts with a free kick from Dennis Bergkamp finding the head of Tony Adams only to rebound off the crossbar and be followed up by Emanuel Petit for the first goal of the game.

Far be it from us to suggest that at least two Arsenal players were off side at the time!

Arsenal began to dominate but Forest were by no means finished. In the 76th minute, Geoff Thomas picked the ball up in the centre circle, played a great one two with Darcheville and scored a superb goal - was David Seaman doing his nails? Or has Geoff Thomas got a point to prove?

It could have gone either way then but unfortunately it went against us. Overmars scored in the 79th minute - enough said.

Freedman got 10 minutes at the end at the expense of Darcheville and the young Marlon Harewood made his premiership debut for Johnson.

In summary - not the disaster that so many had predicted for Forest.

Indeed, they defended well, our new recruits will have sparked up some interest and if we keep up today's performance, then reports of our death have been greatly exaggerated.

Watch this space.....