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Thursday, December 29, 2005

Henry Scored Twice in Arsenal Victory

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Four first-half goals helped Arsenal FC to a comfortable win over Portsmouth at Highbury Park. Thierry Henry was the showman as he scored two of them.

The Portsmouth fans feared an embarrassing ending in north London at half-time as their team had no answer to the Gunners in the first half.

Thierry Henry double scoring and the goals of Dennis Bergkamp and Jose Antonio Reyes put Arsenal on course for a big win but Redknapp's side managed to salvage some pride with a defiant second-half showing.

The Gunners recalled Dennis Bergkamp, Robert Pires and Mathieu Flamini against an unbalanced-looking Portsmouth side on a freezing evening at Highbury. Pompey coach Harry Redknapp dropped forward Dario Silva and midfielder Gary O'Neil while also leaving out skipper Dejan Stefanovic, who has been playing despite his injury.

Despite being without the suspended Laurent Robert he handed first starts in his second reign to defenders Aliou Cisse and Brian Priske and recalled Colombian midfielder John Viafara to the starting squad.

Followinf the last results (a defeat at Spurs, a win over West Brom and a draw with West Ham), Redknapp was gambling against the odds of a massive loss in north London to keep key players fresh for Saturday's home six-pointer against Fulham.

Spanish Reyes had Arsenal's first shot and although it failed to trouble keeper Jamie Ashdown, it was the Spaniard who set up the chance that put the Gunners ahead two minutes later.

He coasted on to Flamini's pass down the left, held off a challenge and cut the ball back for Bergkamp to drill in his first Premiership goal of the campaign.