Kanu Steals the Show as Arsenal Legends Defeat Milan Glorie
The international break usually has the boring feel about it but we had known from the start of the season that Arsenal Legends were going to clash with Milan Glorie in September, with proceeds from ticketing would go to the Arsenal Foundation and it would be used to make the world a better place. With the Gunners having so many legends to select from, it was going to be a real selection headache from Arsene Wenger, as so many players shined under his tutelage in the yesteryear.
One player that wasn’t going to be available was the club’s greatest player, Thierry Henry, that was away on international duty with Belgium. In his absence, Wenger had a plethora of stars to select and his starting XI featured legendary goalkeeper, David Seaman, in goal. Martin Keown and Kolo Toure were in the heart of the defense, and they were flanked by Nigel Winterburn and
Lee Dixon Lauren Etame Oleg Luzhny Justin Hoyte. Yes, the greatest right back of all time, Justin frigging Hoyte. The midfield had Ray Parlour, Gilberto Silva and Emmanuel Petit, with Marc Overmars and Robert Pires flanking Freddie Ljungberg. Mad Jens Lehmann, Pascal Cygan, Gilles Grimandi, Limpar, Luis Boa Morte and Nwankwo Kanu had to make do with a place on the bench.
AC Milan featured a lot of trophy laden stars, with Abbiati in goal and he had Cafu, Marcel Desailly, Alessandro Costacurta and Favalli in defense. Massimo Ambrosini and Demetrio Albertini manned the holding midfield positions with Serginho and Zvominir Boban flanking them. Paolo di Canio and Christian Vieri spearheaded the attack.
The game was played in a great atmosphere as you’d expect, but the first goal of the night arrived when Kanu stood tall to plant a cross past a hapless Abbiati. Milan responded with a goal of their own after Vieri won an aerial battle with Winterburn. In the buildup to the goal, Seaman had made a wonderful save but it stood for nothing with Milan’s equalizer coming up shortly afterwards.
Kanu restored the lead for the Arsenal Legends with yet another header, despite the fact that he was heavily marked by a defender. The ball had passed the line before Dida reacted, so Howard Webb was right to award the goal to the Gunners. The Nigerian completed his sensational hat-trick from the penalty spot to crown a perfect night that was hailed by Wenger in the post-match press conference.
Three goals became four when Ljungberg served the ball up on a platter for Pires to roll back the years.
That was a combination we had become accustomed to seeing in the yesteryear and I was so proud of the lads. Late on, Cygan conceded a penalty but Lehmann made a great save from Vieri, however the Italian had a rebound that was smashed home.
In the end, it was reported that over 1 million pounds was raised for the Arsenal Foundation, which is pretty amazing if you ask me. It was good to see so many legends on display, and it shows you how football is a game that never forgets.
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