By Myles Palmer
Spartak Moscow 4 Arsenal 1
Uefa coaching director Andy Roxburgh will want Silvinho’s goal for his video compilation.
As a demonstration of how to destroy a sweeper defence by lightning counter-attack this was ONE OF THE FINEST GOALS EVER SEEN IN THE CHAMPIONS LEAGUE!
And only Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal could have scored it.
Parlour chased across, pressurising. Silvinho won the ball,played it infield to Pires and then zoomed off on an 83-metre sprint across the snowy grass and icy mud.
Pires found Henry, who accelerated towards the sweeper and the right back. He was four yards outside the penalty area, facing Ananko and Tchuisse.
And he nutmegged them! He took out both defenders with a sublime pass through Ananko’s legs, putting in Silvinho, who glided round Filiminov and gently rolled his shot into the net, making it look so easy.
Arsenal were 1-0 up after 77 seconds!
Any goal in 77 seconds is a shock, but THIS goal was sensational in quality as well as timing.
Because the defenders did nothing wrong. I defy Andy Roxburgh or any coach to tell me what the defenders did wrong. They did nothing wrong, but they could not stop that goal. The speed and skill and movement were perfect.It was a perfect goal because you could not improve on it.
This is why Real Madrid could NOT have scored that goal: Raul is not as fast as Henry; Savio could not have made that pass because Raul would not have been there; Roberto Carlos cannot finish with the rapier finesse of Silvinho.
Only Arsenal could have created that goal.
What did I think of the rest of the game?
Well, I watched the match on ITV2. I saw the highlights on ITV. And I studied the video this morning.
And I’m still thinking about it. Watch this space.
23rd November 2000