VIEIRA TO THE RESCUE
By Ciaran Baynes
Last Updated: 01/01/70 1:00am
The French international, who came on as a substitute for The Gunners, shrugged off his marker on the six-yard box to nod home Silvinho's inswinging corner and equalise Sergei Rebrov's first half strike for the home side.
The former Dinamo Kiev man put his side ahead when he headed home a rebound after Alex Manninger parried Darren Anderton's twenty yard half-volley into his path - just after the half-hour mark.
From this point onwards it was almost all one-way traffic but The Gunners seemed set to leave their bitter rivals' home empty-handed with man-of-the-match Neil Sullivan in outstanding form and defenders Sol Campbell and Chris Perry imperious at the back.
The main victim of the former Wimbledon keeper's superb form was Thierry Henry who was denied on four separate occasions.
The French striker's first chance came after 13 minutes when Kanu pulled back for him in the box, but his right-footed effort from the left hand edge of the Tottenham box was held by Sullivan.
This was the only real chance of the first half-hour as strangely the game got off to a slow start as both sides looked to cancel each other out.
Rebrov took the goal in tremendous fashion with a diving header as the ball came flying back from Manninger's parry. The Gunners were a little aggrieved that offside was not given as two Spurs players were offside when Anderton shot. The officials were probably right not to rule out the goal as Rebrov was not offide and neither player really affected the goal.
Arsenal come out for the second half the brighter and twice could have taken the lead. Firstly, Henry pulled back for Grimande whose effort was comfortably held by Sullivan and then Henry, himself, found room in the box, but his low left foot drive was palmed away by the former Wimbledon keeper.
On two more occasions Sullivan was forced to make a superb point blank shot as Henry was bearing down on goal.
Just before the hour mark, the Frenchman beat Thirwell to a bouncing ball behind the Tottenham defence and headed goalwards but the sprawling Sullivan denied him as he entered the Spurs' area.
Eight minutes later, Dennis Bergkamp - who had been introduced for the ineffective Robert Pires - slid a slide-rule pass down the inside-left channel for Henry and he took the ball into the area before hitting a low drive that the Scottish keeper pushed away at the near post.
Sullivan was also called onto make a stop from his own man when Perry diverted a long Lee Dixon cross towards the far corner, but the Scottish international dived to his right to keep the misplaced effort out.
Ironically, the last ten minutes saw Arsenal pose less of a threat to Tottenham, who seemed to now be heading for all three points.
Tony Adams almost equalised for Vieira just before the Frenchman's equaliser when he was found by a Bergkamp free kick unmarked at the back post, but his fairly tame effort was touched wide by Sullivan.
From the ensuing set piece Vieira shrugged off his marker Les Ferdinand before leaping to head home from six yards out.
The draw on reflection was a fair result, but still hard on Tottenham who were within touching distance of only their second victory over their bitter rivals in nearly six years.
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