Deportivo 2 - Arsenal 0
Scaloni, Donato, Naybet, Romero; Mauro Silva, Emerson; Makaay (Pandiani 48'),
Valerón (Djalminha 71'), Víctor; Diego Tristán (Amavisca
Deportivo La Coruña got their revenge on Arsenal with a comfortable 2-0 victory at the Riazor stadium. The English side knocked them out of the UEFA cup a couple of seasons ago, but this time there was only one team in it as Depor raced into a two goal lead early on and then locked up shop for the rest of the game. Faced with a difficult choice between his two on-form strikers Makaay and Diego Tristán, Irureta decided to play them both (with Makaay on the right wing at first), and they got a goal each before both left the field prematurely with injuries. The rest of the side was more or less as expected, although the more attacking Scaloni got the nod over Héctor at right back and the right-footed Víctor played on the left wing rather than Amavisca.
Makaay opened the scoring in the ninth minute at the third attempt after the defence blocked two previous shots, his volley from the right of the area having enough force to carry it past Wright and in to the net. The Arsenal keeper, standing in for the injured Seaman, saved well from Donato's free kick, but a few minutes later was caught badly out of position as Diego Tristán's speculative long shot crept inside the near post. Tristán went off with a muscle injury soon afterwards, and the entrance of Amavisca meant that Víctor and Makaay were restored to their natural positions.
At half time Wenger replaced Wright with young keeper Taylor, apparently as the England number three keeper had injury his knee (probably praying for forgiveness). Wiltord saw his shot cleared off the line by Naybet, and Depor lost their second striker to injury, Makaay hobbling off to be replaced by Pandiani. Djalminha came on a few minutes later, with everyone aware of the last match he played against Arsenal when he was shown a second yellow card for taking off his shirt (no longer a bookable offence). However his performance was more discrete, and with Depor happy with the result and Arsenal not putting up much of a fight there was little else to report.