Game of the Day: Arsenal 2 Sunderland 3

Published:
by Kate Smith

League Cup shock at Highbury.

6th November 2002

The Black Cats had a 2002-03 campaign to forget, but this particular result left Gunners manager Arsene Wenger with egg on his face after he predicted his side would win the competition that season.

Goals from Robert Pires and Francis Jeffers sent Howard Wilkinson's side into the break with a mountain to climb, but Sunderland fought back spectacularly in the second half.

The turnaround began after Jurgen Macho saved what looked a certain goal by brilliantly turning away Giovanni van Bronckhorst's fierce shot.

Arsenal were given a warning when they struggled to clear Marcus Stewart's flick-on from a corner by half time substitute Matthew Piper.

A repeat move two minutes later saw Scottish striker Kevin Kyle soar to thump home the former Ipswich forward's back header and give the visitors hope.

Arsenal centre-backs Igor Stepanovs and Stathis Tavlaridis began to look vulnerable as Sunderland equalised when Stewart delicately put away youngster Michael Proctor's cross from the right.

This was Stewart's third goal in the competition after he'd bagged a brace in the 7-0 win over Cambridge in the previous round.

Two minutes later Proctor popped up on the left to provide the cross for the winner, which was impressively knocked home by defender Darren Williams.

The Gunners applied late pressure with near-misses from Jeffers and van Bronckhorst but it was Sunderland fans who were left celebrating with their first victory at Highbury in 19 years.

The win was also Howard Wilkinson's first as manager, after overseeing one defeat and two draws following Peter Reid's departure.

Teams:
Arsenal Taylor, Tavlaridis, Luzhny, Stepanovs, Svard (Garry 81), Toure, van Bronckhorst, Pennant (Volz 81), Pires, Jeffers, Kanu

Sunderland Macho, Williams, Varga, Thome, Thirlwell, McCartney, Rossiter, Proctor, Schwarz (Piper 45), Kyle, Stewart