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Football: Sting in tail gunner; MIDDLESBROUGH..0 ARSENAL ..1.

Byline: John ALEXANDER reports

ARSENAL were heading for a dire draw at the Riverside - until Robert Pires netted deep into the second half.

Despite dominating possession the Gunners created few meaningful openings during a first half in which they were unable to bring their quality to bear.

Indeed it was stubborn Boro who created the best chance of the period when Brazilian midfielder Doriva's 21st-minute effort clipped the bar.

Arsene Wenger upped the stakes at the break when he withdrew the disappointing Jose Antonio Reyes and replaced him with Dennis Bergkamp. But faced with two banks of four red shirts strung out across the field, Wenger's men were getting no change from their opponents.

Bergkamp fired over on 70 minutes, but soon after his side finally got in front.

Franck Queudrue managed to cut out Partick Vieira's return pass to Cesc Fabregas inside his own penalty area, but his clearance hit Doriva and rebounded to Pires, who fired past the helpless Brad Jones.

Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink had a glorious opportunity to level on 78 minutes after Szilard Nemeth had robbed Philippe Senderos, but failed to get enough lift on his attempted chip over the advancing keeper

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Heads: Silva and Boateng
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Title Annotation:Sport
Publication:Sunday Mail (Glasgow, Scotland)
Date:Apr 10, 2005
Words:202
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