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Henry double leads Arsenal rout of Palace
Updated: 2005-02-15 15:36

Arsenal produced a scintillating display of attacking football to crush Crystal Palace 5-1 and close to within two points of second-placed Manchester United in the Premier League on Monday.

Strikers Dennis Bergkamp, Jose Antonio Reyes and Thierry Henry scored three goals within eight minutes just before halftime and Patrick Vieira and Henry completed the rout after the interval.

Arsenal's Dennis Bergkamp celebrates scoring his side's first goal during his side's English Premier League match against Crystal Palace at Highbury on February 14. Arsenal won the match 5-1. [Reuters]
The champions moved to 57 points from 27 matches, 11 adrift of leaders Chelsea. Palace remained 17th, two points above the relegation zone.

The visitors made a bright start at Highbury and Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann nearly conceded a comical own goal when he allowed a back pass from Gael Clichy to slide under his foot.

The German also reacted smartly to keep out a snap shot from Palace striker Dougie Freedman but Arsenal gradually took control of the match.

Bergkamp produced a clinical finish at the near post on 32 minutes, Reyes rifled in a low shot from the edge of the area and Henry whipped in the third after cutting in from out wide.

The Palace defence was ripped apart once again on 54 minutes, Henry's clinical pass releasing Vieira who rounded goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly and prodded the ball into an empty net.

Palace pulled a goal back on 63 minutes when Andy Johnson was fouled by Vieira in the penalty area and the England striker smashed the resulting spot-kick into the roof of the net.

Arsenal's fifth goal came 13 minutes from time when Bergkamp teed up Henry and the French international bamboozled the Palace defence before crashing an unstoppable shot past Kiraly from the edge of the area.

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