MX23RW : Wednesday, July 28 19:03:19| >> :120:7061:7061:
Dec 13, 1998 at 3pm UK at Villa Park
Aston Villa
3-2
Arsenal
Dublin (65', 83'), Joachim (62')
FT(HT: 0-2)
Bergkamp (14', 45')

On this day: Arsenal spurn two-goal lead at Aston Villa

Seventeen years ago today, a brace from Dion Dublin helped Aston Villa to recover from two goals down to beat Arsenal.

Villa Park was a ground that Arsenal did not exactly enjoy visiting during the 1998-99 campaign.

It was the venue for their FA Cup semi-final against Manchester United, when a wayward pass from Patrick Vieira was punished in emphatic style by Ryan Giggs, who sent the 10-man Red Devils through to Wembley by scoring arguably the competition's best ever goal.

Earlier in the campaign and 17 years ago today, Arsene Wenger's men made the same trip to take on Aston Villa in a Premier League encounter.

Dion Dublin of Aston Villa beats David Seaman of Arsenal to score the winner in the FA Carling Premiership match at Villa Park in Birmingham, England. Villa won 3-2.© Getty Images

John Gregory's Villa had made an impressive start to the campaign and knew that a win over the Gunners would send them top of the table. However, despite having gone into the contest on a winless run of four matches, it seemed when the whistle was blown for half time, Arsenal were going to cruise to victory.

They broke the deadlock with 14 minutes on the clock after Freddie Ljungberg and Nicolas Anelka won duels in the air. The latter released Dennis Bergkamp and the Dutchman fired the bouncing ball beyond the reach of Michael Oakes in the home goal.

Arsenal's front players then combined again just moments before the break as their lead was doubled. Anelka scampered to the byline, from where he cut the ball back for Bergkamp to squeeze his low shot inside Oakes's near post.

But, whatever Gregory said to his players during the 15-minute interval should have been bottled and put up for sale because Villa looked a completely different side after the restart.

The arrears were reduced in the 62nd minute when substitute Stan Collymore rose highest to flick the ball into the path of Lee Hendrie, who had advanced into the Arsenal penalty area. Rather than shoot, the midfielder squared a pass for Julian Joachim and the pint-sized striker beat David Seaman with the outside of his right boot.

Three minutes later Joachim turned provider as parity was restored. It was his cross that found Alan Thompson and while the winger's shot was off target, an alert and unmarked Dion Dublin was on hand to turn the ball in from close range.

Stan Collymore and Allan Thompson of Aston Villa congratulate team-mate and goal scorer Dion Dublin during the FA Carling Premiership match against Arsenal played at Villa Park in Birmingham, England. The match finished in a dramatic 3-2 win for Aston Vil© Getty Images

Summer signing Dublin then went on to be the Villa hero seven minutes from time when the comeback was completed. Arsenal defender Martin Keown misjudged the flight of Thompson's corner and after he had controlled the ball, Dublin smashed a half-volley into the roof of Seaman's net.

As the game drew to a close Dublin had the chance to score his third goal of the afternoon, only to send his shot when well placed over the crossbar. It mattered, little, though as the hosts held out to win through.

The three goals that Villa scored looked all the more impressive come the end of the campaign because it was the only time that Arsenal had shipped more than one goal in a Premier League fixture.

Villa: Oakes; Watson, Southgate, Ehiogu, Wright; Barry (Collymore), Hendrie, Taylor, Thompson; Dublin, Joachim (Grayson)

Arsenal: Seaman; Dixon, Bould, Keown, Vivas; Ljunberg (Grimandi), Vieira, Parlour (Boa Morte), Overmars; Anelka, Bergkamp

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Arsenal's Thierry Henry celebrates scoring against Aston Villa on December 09, 2001.
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