Monday 23 September 2013
Premierleague.com rifles through the annals of the Barclays Premier League to find significant events.
Arsenal’s summer signing Dennis Bergkamp got off the mark in spectacular style with two excellent goals in a 4-2 victory over Southampton at Highbury Stadium.
The Dutchman arrived from Italian giants Inter Milan in June 1995, much to the excitement of the Arsenal fans, and he opened his account for the North Londoners with a decisive contribution in his seventh Barclays Premier League appearance for the club.
Even though his class and panache on the pitch had been evident since his arrival, the former Ajax star celebrated with a sense of relief as he expertly volleyed a Glenn Helder cross into the far corner against Saints to open the scoring.
Centre-back Tony Adams doubled the hosts’ advantage but Saints pegged the Gunners back to 2-2 in the first half, thanks to goals from Gordon Watson and Ken Monkou.
Bergkamp rounded off a man-of-the-match display by skipping past a couple of challenges and firing an unstoppable strike in to the top corner from 25 yards to make it 3-2 with 22 minutes left on the clock. Ian Wright rounded off the win but it was the Dutchman who set the tone for a hugely successful 11-year period as an Arsenal player.
He won three Barclays Premier League titles following Arsene Wenger's arrival as manager in 1996, the last of which came with Arsenal’s 'Invincibles', who went unbeaten for the entire 2003/04 campaign on the way to winning the title.
The Netherlands international scored 87 goals in 315 Premier League appearances before calling it a day at the end of the 2005/06 season. His testimonial was the first match to be played at the newly built Emirates Stadium in 2006, a tribute to a man who became a cult hero at the North London club.
To see his two goals against Southampton in September 1995, as well as a host of other highlights during his career in England, watch the Cult Hero video above.