Arsenal FC and AC Milan got together for a charity game in London last night with legends of the past featuring for both sides. In the game, Nigerian Nwankwo Kanu rolled back the years to score two headers and once from the spot to bag a commendable hat-trick. Arsenal legend Robert Pires scored the fourth after combining with Fredrick Ljungberg down the flank. Italian veteran Christian Vieri netted a brace for Milan Glorie.
The two sides played in front of a sold out crowd in North London with all the proceeds moving to the Arsenal Foundation, a trust that works with less fortunate children to help uplift them. Legends like Paolo Maldini, Paolo Di Canio, Dida and Christian Vieri turned up for the Italians while Marc Overmars, Robert Pires, Fredrick Ljungberg, Martin Keown and Emmanuel Petit were among the legends who answered Arsenal’s call for this match.
The scoring began when Kanu managed to get on the end of a Petit cross to head the ball in calmly in the first half. Christian Vieri leveled things up on the stroke of half time with a powerful shot past former England keeper David Seaman. Kanu scored again when he headed a Luis Boa Morte free-kick. And then he converted a spot-kick after Massimo Ambrosini brought down Robert Pires in the box. Kanu got his hat-trick, sending Brazilian legend Dida the wrong way.
Pires then combined with Ljungberg, who seems like a better crosser than Theo Walcott or Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, when the Frenchman got on the end of a cross from the Swede to tap in the fourth goal for his side.
Christian Vieri got to take a late penalty for Milan which German Jens Lehmann saved but could do nothing about the rebound as the match ended 4-2.
Amidst all the goals, Paolo Di Canio and Nigel Winterburn found time to recreate a famous incident from 1998 when Di Canio, playing then for Sheffield Wednesday, clashed with Arsenal man Martin Keown. The Italian then went on to push the referee in dissent before being sent off and berated by Winterburn. This time around, it was much more amicable with Di Canio and referee Howard Webb sharing a laugh over Winterburn’s antics.