Dennis Bergkamp's Top 15 Arsenal Moments

James McNicholas@@jamesmcnicholasFeatured ColumnistMarch 3, 2014

Dennis Bergkamp's Top 15 Arsenal Moments

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    Dennis Bergkamp was recently honoured with a statue on the concourse outside the Emirates Stadium. It's a fitting tribute to a player whose performances made him a true legend for the Gunners.

    Bergkamp played 423 games for Arsenal, scoring 120 goals.

    In this piece, we pick out the top 15 moments of his time in London.

Securing European Qualification in 1996

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    Dennis Bergkamp finished his first season at Arsenal by scoring a stunning goal to beat Bolton and secure UEFA Cup Qualification on the final day of the campaign.

    Getting Arsenal to Europe was important, as it allowed the Gunners to build momentum and attract more exciting new players.

The Chip Against Bayer Leverkusen

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    Dennis Bergkamp loved a chip, and this cheeky effort against Bayer Leverkusen might be the best of the lot.

    In the game's closing stages, he swivels on the edge of the box before lofting a beautiful shot over the stranded goalkeeper. It was a majestic goal from The Iceman.

A Beautiful Curled Strike Against Sunderland

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    This goal at Roker Park in the FA Cup Third Round is another stunner.

    Dennis Bergkamp executes an immaculate drag-back and half-pirouette before curling a precise shot in to the far corner. A classic example of his unparalleled combination of technical excellence and imagination.

Final Goal Against West Brom

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    Dennis Bergkamp's final Arsenal goal came on a fitting occasion: the specially-nominated "Dennis Bergkamp Day."

    Although Bergkamp didn't start the match against West Brom, he came on as a substitute to bend home a typically delightful strike.

    Afterwards, manager Arsene Wenger told the BBC:

    He never loses the class and after 10 fantastic years he proves that he can still play.

    It would have been sad not to have brought him on and I felt we were looking for his quality to create the opportunities we needed at the end.

    It was fitting way to say goodbye.

Being Arsenal's Top Goalscorer in 1997-98

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    Although Dennis Bergkamp was never known as a prolific goalscorer, he finished the double-winning 1997-98 season as Arsenal's top scorer with 22 goals in 40 games.

100 Arsenal Goals

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    On 4 January 2003, Dennis Bergkamp scored against Oxford United to rack up his 100th Arsenal goal.

    It was a significant landmark, and makes Bergkamp one of just 17 Gunners Centurions.

Opening the Emirates

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    The first ever match at the Emirates Stadium was played in Dennis Bergkamp's honour.

    The testimonial match saw Arsenal take on an Ajax XI, and featured a host of former greats from both clubs.

The Day of His Signing

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    In some respects, the first day of Dennis Bergkamp's time at Arsenal was the most significant.

    His signing transformed perceptions of the club in England and beyond. Bergkamp's arrival sparked a revolution in style at Arsenal. It was arguably the most important signing in the club's history.

A Mesmerising Assist Against Juventus

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    Dennis Bergkamp was the undisputed king of the assist, and this wonderful delayed pass for Freddie Ljungberg against Juventus might just be the finest he ever produced.

    Bergkamp's understanding with Ljungberg was almost telepathic, although he also provided countless goals for the likes of Nicolas Anelka, Thierry Henry and Robert Pires.

His First Gunners Goal

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    Dennis Bergkamp started his Arsenal career somewhat slowly. He failed to score in each of his first seven Premier League appearances.

    However, on 23 September 1995, he bagged a brace against Southampton. The Dutchman never looked back.

Footballer of the Year

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    In 1997/98, Arsenal won a Premier League and FA Cup double.

    Dennis Bergkamp did a double of his own, winning the PFA Player of the Year and Football Writers' Footballer of the Year.

The Stunning Hat-Trick at Leicester

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    Against Leicester City, Dennis Bergkamp scored one of the greatest hat-tricks in Premier League history.

    The first goal was an effortless strike from the edge of the area right in to the top corner. For his second, he received a pass from Patrick Vieira and lifted the ball neatly over the goalkeeper.

    The third was the best of the lot. He showed sumptuous control to bring down a long pass, skip inside his man, and place the ball beyond the goalkeeper.

    Combined with a strike against Southampton, two of these strikes ensured that Bergkamp held the top three positions in the BBC's Goal of the Month for August 1997.

That Extraordinary Newcasle Goal

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    In March of 2002, Dennis Bergkamp produced his masterpiece. It took place against Newcastle United. He collected a pass from Robert Pires, flicked the ball outside the defender, span in the opposite direction, and met his own flick with a delicate finish in to the bottom corner.

    The strike earned Bergkamp his second Goal of the Season award inside four years.

Becoming Invincible

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    Dennis Bergkamp was a key component of the Arsenal side that went through an entire season unbeaten.

    Fittingly, he created the goal which sealed Arsenal's final match of the campaign, sliding in Patrick Vieira to net the winner against Leicester City.

Becoming Immortal

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    There is no greater honour for a player than being commemorated with a statue. Being cast in bronze ensures that Dennis Bergkamp's memory will be immortal among the Arsenal fans.

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    What was your favourite Bergkamp moment? Let us know below.