Double Double - Wenger does it again

Sylvain Wiltord

Sylvain Wiltord will never be regarded as an Arsenal legend, but he'll never be forgotten after scoring the goal which clinched the Double at Old Trafford.

The 2001/02 title race was closely-fought and full of twists and turns, but Arsenal pulled clear of Manchester United and Liverpool by winning their final 13 Premiership fixtures.

Few begrudged Arsène Wenger's side its success. After all, Arsenal had lit up the Premiership with their dynamic quick-passing game, scoring in every single league game en route to the title. That was a testament to their manager's attacking ethos.

"A 'Champions Section' banner took pride of place in the away end at Old Trafford."

For once, the FA Cup Final was played before the climax of the Premiership season. Arsenal beat Chelsea 2-0 with goals from Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg and headed to Old Trafford four days later in high spirits, needing just a point to complete the Club's third Double.

The omens were good. Wenger's side were unbeaten on their travels in the Premiership that season and had never lost in their new gold away kit. Those records remained intact on a famous night in Manchester, despite the absence of Tony Adams, Thierry Henry, Dennis Bergkamp and Player of the Year Robert Pires.

Arsenal controlled much of the game and it was no surprise when the visitors broke the deadlock 12 minutes into the second half.

Parlour won possession and fed Ljungberg, who broke into the penalty area before firing a low shot towards goal. Fabien Barthez parried but Wiltord, so often overshadowed by the exploits of his compatriot Henry, slammed in the rebound. It secured Wiltord's place in Arsenal's history and wrapped up the Double.

The goal sparked wild celebrations in the pubs around north London where Arsenal fans had gathered to watch on big screens. A 'Champions Section' banner took pride of place in the away end at Old Trafford and, after the final whistle blew, the gold-shirted Gunners sprinted over to their fans to enjoy one of the proudest moments in the Club's glittering history.


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