History

'The Invincibles' go 49 games unbeaten

The Invincibles

Played 49, Won 36, Drawn 13, Lost None.

The Arsenal squad which set a new unbeaten league record between May 2003 and October 2004 will live long in the memory and forever in the history books.

The Gunners' historic run actually began amid the ruins of a failed Premiership bid. Arsenal shook off the disappointment of a home defeat against Leeds which handed Manchester United the title to thrash Southampton 6-1 at Highbury on May 7, 2003. No one had an inkling about what would follow.

"Arsenal clinched the Premiership with a 2-2 draw at Tottenham. Success rarely tasted sweeter."

Arsenal started the 2003/04 campaign in style with four straight wins but almost came unstuck at Old Trafford in game No 8 of their run. Ruud van Nistelrooy's late penalty cannoned off the crossbar and Arsenal escaped with a 0-0 draw. It was the closest shave of the entire 49-game sequence.

For the most part Arsenal brushed aside all-comers home and away. There were memorable wins at Elland Road, Stamford Bridge and Anfield, plus some great goals along the way. Robert Pires' winner at Liverpool in October 2003 was one of the best, while Thierry Henry produced classic after classic.

Arsène Wenger had built a team to compare with any side in Europe. With Sol Campbell and Kolo Toure at the back, Patrick Vieira and Pires in midfield and Henry partnering Dennis Bergkamp up front, Arsenal had too much steel and too much style for their Premiership rivals.

They had bags of character too. After being dumped out of the FA Cup and Champions League in the space of a few days, Arsenal bounced back from a 2-1 half-time deficit against Liverpool at Highbury in April 2004 to win 4-2 and stay on course for the title.

Later that month Arsenal clinched the Premiership with a 2-2 draw at Tottenham. Success rarely tasted sweeter but there was still history to be made: Arsenal duly avoided defeat against Birmingham, Portsmouth, Fulham and Leicester to complete the first unbeaten league campaign since Preston's in the 19th century.

Nottingham Forest's record of 42 games unbeaten had stood for 26 years. Arsenal matched it on August 22, 2004 but so nearly blew their chance, digging deep to turn a 3-1 deficit into a resounding 5-3 victory.

Three days later Henry, Cesc Fabregas and Jose Antonio Reyes were on target as Arsenal wrote themselves into the history books by beating Blackburn at Highbury. Wenger's team extended their record to 49 games, scoring freely and playing some of the finest football the English game has seen.

The run ended in controversy at Old Trafford as a harshly-awarded penalty spurred Manchester United to a 2-0 win in October 2004. But that defeat did nothing to dim Arsenal's achievement. Wenger's 'Invincibles' will never be forgotten.

SEASON 2002/2003

1. Arsenal 6-1 Southampton 07-05-2003

2. Sunderland 0-4 Arsenal 11-05-2003

SEASON 2003/2004

3. Arsenal 2-1 Everton 16-08-2003

4. Middlesbro 0-4 Arsenal 24-08-2003

5. Arsenal 2-0 Aston Villa 27-08-2003

6. Man City 1-2 Arsenal 31-08-2003

7. Arsenal 1-1 Portsmouth 13-09-2003

8. Man Utd 0-0 Arsenal 21-09-2003

9. Arsenal 3-2 Newcastle 26-09-2003

10. Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal 04-10-2003

11. Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea 18-10-2003

12. Charlton 1-1 Arsenal 26-10-2003

13. Leeds 1-4 Arsenal 01-11-2003

14. Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham 08-11-2003

15. Birmingham 0-3 Arsenal 22-11-2003

16. Arsenal 0-0 Fulham 30-11-2003

17. Leicester 1-1 Arsenal 06-12-2003

18. Arsenal 1-0 Blackburn 14-12-2003

19. Bolton 1-1 Arsenal 20-12-2003

20. Arsenal 3-0 Wolves 26-12-2003

21. Southampton 0-1 Arsenal 29-12-2003

22. Everton 1-1 Arsenal 07-01-2004

23. Arsenal 4-1 Middlesbro 10-01-2004

24. Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal 18-01-2004

25. Arsenal 2-1 Man City 01-02-2004

26. Wolves 1-3 Arsenal 07-02-2004

27. Arsenal 2-0 Southampton 10-02-2004

28. Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal 21-02-2004

29. Arsenal 2-1 Charlton 28-02-2004

30. Blackburn 0-2 Arsenal 13-03-2004

31. Arsenal 2-1 Bolton 20-03-2004

32. Arsenal 1-1 Man Utd 28-03-2004

33. Arsenal 4-2 Liverpool 09-04-2004


34. Newcastle 0-0 Arsenal 11-04-2004

35. Arsenal 5-0 Leeds 16-04-2004

36. Tottenham 2-2 Arsenal 25-04-2004

37. Arsenal 0-0 Birmingham 01-05-2004

38. Portsmouth 1-1 Arsenal 04-05-2004

39. Fulham 0-1 Arsenal 09-05-2004

40. Arsenal 2-1 Leicester 15-05-2004

SEASON 2004/2005

41. Everton 1-4 Arsenal 15-08-2004

42. Arsenal 5-3 Middlesbro 22-08-2004

43. Arsenal 3-0 Blackburn 25-08-2004


44. Norwich 1-4 Arsenal 28-08-2004

45. Fulham 0-3 Arsenal 11-09-2004

46. Arsenal 2-2 Bolton 18-09-2004

47. Man City 0-1 Arsenal 25-09-2004

48. Arsenal 4-0 Charlton 02-10-2004

49. Arsenal 3-1 Aston Villa 16-10-2004

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