Minute Detail | 46-60


We pick out a goal from every minute of our Premier League history, including some of the greatest in our history, as well some lesser-remembered strikes.

By Josh James


Robert Pires

Arsenal 6-1 Southampton

May 7, 2003

The game that started the all-time record 49-match unbeaten run in the Premier League.

We had raced into a 5-0 lead inside 25 minutes, with 20-year-old Jermaine Pennant claiming a hat-trick in that time. Not to be outdone though, Robert Pires completed his own treble in the opening seconds of the second half, and what a goal it was.

Giovanni van Bronckhorst released Pires with a threaded through-ball, and the Frenchman was suddenly behind the beleaguered Saints defence again. With just the keeper to beat, and 25 yards of open grass to run into, Pires instead elected to hit his shot first time, lobbing Paul Jones perfectly, curling his shot under the bar.

Another moment of genius from the Frenchman. The only surprise is that Arsenal didn't add to the tally in the remaining 44 minutes of the game.


Christopher Wreh

Bolton Wanderers 0-1 Arsenal

March 31, 1998

A massive goal in the title race, and this time it was one of the supporting cast who came up clutch.

Heading up to the Reebok Stadium on a Tuesday night, we were still six points off the pace in the Premiership, but this was one of three games in hand we had over Manchester United. The squad was depleted though, with both Dennis Bergkamp and Ian Wright unavailable. However, cometh the hour (or rather cometh the 47th minute), cometh the man.

It was Liberian striker Christopher Wreh who answered his manager's call to settle this game, with an absolute screamer from 20 yards. Firing home right footed in off the bar, and following up with a backflip celebration.

The goal was a real bolt from the blue, and only his second strike for the club. His first had also been the only goal of a 1-0 win over Wimbledon, while just five days after this beauty against Bolton, he scored the decisive goal in our FA Cup semi-final against Wolves.


Thierry Henry

Arsenal 4-0 Charlton Athletic

October 2, 2004

Another work of art from Thierry Henry, who was at the peak of his powers.

He received the ball, back to goal, on the corner of the six-yard box from Jose Antonio-Reyes. Jon Fortune was tightly marking the striker, in fact he was pulling his shirt and not allowing him to turn. Thierry didn’t need to.

Instead, he controlled the ball, then in the blink of an eye, impudently backheeled his shot, through Fortune’s legs and past Dean Kiely into the bottom far corner. It was outrageous in the extreme, a piece of rarely-seen improvisation that had the North Bank once again lauding the main man. 

“It’s another one to put in the portfolio of astonishing Thierry Henry goals,” was how commentator Martin Tyler described it.


Robin van Persie

Charlton ATHLETIC 1-2 Arsenal

September 30, 2006

When Emmanuel Eboue pulled his cross back from the right wing, Robin van Persie is still a good seven or eight yards outside the Charlton area. A matter of seconds later, the ball is in the back of the net and the fans inside The Valley have just witnessed one of the all-time great Premier League volleys.

While Eboue's high cross was airborne, the Dutchman arrived at pace to meet it, springing up to get his left boot to the ball, and fire it home beyond Scott Carson into the roof of the net from 20 yards.

It was an incredible display of skill and ingenuity, executed perfectly; an absolute wonder strike. What's more, this was the winning goal, after van Persie himself had equalised Darren Bent's opener. 

"It was the goal of a lifetime," Arsene Wenger said afterwards. "I feel the cross from Emmanuel Eboue was fantastic. Robin took the ball at full pace and full power and his technique and his movement were perfect. It looked like it would go over the bar so when it came down and into the corner it was unbelievable."


Thierry Henry

Arsenal 4-2 Liverpool

April 9, 2004

The turning point in the Invincibles season. Over the preceding six days, we had crashed out of both the FA Cup and Champions League to end any hopes of a treble, and now, early in the second half of our 32nd league game of the season, Liverpool were threatening to ruin our chances in the Premier League too. Thierry Henry had other ideas.

The team's talisman, leading scorer and arguably best player in the world at that time decided to take matters into his own hands, and how. Picking up possession in midfield just inside the Liverpool half, the visitors had a good shape, with 10 men back, happy to defend their position at 2-2, having just conceded via Robert Pires.

You sense they could have had twice as many men on the pitch and it would have made little difference. Henry headed straight for goal, wriggling past Dietmar Hamann and putting him on his backside before breaking into the area. There he feinted past Jamie Carragher, sending him to the turf as well, before opening up his body for a trademark right foot finish low into the corner beyond Jerzy Dudek. Highbury exploded. The title was back on. The unbeaten season was back on. And Thierry Henry - who would later complete a hat-trick - had shown once again that he was untouchable in English football. 

“Nothing makes sense," Henry said recently. "When you look at it, why am I there with Gilberto Silva? I don’t even know. All I know is that when I had the ball, I saw the goal. That stadium had a heart and it wasn’t beating.

“I can relive the heart of that stadium through that goal, when I felt it going again. It went back beating again. When I watch my goals, I never really get goosebumps, but with that one even watching it now, I do get goosebumps."


Granit Xhaka

Crystal Palace 2-2 Arsenal

October 28, 2018

The angle was against him, but Granit Xhaka's power and precision was such that he was able to arrow this unforgettable free-kick into the top corner.

The kick was awarded on the right-hand edge of the box, usually crossing territory for most set pieces. But our midfielder had other ideas.

He wound up his powerful left foot, and picked out the top corner - over the wall and across the keeper to level up this London derby at 1-1.

It was the only place he could have squeezed the ball in, but the speed at which he struck it gave Wayne Hennessey no chance in the Palace goal.


Laurent Koscielny

Newcastle United 0-1 Arsenal

May 19, 2013

The goal that assured Champions League football on the final day of the 2012/13 season.

It was always going to be a nervy affair at St James' Park, knowing that any slip up could be capitalised on by Tottenham, who needed to better our result to pip us to fourth place, and it was a close-run thing throughout the afternoon.

The only goal came early in the second half. Theo Walcott sent in a free-kick from the right, which Lukas Podolski flicked on in to the danger area. Five yards from goal, Laurent Koscielny acrobatically met the ball on the volley, diverting it past Steve Harper.

Tottenham did win late on against Sunderland, meaning Koscielny's 52nd-minute goal was crucial - the second season in a row the defender came up trumps on the final day. And so we sealed our 16th consecutive Champions League qualification, and finished above our north London rivals for the 18th season in a row.


Aaron Ramsey

Norwich City 0-2 Arsenal

May 11, 2014 

Our top four place was already assured going into the final day, and we had an FA Cup final to look forward the following week while the hosts were all-but confirmed as relegated.

So this game seemed to be lacking in a certain lustre, until Aaron Ramsey broke the deadlock with this thumping volley.

Six days after this game Ramsey would cap a superb individual season with the winning goal in the Cup final, set up by Olivier Giroud. And the two warmed up for Wembley by combining well at Carrow Road.

The Frenchman took the ball just inside the top left hand corner of the penalty before standing up a deep cross to Ramsey. He adjusted his body shape, watched the flight of the cross the whole way, then smashed a right-footed volley back across goal and into the opposite top corner.


Nicklas Bendtner

Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool

April 5, 2008

A game sandwiched between the two legs of the Champions League quarter-final with Liverpool, this was still an important match in its own right, as we tried to hunt down Manchester United at the top of the table.

Peter Crouch put the visitors ahead late in the first half, but Nicklas Bendtner powered in a header of his own to earn a point.

Cesc Fabregas curled in a free-kick and, with Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina rooted to his line, Bendtner rose to power home from close range.

It was only the third league goal the striker - still just 20 years old at the time - had netted for us, but he was starting to carve a reputation as a real threat in the air from set pieces.


Olivier Giroud

Arsenal 3-1 West Ham

April 15, 2014

A striker known more for his dangerous left foot, this was one of the best goals Olivier Giroud scored with his right, but he needed his favoured left boot to set it up.

Thomas Vermaelen floated a long ball over the defence towards Giroud on the edge of the six-yard box, where he was being tightly marked by two defenders.

As the ball dropped out of the air, Giroud cushioned the ball perfectly with his left, killing it dead and allowing him to smash home with his other foot, beating Adrian at the near post with the speed and power of the shot.

"It was a decisive one," Olivier said. "I had a big duel with Andy Carroll, I think he thought I’d jump with him but I took a great first touch and then it was easier to finish with my right foot… which is a bit rare! But I can use it sometimes and put it between the keepers’ legs. It might be some of the best control."


Bukayo Saka

Arsenal 3-1 Chelsea

December 26, 2020 

"Of course man, he was off his line!" was Bukayo's reaction when asked whether he meant this audacious lob over Edouard Mendy at the Emirates. By now we shouldn't be doubting him.

This was only Bukayo's second Premier League goal at home, but he was fast becoming one of the most exciting talents in the whole league - this goal only added to the hype.

Already leading 2-0, Bukayo put the result beyond doubt before the hour mark, looping his right-footed shot over the keeper and into the far top corner from just inside the penalty area.

Chelsea stood off him as he received the ball from Emile Smith Rowe, and the winger didn't need a second invitation to shoot, sending the ball in off the upright, and leaving the defence stunned.


Sylvain Wiltord

Manchester United 0-1 Arsenal

May 8, 2002

The goal that wrapped up the league title in 2002, scored by one of the unsung heroes in a squad of superstars.

Just four days after winning the FA Cup final 2-0 against Chelsea in Cardiff, we headed to Old Trafford knowing a draw would be enough to clinch a third double for the club. This was our 37th league game of the season - we had scored in each of the previous 36 - but it was goalless against our closest rivals at half-time.

On 57 minutes Sylvain Wiltord received a pass from Ray Parlour on the halfway line. He ran forward before slipping a pass into the onrushing Freddie Ljungberg. The in-form Swede had netted seven times in his previous seven games, but this time his low shot was parried by Fabien Barthez.

Wiltord had continued his own run after making the pass, and the loose bell fell at his left foot, just outside the six-yard box. The Frenchman then slid his first time shot under his compatriot, to send the 'champions' section' at Old Trafford into raptures.


Mesut Ozil

Arsenal 3-3 Liverpool

December 22, 2017    

With a finish that had become the German's trademark, Mesut Ozil's 'chop' shot put us 3-2 up against Liverpool, raising the roof of the Emirates.

Philippe Coutinho and Mo Salah had put the visitors 2-0, but within just six minutes of Salah's strike, we incredibly found ourselves ahead. Alexis Sanchez began the comeback on 53 minutes before a Granit Xhaka screamer levelled things on 56. Then two minutes later came the pick of the crop.

Ozil picked up possession midway in the Liverpool half, then fed the ball into Alexandre Lacazette just inside the box. His backheeled return pass was right into Ozil's path.

As Simon Mignolet narrowed the angle, Ozil lifted his shot over him, by appearing to strike down on the ball, making it pop up off the surface and completely deceive the keeper. It was worthy of winning the game, but Liverpool later struck an equaliser to earn a point.


Aaron Ramsey

Arsenal 2-0 Liverpool

November 2, 2013    

Another cracker against Liverpool at the Emirates, scored by a player who was at the very peak of his powers.

Already a goal to the good courtesy of a Santi Cazorla strike in the first half, Aaron Ramsey sealed the win just before the hour, smacking home a dropping ball on the half volley from outside the area, in to the top corner.

He caught it sweetly with the outside of his right foot, to arc the ball away from the despairing Simon Mignolet.

It was Rambo's 10th goal of the campaign - he would go on to score 16 in all competitions that season - and the win also fired us five points clear at the top of the table after 10 games.


Robert Pires

Aston Villa 1-2 Arsenal

March 17, 2002

An all-time classic Premier League goal, all starting when Freddie Ljungberg fired a fairly hopeful-looking long pass from his own half for Robert Pires to gallop on to.

He had George Boateng for company as Pires controlled the bouncing ball, using his first touch to flick it up and over the midfielder, taking him out of the picture completely.

With the ball still bouncing, now into the penalty area, Pires used his second touch to delicately lift his shot over Peter Schmeichel in the Villa goal, and drop it just under the crossbar.

"That is an outstanding goal, from a magnificent player, enjoying the season of his life," was how commentator Martin Tyler described it. His co-commentator Andy Gray's own contribution is iconic "I'm sorry, I'm applauding," he said, audibly clapping into the microphone. "That is genius."

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