The Invincibles - 2003/04

Post your football articles here for other members to read.
Please remember it must be your own work.

The Invincibles - 2003/04

Postby Rockin' Robin » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:18 pm

I wrote a sort of season review for the Invincible season a while ago for this project, thought I might as well post it in here.

The Record:

16.8.03: Arsenal 2-1 Everton (Henry + Pires)
24.8.03: Middlesborough 0-4 Arsenal (Henry + Gilberto + Wiltord [2])
27.8.03: Arsenal 2-0 Aston Villa (Campbell + Henry)
31.8.03: Manchester City 1-2 (Wiltord + Ljungberg)
13.9.03: Arsenal 1-1 Portsmouth (Henry)
21.9.03: Manchester United 0-0 Arsenal
26.9.03: Arsenal 3-2 Newcastle United (Henry [2] + Gilberto)
4.10.03: Liverpool 1-2 Arsenal (Hyypia og + Pires)
18.10.03: Arsenal 2-1 Chelsea (Edu + Henry)
26.10.03: Charlton Athletic 1-1 Arsenal (Henry)
1.11.03: Leeds United 1-4 Arsenal (Henry [2] + Pires + Gilberto)
8.11.03: Arsenal 2-1 Tottenham Hotspur (Pires + Ljungberg)
22.11.03: Birmingham City 0-3 Arsenal (Ljungberg + Bergkamp + Pires)
30.11.03: Arsenal 0-0 Fulham
6.12.03: Leicester City 1-1 Arsenal (Gilberto)
14.12.03: Arsenal 1-0 Blackburn Rovers (Bergkamp)
20.12.03: Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Arsenal (Pires)
26.12.03: Arsenal 3-0 Wolverhampton Wanderers (Craddock og + Henry [2])
29.12.03: Southampton 0-1 Arsenal (Pires)
7.1.04: Everton 1-1 Arsenal (Kanu)
10.1.04: Arsenal 4-1 Middlesborough (Henry + Queudrue og + Pires + Ljungberg)
18.1.04: Aston Villa 0-2 Arsenal (Henry [2])
1.2.04: Arsenal 2-1 Manchester City (Tarnat og + Henry)
7.2.04: Wolverhampton Wanderers 1-3 Arsenal (Bergkamp + Henry + Toure)
10.2.04: Arsenal 2-0 Southampton (Henry [2])
21.2.04: Chelsea 1-2 Arsenal (Vieira + Edu)
28.2.04: Arsenal 2-1 Charlton Athletic (Pires + Henry)
13.3.04: Blackburn Rovers 0-2 Arsenal (Henry + Pires)
20.3.04: Arsenal 2-1 Bolton Wanderers (Pires + Bergkamp)
28.3.04: Arsenal 1-1 Manchester United (Henry)
9.4.04: Arsenal 4-2 Liverpool (Henry [3] + Pires)
11.4.04: Newcastle United 0-0 Arsenal
16.4.04: Arsenal 5-0 Leeds United (Pires + Henry [4])
25.4.04: Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Arsenal (Vieira + Pires)
1.5.04: Arsenal 0-0 Birmingham City
4.5.04: Portsmouth 1-1 Arsenal (Reyes)
9.5.04: Fulham 0-1 Arsenal (Reyes)
15.5.04: Arsenal 2-1 Leicester City (Henry + Vieira)
P 38 W 26 D 12 L0.

The Season Review

The season started well for Arsenal, with four straight wins against Everton, Middlesborough, Aston Villa and Manchester City. Thierry Henry started the season on fire, with three goals in the first three games. He then turned provider against Manchester City, showing he can both score and make goals.

The French contingent at Arsenal was stronger than ever, with players like Henry, Robert Pires and Patrick Vieira all linking together superbly. For Arsenal's fifth game, they were behind until the fortieth minute, when an at least questionable penalty was awarded when Pires went down. Henry personified coolness, when after being told to re-take his penalty, he went the same way and showed the nerve of steel.

The game after that, Arsenal were at Old Trafford. The Gunners had only just been thumped 3-0 at home by Inter Milan, so a confidence boost was needed. Despite not getting that, Ruud van Nistelrooy missed a last minute penalty, sparking wild celebrations by the Arsenal players, especially Martin Keown. The game finished 0-0, and five days later they would host Newcastle United at Highbury.

Arsenal didn't disappoint, and neither did Newcastle, putting up a stern fight. Arsenal won the five goal thriller 3-2, sealed by a penalty that Thierry Henry calmly chipped down the middle of the goal. Arsenal were then against Liverpool at Anfield, after reaching October without having lost a game. A stunning strike by Robert Pires won the game 2-1 for Arsenal, and they marched past the Reds.

Another big game after that: Chelsea at home. Another two-nil win, courtesy of two lucky goals. Edu scored with a deflected free kick five minutes in, but three minutes later Chelsea were level, thanks to Hernan Crespo. After seventy five minutes, Carlo Cudicini let Robert Pires' shot slip through his hands, and Henry, despite not knowing much about it, bundled home the winner.

Henry's next goal was against Charlton a week later, in much more astounding fashion. 1-0 down to a controversial Paulo Di Canio penalty, Henry stepped up to the plait, curling home a free kick in the top corner. What made it more special was, he placed it right next to the 'keeper, who still had no chance. Dean Kiely was absolutely shell shocked by the accuracy of Henry's free kick, and the game finished 1-1.

Another away game next was Leeds at Elland Road. Arsenal were at their fluent, free-flowing best, thumping four goals past an experienced defence. Henry was again at centre stage, scoring two goals to put Leeds to the sword. The London derby was next, and Arsenal didn't disappoint the Arsenal fans who turned up at Highbury, beating Tottenham 2-1, Pires and Ljungberg the scorers.

The next game saw Dennis Bergkamp take up the captain's armband in Patrick Vieira's absence, and he helped Arsenal on their way to a 13th game unbeaten in the league, scoring either side of Ljungberg's and Pires' goals to make it a 3-0 win over Birmingham. A 0-0 draw with Fulham at home followed, before Craig Hignett scored with the last touch of the game for Leicester to rescue a 1-1 draw with the Gunners.

Blackburn then made the trip to Highbury next, and Dennis Bergkamp scored the only goal to make it 16 games without a loss. Arsene Wenger's men then thumped Wolves three-nil at home, thanks to an own goal by Jody Craddock and not to mention two good goals by, yep, you guessed it, Thierry Henry.

Arsenal then swept Southampton aside, winning 1-0 at St Mary's to ensure that they were the only team in all four divisions to remain unbeaten. A 1-1 draw with Everton followed, Kanu getting the goal, and also showing that Arsenal had goal scorers everywhere you looked. The next game only served to confirm that, and to give Arsenal a huge confidence boost; they thumped Middlesborough 4-1 at Highbury, with the usual suspects getting on the score sheet; Henry, Pires and Ljungberg.

A wonderful moment took place in the last minute; Henry pulling off an audacious nutmeg on Danny Mills at the corner flag. Mills had the ball, shielding it from Henry. The Frenchman managed to get a leg round Mills, and flick the ball through his legs. Mills stood there, bemused and yet in awe of what he had just witnessed. This was a player with all the flair you could want.

Henry showed more of that cheek in the next game against Aston Villa, taking a free kick quickly while Thomas Sorensen was still organising his wall, and while Juan Pablo Angel was tying his laces. Henry's and Arsenal's second was a penalty, Henry showing that set pieces were one of his many strengths.

Next on the list was Manchester City at home, and a 2-1 win made sure of 23 games unbeaten in the Premier League. Henry's goal was absolutely sensational, rain was pouring down, and Henry cut inside from the left and unleashed a hammer blow on the goal. Surprisingly, the net didn't rip. Arsenal saw off Wolves 3-1 next, Bergkamp, Henry and Toure getting the goals.

Arsenal had made it unbeaten to February by then, and against Southampton the Thierry Henry goal machine was only on medium, and he put two past Antti Niemi. Henry's first was his 100th in the Premier League, and he was made player of the month for January too. Arsenal came out winners again against Chelsea, Vieira and Edu scoring this time, despite a first-minute goal by Icelandic Eidur Gudjohnsen.

Arsenal then produced a scintillating first half display, scoring twice in four minutes to be 2-0 at half time, although it could have been more. Jensen provided a scare for Arsenal in the second half, but Arsenal's team unity made sure they pulled through unscathed. A trademark Henry free kick and a late Robert Pires goal beat Blackburn at Ewood Park, and two vintage finishes by Pires and Bergkamp gave Arsenal a 2-1 win over Bolton at home.

The next game was a massive one; Manchester United at Old Trafford. Thierry Henry scored in trademark fashion; a spectacular long-range strike, before Louis Saha equalised with 86 minutes on the clock. Arsenal's next game was probably the most important game of the season, barring the game when they won the title. They had just been knocked out of the FA Cup by Manchester United, and lost out in the Champions League quarter-finals thanks to a late Wayne Bridge goal that saw Chelsea through. Now Liverpool were Arsenal's opponents, and Arsenal didn't disappoint the 38,000 strong crowd at Highbury. Sami Hyypia had put Liverpool ahead, before Thierry Henry had put Arsenal level. Michael Owen scored before half-time to leave Arsenal in need of inspiration in the second half.

They got it. Robert Pires levelled it at 2-2 on 49 minutes, and Thierry Henry weaved through the Liverpool defence to slot home to make it 3-2. He completed his hat trick on 78 minutes, with a lucky break after his shot was saved by Jerzy Dudek. The ball rebounded back off the Frenchman into the net, to send Arsenal fans into crazed celebrations. Their season was back on track. Two days later and Arsenal travelled to St James' Park, and were relatively pleased with a 0-0 draw with Newcastle.

And then came Leeds, and Arsenal, especially Thierry Henry, turned on the style. Robert Pires scored early on, before Henry took up the mantle, scoring four times in forty minutes. It was safe to say that Henry was the best player in the world, although at the end of the season it seemed most people begged to differ; Henry came in second to Ronaldinho who, to be fair, had had a pretty amazing season too, in the World Player of the Year awards. The next game was Tottenham away; Arsenal only needed a draw to clinch the title at White Hart Lane. It seemed the perfect scenario... even more so when Vieira scored after just three minutes, and Robert Pires scored after thirty-five.

Spurs staged a late comeback, but didn't do enough to prevent Arsenal from winning the league. All that remained on Arsene Wenger's to do list was to stay unbeaten for five more games. Could they do it? You bet they could. They went on to draw nil nil with Birmingham at home, draw 1-1 with Portsmouth at Fratton Park thanks to Jose Reyes' 20 yard strike, and then Reyes struck again, pouncing on Edwin van der Sar's indecisive footwork.

On the final day, Arsenal seemed to have blown it, after Highbury saw Paul Dickov put Leicester one nil up, but Henry and co. weren't going to have that now, were they? Henry scored a penalty, and twenty minutes later, Patrick Vieira rounded Ian Walker to roll home the winner - cue the wild celebrations from the Arsenal faithful. Arsenal came close to an historic treble, but will still have been mighty pleased about winning the league title, and the circumstances in which it was won.
User avatar
Rockin' Robin
Dennis Bergkamp
Dennis Bergkamp
Posts: 6450
Joined: Tue Oct 28, 2008 9:23 am
Location: Hampshire, England

Re: The Invincibles - 2003/04

Postby CynicalGooner » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:22 pm

I miss them
User avatar
Arsène Wenger
Arsène Wenger
Posts: 14975
Joined: Mon Aug 17, 2009 4:43 am

Re: The Invincibles - 2003/04

Postby Massa » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:23 pm

At least we still have Campbell!
Predictions League 2012-13, 2013-14 Winner
Predictions League 2012-13, 2013-14 Winner
Posts: 36454
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:28 pm

Re: The Invincibles - 2003/04

Postby IMF » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:30 pm

Show the spoiler

User avatar
Dennis Bergkamp
Dennis Bergkamp
Posts: 7855
Joined: Thu Jul 23, 2009 11:02 am
Location: Chigwell, formerly Isle of Dogs, formerly Redbridge

Re: The Invincibles - 2003/04

Postby Massa » Tue Apr 06, 2010 2:31 pm

Oooo baby
Predictions League 2012-13, 2013-14 Winner
Predictions League 2012-13, 2013-14 Winner
Posts: 36454
Joined: Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:28 pm

Re: The Invincibles - 2003/04

Postby SE13 » Tue Apr 06, 2010 4:24 pm

IMF wrote:Image

A picture of Massa?


Please note that my comments are my own view, and not that of GoonersWorld. Everything I write is subject to © 2007-2013, and is my own work unless quoted otherwise.
User avatar
Rest in Peace
Rest in Peace
Posts: 38139
Joined: Thu Jul 26, 2007 8:12 am
Location: Lincoln

Return to Article zone

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 2 guests