In our new feature, we recall a clash between Arsenal and Manchester United at the peak of the two clubs’ rivalry. A certain French genius ensured the Gunners remained invincible.
Arsenal 1 Manchester United 1
During the 2003/2004 season Arsenal were very much the team to beat. Since the start of the season the Gunners had won 24 games and drawn seven. Manchester United were one of the few sides which had managed to stop Arsenal snatching all three points when the two giants had met earlier in the season at Old Trafford. Sir Alex Ferguson and United were now looking to put a cork in the Arsenal machine and grab a win in London, but Thierry Henry had other ideas…
The Red Devils set the tone early on with Paul Scholes trying his luck from outside the box, but he failed to get proper contact on his shot. Later, infamous midfielder Eric Djemba-Djemba did manage to test Jens Lehman in the Arsenal goal with a beautifully struck volley.
After the break France superstar Henry decided to take matters into his own hands, unleashing a 30 yard effort which flew past Roy Caroll to register his nineteenth goal of the season.
The Gunners sat back after the goal to protect their lead but paid the price as Louis Saha equalised just four minutes before the final whistle.
After the draw Arsenal went on to secure the league title, winning four more game and drawing another four as well, writing themselves into the history books of the Premier League as The Invincibles. Their unbeaten run stretched from May 7, 2003, to October 16, 2004, before being eventually ended by Ferguson’s United.
Arsenal: Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Clichy, Pires, Vieira, Edu, Ljungberg, Reyes, Henry.
Manchester United: Carroll, Gary Neville, Brown, Silvestre, O’Shea, Fletcher, Djemba-Djemba, Keane, Scholes, Giggs, van Nistelrooy.
What they said
Sir Alex Ferguson: “We’re 12 points behind Arsenal and they’ll go on and win the league, I’m sure of that.
“They are playing with great determination and they should win it now with just eight games to go.
“We’ll take a lot out of the game. We played with great tenacity and intensity during the match. Arsenal had one or two better chances on the counter in the first half.
“Once we were aware of that we dealt with it and it was going to take a special goal to get them in front – and Thierry Henry’s was a special goal. It was a great hit.”