The 2003/04 season will be forever remembered for Arsenal’s unbeaten PL triumph. The Gunners scored 73 goals and conceded just 26 goals throughout the season as their defense stood out throughout the season. In this article we will re-live five memorable moments from Arsenal’s 2003/04 PL season.
Note:- The moments have been arranged from the start to the end of the season
#5 Van Nistelrooy’s misery
90 – In September 2003, Manchester United’s Ruud van Nistelrooy missed a last-minute penalty at Old Trafford as 10-man @Arsenal escaped with a point and their unbeaten record intact. Battle. #OptaPLSeasons pic.twitter.com/tdq6uNXuNYAdvertisement
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) April 7, 2020
In the late 90’s and early 2000’s, Arsenal against Manchester United was the box office draw of the season. The reason being that both these sides had universally respected managers and a global fanbase. In the 2003/04 season, these two teams first clashed at Old Trafford. Robert Pires and Wiltord warmed the bench as Wenger preferred Ray Parlour and Ljunberg in wide areas.
In the 80th minute, with the score still 0-0, Vieira was sent off for attempting to kick out at Ruud Van Nistelrooy. 10 minutes later, United were awarded a penalty but Nistelrooy’s shot hit the post. Arsenal players surrounded Nistelrooy at full time and the game descended into chaos. Due to this incident, the game is infamously referred to as the “Battle of Old Trafford”.
#4 Comeback at Anfield
12 days after the chaos at Old Trafford, Arsenal travelled to Anfield to face Liverpool without their injured captain Vieira. Harry Kewell opened the scoring for the hosts in the 14th minute. An unfortunate own goal from Sami Hyypia levelled the scoreline in the 31st minute. Liverpool sealed the comeback in the second half, courtesy of a brilliant curler from Robert Pires.
#3 Victory at the Bridge
By February 2004, Arsenal were leading the PL title race and were in contention for a continental treble. They visited Stamford Bridge on February 21 to take on their closest title rivals Chelsea. Eidor Gudjohnsen opened the scoring just 27 seconds from kick-off to put some pressure on Arsenal. However, the Gunners responded well as their captain Patrick Vieira equalized in the 15th minute.
A corner taken by Henry resulted in the winning goal by the current technical director Edu. Three points against a Chelsea team comprising the likes of Terry and Makelele is never easy. Thus, it deserves a place in the list of memorable moments from Arsenal’s 2003/04 PL season.
#2 Henry hat-trick versus Liverpool
Thierry Henry at his prime was simply the best forward in the world and his hat-trick against Liverpool on April 9, 2004 is proof of his ability. Sami Hyypia once again opened the scoring for Liverpool but Henry equalized with a well composed finish in the 31st minute. A defense-splitting pass from Gerrard and a fine finish from Owen gave Liverpool the lead again.
In the second half, Pires scored Arsenal’s second after a sumptuous pass from Ljunberg. Henry scored a brilliant solo goal to seal the game, turning Carragher inside-out in the process. The noise at Highbury was deafening as Henry scored his hat-trick after a well timed run.
#1 Title triumph at White Hart Lane
The title triumph at their arch rivals’ home definitely tops the list of memorable moments from Arsenal’s 2003/04 PL season. Arsenal went into the game with the knowledge that a draw is enough for them to seal the title. Skipper Vieira opened the scoring for Arsenal early in the game and Pires doubled the lead minutes later.
Harry Redknapp scored a screamer in the second half to breathe some life into the game. Robbie Keane scored a penalty deep into stoppage time but it was too late to stop Arsenal from winning the league comfortably.