Tag Archives: Arsenal

Great Goals: Denny Landzaat – Arsenal vs. WIGAN ATHLETIC (February 2007)

Arsenal’s first year at the Emirates Stadium saw the club concede the first goal of matches to many of their opponents. Few were better though than the strike Denny Landzaat produced in February 2007.

It looked like Arsenal had cleared the danger when the Wigan attackers lost possession in a promising position. The ball fell to Landzaat and no-one expected him to produce a shot on goal, let alone one that would hit the back of the net.

The defensive midfielder took a touch and smashed a shot that flew past Jens Lehmann and into the back of the net. Arsenal did their usual late show that season and won 2-1, so ultimately, this goal counted for nothing. Nevertheless, it was a wonderful moment for Landzaat and one of the best goals seen in the early days at the Emirates.

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Iconic Moments: Jensen scores…at last! (December 1994)

Arsenal midfielder John Jensen developed a cult reputation. He joined the club only weeks after his spectacular goal in the 1992 European Championship final playing for Denmark. He was seen as a replacement for the popular David Rocastle, who was moving to reigning champions Leeds United.

Although he won the FA Cup and European Cup Winners’ Cup whilst at Highbury, he became more known for his inability to find the back of the net. 97 games and over two years had passed before Arsenal hosted Queens Park Rangers on a dreary New Years’ Eve afternoon. George Graham’s side hadn’t won at home in two months and his side put in a dire performance and lost the game comprehensively 3-1. However, QPR’s win is not remembered by many.

That is because in this match, the unthinkable happened. John Jensen scored a goal for Arsenal! It was the equaliser and it came in his 98th match in all competitions for the north Londoners. Whenever he got near goal, Arsenal fans urged him to ‘shoot!’ This time, he was spot-on, bending a shot into the far top corner in front of the North Bank.

T-shirts were printed in Jensen’s honour. One of the tabloid newspapers ran the following headline in their sports section: SOUVENIR SPECIAL: After 98 games, 2 years, 4 months, 2 weeks, 2 days, 1 hour and 19 minutes, JENSEN SCORES!

He left in 1996 to return to his native Denmark after 138 games but achieved cult hero status for this goal.

Premier League Rewind: 19th-20th November 2005

Results: Wigan Athletic 2-3 Arsenal, Charlton Athletic 1-3 Manchester United, Chelsea 3-0 Newcastle United, Liverpool FC 3-0 Portsmouth, Manchester City 0-0 Blackburn Rovers, Sunderland 1-3 Aston Villa, West Bromwich Albion 4-0 Everton, Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 West Ham United, Middlesbrough 3-2 Fulham, Birmingham City P-P Bolton Wanderers

After an international break, the Premier League resumed on the 19th-20th November 2005 with Chelsea threatening to run away with the title. However, Jose Mourinho’s side had been beaten for the first time in 40 top-flight matches last time out by Manchester United, so that gave some flickering hopes to the challengers.

If there was going to be any let-up from the reigning champions, they didn’t show it at home to Newcastle United. Second half goals from Joe Cole, Hernan Crespo and Damien Duff set the Blues’ up for an easy 3-0 victory over the Magpies.

Going into the weekend, newly-promoted Wigan Athletic were Chelsea’s nearest challengers. Paul Jewell’s side had strung together a stunning nine-game unbeaten sequence which included eight victories. However, they were about to face some of the Premier League’s big-hitters. First up was Arsenal who were struggling to sparkle away from Highbury. However, they prevailed in an entertaining Saturday lunchtime kick-off. Thierry Henry scored twice as the Gunners won this match 3-2 and Wigan would go onto lose their next four matches.

That result pushed Arsenal into the top four and they were joined there by Manchester United, who won 3-1 at Charlton Athletic. Ruud van Nistelrooy continued his excellent season so far, scoring twice. The win at The Valley came 24 hours after United had confirmed they had parted company with skipper Roy Keane, releasing him from his contract by mutual consent. Keane would sign for Celtic a month later.

Bolton Wanderers started the weekend in the top three but would drop down to fifth spot through no fault of their own. Their Monday Night Football trip to Birmingham City was postponed by referee Phil Dowd just an hour before kick-off. Although the pitch was playable at St Andrews, heavy fog had set in and visibility was considered to be too dangerous for the game to be played.

After a slow start to the season, Liverpool FC were beginning to find their form. They recorded a third successive victory with a 3-0 win at home to struggling Portsmouth. Peter Crouch’s goalscoring drought continued as he had a penalty saved but Bolo Zenden scored the rebound effort in his final Premier League match of the campaign before a knee injury curtailed his debut season at Anfield. It was also the final match in charge for Alain Perrin. He was sacked a few days later and became the first managerial casualty of the 2005-2006 season.

If things were going better for Liverpool, they didn’t improve for David Moyes at Everton. After last season’s fine fourth-place finish, they were finding the going much more difficult this time around. Everton lost 4-0 in the Saturday teatime kick-off to West Bromwich Albion which kept them in the bottom three on goal difference, along with Birmingham and Sunderland who lost again – 3-1 at home to Aston Villa.

What else happened in November 2005?

  • The footballing world mourns the death of one of Britain’s finest players as George Best passes away in hospital, aged 59 after a long battle with illness.
  • Angela Merkel becomes the first female Chancellor of Germany.
  • Former British World Rally champion Richard Burns dies at the age of 34 from a brain tumour. Burns had won the championship with Subaru just four years earlier.
  • Digital channel ITV4 is launched.
  • The Safeway supermarket brand disappears after 43 years on the high street as Morrisons completes its conversion programme. The two companies had merged in March 2004.
  • New licensing laws come into effect which allows pubs and clubs in England and Wales to open 24 hours for the first time.

Memorable Matches: Swansea City 3-2 Arsenal (January 2012)

Goalscorers: Robin van Persie 5, Scott Sinclair 16 PEN, Nathan Dyer 57, Theo Walcott 69, Danny Graham 70

Teams:

Swansea City: Michel Vorm, Neil Taylor, Steven Caulker, Ashley Williams, Angel Rangel, Leon Britton, Kemy Agustien (Gylfi Sigurdsson 46), Joe Allen, Nathan Dyer (Wayne Routledge 81), Scott Sinclair, Danny Graham (Leroy Lita 90)

Arsenal: Wojciech Szczesny, Johan Djourou, Laurent Koscielny, Per Mertesacker (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 77), Ignasi Miquel, Alex Song, Aaron Ramsey, Andrey Arshavin (Thierry Henry 63), Yossi Benayoun (Tomas Rosicky 63), Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott

Referee: Michael Oliver, Attendance: 20,409

This match promised plenty and certainly delivered in January 2012. Both sides were not afraid to attack and it turned into a great end-to-end spectacle that produced five goals and a famous victory for Swansea City.

Swansea were in their first season in the Premier League and coping well. Brendan Rodgers had built an entertaining side that were very difficult to beat, especially at the Liberty Stadium. After a dreadful start to their 2011-2012 season which had seen four defeats from their first seven outings, Arsenal had bounced back to be a big part in the equation to finish in the top four. However, they had lost their last away match in the Premier League at Fulham.

It was the visitors’ who were the faster out of the blocks and took the lead after just five minutes. Andrey Arshavin found some space in the Swansea defensive line. His fine pass found Arsenal’s usual goalscoring source, Robin van Persie. The Gunners’ captain shrugged off the attentions of Steven Caulker to score his 18th league goal of a season that ended up with the Dutchman winning the Golden Boot and the PFA Players’ Player of the Year. However, Swansea’s passing movements were overrunning Arsenal at times and Arsene Wenger’s side lost their early control when Aaron Ramsey lazily stuck out a leg in the penalty area. Nathan Dyer went down under the challenge and although Dyer made the most of the contact, referee Michael Oliver correctly awarded the penalty. Scott Sinclair kept his composure to dispatch the penalty past Wojciech Szczesny.

Both teams continued to create chances and it was Swansea, sticking to their manager’s vision who claimed the lead 12 minutes into the second half. The excellent Joe Allen robbed his Welsh international colleague Ramsey of possession in the middle of the park and played in Dyer. The flying winger made no mistake with his finish to score for the third successive match. Wenger responded by taking off the ineffective Arshavin and replacing him with club legend Thierry Henry. Henry was back on a loan deal to help the club’s forwards out in the winter period. Theo Walcott seemed to have been inspired and he drew the Gunners’ level, clipping the ball over Michel Vorm after Johan Djourou’s pass carved the Swansea defence open.

However, parity didn’t last long. With their very next attack, Swansea were back in-front. Gylfi Sigurdsson, making his Premier League debut on-loan from TSG 1899 Hoffenheim played a matchwinning pass. Laurent Koscielny was taken out of the game and as Szczesny showed an indecisive approach to coming out and closing down the angles; Danny Graham raced onto the pass and fired across the dithering goalkeeper.  Arsenal pressed for another equaliser but couldn’t find one.

This was Swansea’s first win over their opponents for 20 years and the result took them into the top 10. They eventually finished 11th and by the end of the campaign, champions Manchester City and Liverpool FC had also been beaten at the Liberty Stadium. Arsenal bounced back from this defeat and would finish third in the table but a distant 19 points behind the duelling Manchester clubs.

Memorable Matches: Bolton Wanderers 2-3 Arsenal (March 2008)

Goalscorers: Matt Taylor 14, 43, William Gallas 62, Robin van Persie 68, Jlloyd Samuel 90 OG

Teams:

Bolton Wanderers: Ali Al-Habsi, Jlloyd Samuel, Gary Cahill, Andy O’Brien, Gretar Steinsson, Ivan Campo, Danny Guthrie, Gavin McCann, Matthew Taylor (Nicky Hunt 78), (Grzegorz Rasiak 81), El-Hadji Diouf (Stelios Giannakopoulos 78), Kevin Davies

Arsenal: Manuel Almunia, Gael Clichy, Philippe Senderos (Theo Walcott 59), Kolo Toure, William Gallas, Mathieu Flamini, Abou Diaby (SENT OFF), Cesc Fabregas, Aleksandar Hleb, Nicklas Bendtner (Emmanuel Adebayor 60), Robin van Persie (Justin Hoyte 90)

Referee: Chris Foy, Attendance: 22,431

Arsenal visited the Reebok Stadium in March 2008 knowing they desperately needed to win to keep alive their title hopes. Having set the pace for the majority of the season, the Gunners had slipped to third in the standings and were without a win in five matches. This included a defeat to Chelsea the previous weekend.

The Gunners’ record at the Reebok was shambolic too. They hadn’t won here since April 2002 and after a nightmare opening 45 minutes in the driving rain, that run looked set to continue. 14 minutes had been played when Bolton took an unlikely lead. Gretar Steinsson produced a wonderful cross and Matt Taylor’s well-executed header flew into the back of the net. Steinsson was exposing Arsenal’s weakness at right-back. Kolo Toure had to play out of position due to an injury to regular full-back Bacary Sagna. His lack of experience in this position was clearly evident.

Arsene Wegner’s side were a goal down and soon a man down too. On 30 minutes, Abou Diaby was dismissed following a poor tackle on Steinsson. Chris Foy had no hesitation in showing the red card and replays proved he had made the right decision. Wenger was left shaking his head and the damage wasn’t over yet.

Two minutes before half-time, Mathieu Flamini was pressured into losing possession on the edge of his own penalty area. The ball dropped to Taylor and his shot deflected off captain William Gallas, leaving Manuel Almunia with no chance. Bolton led 2-0 at the break and looked to be heading towards a vital victory in their battle to preserve their Premier League status.

On the hour mark, Wenger knew he had to change things and threw his last remaining attacking substitutions on. Theo Walcott and Emmanuel Adebayor arrived. Within two minutes, Bolton’s advantage had been halved. Cesc Fabregas’ corner was inadvertently flicked on at the near post by Trotters’ skipper Ivan Campo. Steinsson failed to track the run of Gallas, who couldn’t miss from only a few yards out. All of a sudden, nerves were around the Reebok Stadium with both sets of supporters.

Six minutes later, the scores were improbably level. Gary Cahill overstretched and tripped Aleksandar Hleb in the box. Robin van Persie kept his composure to send Ali Al-Habsi the wrong way and score his first Premier League goal in five months. There always looked like being a winner in this game and it came in the 90th minute. Once again, Hleb got to the touchline and pulled the ball back to Fabregas. His shot took a crazy three deflections off Campo, Andy O’Brien and lastly, Jlloyd Samuel before nestling into the back of the net. Cue euphoria in the Arsenal away supporters’ end.

This was the best comeback victory of the 2007-2008 Premier League season and although Arsenal fell short in their bid to win the title, they fell just four points short of champions Manchester United.

Iconic Moments: Sol switches sides (July 2001)

In 2001, Sol Campbell had a big decision to make. He was the jewel in the crown at Tottenham Hotspur. However, he had managed to win just one major honour in his career which was the League Cup in 1999. Tottenham were a mediocre team at the time, often finishing around 9th-13th in the table. If regular silverware was what Campbell was looking for, he might have to move on. Worse still for Tottenham, he was out of contract in summer 2001 and could move to another club on a free transfer. Spurs did all they could to keep him. They offered him a new deal, which would have made him the club’s highest wage earner. Campbell insisted though he had to leave to play UEFA Champions League football. So, where would he go?

Many of Europe’s top continental clubs were linked with him. Barcelona offered him a lucrative deal whilst Liverpool FC were another serious player in trying to recruit the England central defender. So in July 2001, it was a huge surprise to everyone when Campbell was pictured shaking hands with Arsene Wenger. He had switched sides in north London and joined Tottenham’s deadly rivals, Arsenal on a four-year deal for free.

At a news conference, Campbell said: “I’ve made my decision and I just hope people respect it. I’ve signed a four-year contract and I believe in that time I can make some great strides in my career.”

In November 2001, Campbell made his first return to White Hart Lane after his departure. It is fair to say that he didn’t get the fondest of welcomes from Spurs supporters.

He had the last laugh though, winning two Premier League titles, three FA Cup medals and scoring in the 2006 UEFA Champions League final. Whatever you think of Sol Campbell, this transfer remains one of the most controversial and biggest surprises of the last 25 years.

Memorable Matches: Arsenal 3-4 Liverpool FC (August 2016)

Goalscorers: Theo Walcott 31, Philippe Coutinho 45, 56, Adam Lallana 49, Sadio Mane 63, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 64, Calum Chambers 75

Teams:

Arsenal: Petr Cech, Nacho Monreal, Calum Chambers, Rob Holding, Hector Bellerin, Mohamed Elneny (Granit Xhaka 67), Francis Coquelin, Aaron Ramsey (Santi Cazorla 61), Alex Iwobi (Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain 59), Theo Walcott, Alexis Sanchez

Liverpool FC: Simon Mignolet, Alberto Moreno, Ragnar Klavan, Dejan Lovren, Nathaniel Clyne, Jordan Henderson, Georginio Wijnaldum (Kevin Stewart 88), Adam Lallana (Divock Origi 76), Philippe Coutinho (Emre Can 70), Roberto Firmino, Sadio Mane

Referee: Michael Oliver, Attendance: 60,033

The opening weekend of the 2016-2017 campaign paired two of the heavyweights of English football against one another. Both Arsenal and Liverpool FC have enjoyed glory times down the years and they put on a real treat for the fans. A seven-goal thriller at the Emirates Stadium went the visitors’ way.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger had concerns about players who featured in the closing games of the 2016 European Championships. Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny were left out of the squad as they were declared to be lacking match fitness, whilst Aaron Ramsey started but struggled and limped out injured in the 61st minute. By contrast, Jurgen Klopp had a relatively fresh squad available to him. Only Daniel Sturridge was missing through injury.

It was a slow-burner in the first 30 minutes with both sides slightly cautious in showing their attacking intentions. The game then flickered into life when Alberto Moreno’s clumsy challenge on Theo Walcott saw referee Michael Oliver point to the penalty spot. However, Walcott couldn’t convert. His spot-kick was saved by Simon Mignolet. It was the seventh penalty in Premier League history to be missed in a fixture between these two sides.

If Mignolet had given Moreno a reprieve, it didn’t last long. The Spanish left-back went walkabouts just seconds later. Walcott was given the freedom of the left-hand side and this time, made no mistake to fire the home side into the lead. Arsenal were the better side for most of the first half but were pegged back right on the stroke of half-time.

Brazilian magician Philippe Coutinho produced a mesmerising free-kick that flew into the back of the net to level the scores. This gave Klopp’s side a new-found confidence and they were simply devastating in the first 15 minutes of the second half. First, Adam Lallana chested the ball down and beat Cech to put Liverpool FC ahead in the 49th minute. Moments later, the Reds’ produced a fabulous 19-pass move which was finished off by the excellent Coutinho. Sadio Mane gave Arsenal’s full-backs huge problems all afternoon and just past the hour mark, he slammed a shot past a despairing Cech after easily getting the better of Calum Chambers. Arsenal looked shell-shocked and possibly on the end of a thrashing.

They showed some character though and reduced the deficit to 4-3. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain arrived from the bench and scored a fine solo goal. Then, Chambers made up for his dreary defensive display by heading home from Santi Cazorla’s free-kick. Despite losing Coutinho to an injury before the end, Liverpool FC held on to win this thriller. Ultimately, they finished a point clear of Arsenal in the final standings and secured Champions League football for the 2017-2018 season.

Great Goals: Dennis Bergkamp – Newcastle United vs. ARSENAL (March 2002)

Dutch master Dennis Bergkamp produced some classical moments for Arsenal during his glorious 11-year stay at Highbury. He was one of football’s best players when it came to skill, intelligence and link-up with strike partners.

He demonstrated his sheer quality at St James’ Park in 2002. Early on into this match against a fellow title contender, Bergkamp produces an outrageous piece of skill, back heeling the ball on the edge of the area and spinning past a rather confused Nikos Dabizas.

This put Dennis in on goal and he showed extreme coolness to place the ball beyond the reach of Newcastle goalkeeper Shay Given. It is one of the all-time Premier League great goals and easily one of Bergkamp’s absolute best from a classy career.

Great Goals: Olivier Giroud – ARSENAL vs. Crystal Palace (January 2017)

The first day of 2017 saw one of the Premier League’s best goals of the calendar year. Olivier Giroud was often used as a substitute during the 2016-2017 campaign but he got a rare start at home to Crystal Palace and he produced a goal which you won’t tire of seeing again and again.

Arsenal launched a counter-attack in the 17th minute. Typically, it is Alexis Sanchez leading the charge. The Chilean picks out Giroud who runs across the near post and delightfully produced a ‘scorpion kick’ to flick the ball from behind him, up and over Wayne Hennessey off the crossbar on its way in.

The goal came just a few days after Henrikh Mkhitaryan produced a similar kind of goal on Boxing Day for Manchester United against Sunderland. Both goals were rightful Goal of the Season contenders and in most campaigns, would have won the award.

Arsenal won the clash with their London rivals 2-0. Giroud will do well to beat this kind of effort for the rest of his career.

Seasonal Records: 1998-1999

For all the statistical fans out there, here are some of the season’s records from the 1998-1999 Premier League season; the last full season of the 20th century.

FINAL TABLE

Position Team P W D L F A GD PTS
1 Manchester United 38 22 13 3 80 37 +43 79
2 Arsenal 38 22 12 4 59 17 +42 78
3 Chelsea 38 20 15 3 57 30 +27 75
4 Leeds United 38 18 13 7 62 34 +28 67
5 West Ham United 38 16 9 13 46 53 -7 57
6 Aston Villa 38 15 10 13 51 46 +5 55
7 Liverpool FC 38 15 9 14 68 49 +19 54
8 Derby County 38 13 13 12 40 45 -5 52
9 Middlesbrough 38 12 15 11 48 54 -6 51
10 Leicester City 38 12 13 13 40 46 -6 49
11 Tottenham Hotspur 38 11 14 13 47 50 -3 47
12 Sheffield Wednesday 38 13 7 18 41 42 -1 46
13 Newcastle United 38 11 13 14 48 54 -6 46
14 Everton 38 11 10 17 42 47 -5 43
15 Coventry City 38 11 9 18 39 51 -12 42
16 Wimbledon 38 10 12 16 40 63 -23 42
17 Southampton 38 11 8 19 37 64 -27 41
18 Charlton Athletic 38 8 12 18 41 56 -15 36
19 Blackburn Rovers 38 7 14 17 38 52 -14 35
20 Nottingham Forest 38 7 9 22 35 69 -34 30

THE BASIC STATS

Goals Scored 963
European qualifiers Manchester United (UEFA Champions League), Arsenal (UEFA Champions League), Chelsea (UEFA Champions League), Leeds United (UEFA Cup), Tottenham Hotspur (UEFA Cup), Newcastle United (UEFA Cup), West Ham United (UEFA Intertoto Cup)
Longest winning run 7 games (Leeds United)
Longest unbeaten run 21 games (Chelsea)
Longest winless run 19 games (Nottingham Forest)
Longest losing run 8 games (Charlton Athletic)
Highest attendance 55,316 (Manchester United vs. Southampton)
Lowest attendance 11,717 (Wimbledon vs. Coventry City)

AWARDS

PFA Players’ Player of the Year David Ginola (Tottenham Hotspur)
PFA Young Player of the Year Nicolas Anelka (Arsenal)
Football Writers’ Award David Ginola (Tottenham Hotspur)
PFA Team of the Year Nigel Martyn, Denis Irwin, Sol Campbell, Jaap Stam, Gary Neville, Emmanuel Petit, Patrick Vieira, David Beckham, David Ginola, Nicolas Anelka, Dwight Yorke
Manager of the Year Alex Ferguson (Manchester United)
Premier League Goal of the Season Steve Froggatt (COVENTRY CITY vs. Everton)

HAT-TRICK HEROES

Player Teams Score Date
Clive Mendonca Charlton Athletic vs. Southampton 5-0 22nd August 1998
Michael Owen Newcastle United vs. Liverpool FC 1-4 30th August 1998
Michael Owen (4) Liverpool FC vs. Nottingham Forest 5-1 24th October 1998
Dion Dublin Southampton vs. Aston Villa 1-4 14th November 1998
Robbie Fowler Aston Villa vs. Liverpool FC 2-4 21st November 1998
Chris Armstrong Tottenham Hotspur vs. Everton 4-1 28th December 1998
Darren Huckerby Coventry City vs. Nottingham Forest 4-0 9th January 1999
Dwight Yorke Leicester City vs. Manchester United 2-6 16th January 1999
Robbie Fowler Liverpool FC vs. Southampton 7-1 16th January 1999
Ole Gunnar Solskjaer (4) Nottingham Forest vs. Manchester United 1-8 6th February 1999
Nicolas Anelka Arsenal vs. Leicester City 5-0 20th February 1999
Kevin Campbell Everton vs. West Ham United 6-0 8th May 1999

TOP SCORERS

Position Player Teams No of Goals
1= Dwight Yorke Manchester United 18
1= Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink Leeds United 18
1= Michael Owen Liverpool FC 18
4= Andy Cole Manchester United 17
4= Nicolas Anelka Arsenal 17
6= Julian Joachim Aston Villa 14
6= Robbie Fowler Liverpool FC 14
6= Hamilton Ricard Middlesbrough 14
6= Alan Shearer Newcastle United 14
6= Dion Dublin Coventry City & Aston Villa 14
11= Gianfranco Zola Chelsea 12
11= Ole Gunnar Solskjaer Manchester United 12
11= Dennis Bergkamp Arsenal 12
11= Gus Poyet Chelsea 12
15= Tore Andre Flo Chelsea 10
15= Tony Cottee Leicester City 10
15= Noel Whelan Coventry City 10
15= Marcus Gayle Wimbledon 10
19= Deon Burton Derby County 9
19= Lee Bowyer Leeds United 9
19= Ian Wright West Ham United 9
19= Paulo Wanchope Derby County 9
19= Steffen Iversen Tottenham Hotspur 9
19= Kevin Campbell Everton 9
19= Darren Huckerby Coventry City 9

BIGGEST VICTORIES

Nottingham Forest 1-8 Manchester United 6th February 1999
Liverpool FC 7-1 Southampton 16th January 1999
Everton 6-0 West Ham United 8th May 1999
Middlesbrough 1-6 Arsenal 24th April 1999
Arsenal 5-0 Leicester City 20th February 1999
Everton 5-0 Middlesbrough 17th February 1999
Charlton Athletic 5-0 Southampton 22nd August 1998
Leicester City 2-6 Manchester United 16th January 1999
Manchester United 5-1 Wimbledon 17th October 1998
Arsenal 5-1 Wimbledon 19th April 1999

HIGHEST SCORING GAMES

No of Goals Teams Date
9 Nottingham Forest 1-8 Manchester United 6th February 1999
8 Liverpool FC 7-1 Southampton 16th January 1999
8 Leicester City 2-6 Manchester United 16th January 1999
7 Middlesbrough 1-6 Arsenal 24th April 1999
7 Blackburn Rovers 3-4 Chelsea 21st September 1998
7 Derby County 3-4 Newcastle United 3rd April 1999
7 West Ham United 3-4 Wimbledon 9th September 1998
7 Aston Villa 3-4 Charlton Athletic 8th May 1999
6 Everton 6-0 West Ham United 8th May 1999
6 Manchester United 5-1 Wimbledon 17th October 1998
6 Arsenal 5-1 Wimbledon 19th April 1999
6 West Ham United 1-5 Leeds United 1st May 1999
6 West Ham United 5-1 Derby County 17th April 1999
6 Liverpool FC 5-1 Nottingham Forest 24th October 1998
6 Coventry City 1-5 Newcastle United 19th September 1998
6 Aston Villa 2-4 Liverpool FC 21st November 1998
6 Leicester City 2-4 Chelsea 21st November 1998
6 Charlton Athletic 4-2 West Ham United 24th October 1998
6 Liverpool FC 4-2 Newcastle United 28th December 1998
6 Southampton 3-3 Middlesbrough 7th November 1998

YOUNGEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Owen Morrison Sheffield Wednesday 0-1 Leicester City 17 years, 18 days 26th December 1998
Joe Cole Manchester United 4-1 West Ham United 17 years, 2 months, 2 days 10th January 1999
Gareth Barry Everton 0-0 Aston Villa 17 years, 5 months, 23 days 15th August 1998
Adam Murray West Ham United 5-1 Derby County 17 years, 6 months, 18 days 17th April 1999
Paul Konchesky Charlton Athletic 2-2 Newcastle United 17 years, 8 months, 2 days 17th January 1999
Chris Doig Manchester United 3-0 Nottingham Forest 17 years, 10 months, 13 days 26th December 1998
Mikael Forssell Arsenal 1-0 Chelsea 17 years, 10 months, 16 days 31st January 1999
Wayne Bridge Southampton 1-2 Liverpool FC 18 years, 11 days 16th August 1998
Francis Jeffers Derby County 2-1 Everton 18 years, 13 days 7th February 1999
Alan Smith Liverpool FC 1-3 Leeds United 18 years, 17 days 14th November 1998

OLDEST PLAYERS USED

Player Teams Age at the time Date
Steve Ogrizovic West Ham United 2-0 Coventry City 41 years, 3 months, 16 days 28th December 1998
Dave Beasant Nottingham Forest 1-3 Chelsea 39 years, 11 months 20th February 1999
Dave Watson Southampton 2-0 Everton 37 years, 5 months, 26 days 16th May 1999
Richard Gough Blackburn Rovers 1-2 Nottingham Forest 37 years, 1 month, 3 days 8th May 1999
Hans Segers Southampton 1-1 Tottenham Hotspur 36 years, 10 months, 20 days 19th September 1998
Mark Bright Everton 4-1 Charlton Athletic 36 years, 10 months, 18 days 24th April 1999
Stuart Pearce Liverpool FC 4-2 Newcastle United 36 years, 8 months, 4 days 28th December 1998
Kevin Hitchcock Tottenham Hotspur 2-2 Chelsea 36 years, 7 months, 5 days 10th May 1999
Steve Bould Arsenal 1-0 Derby County 36 years, 5 months, 16 days 2nd May 1999
Raimond van der Gouw Manchester United 3-0 Sheffield Wednesday 36 years, 24 days 17th April 1999

CLEAN SHEETS

Position Player Teams No of Clean Sheets
1 David Seaman Arsenal 19
2 Shaka Hislop West Ham United 15
3= Ed de Goey Chelsea 14
3= Kasey Keller Leicester City 14
3= Thomas Myhre Everton 14
6= Nigel Martyn Leeds United 13
6= Mark Schwarzer Middlesbrough 13
8 Peter Schmeichel Manchester United 11
9 Mark Bosnich Aston Villa 9
10 Mart Poom Derby County 8

Shock Results: Arsenal 2-3 West Ham United (February 2006)

Goalscorers: Nigel Reo-Coker 25, Bobby Zamora 32, Thierry Henry 45, Matthew Etherington 80, Robert Pires 89

Teams:

Arsenal: Jens Lehmann, Johan Djourou, Philippe Senderos, Sol Campbell (Sebastian Larsson 45), Kerrea Gilbert (Mathieu Flamini 27), Gilberto Silva, Abou Diaby (Dennis Bergkamp 71), Freddie Ljungberg, Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, Robin van Persie

West Ham United: Shaka Hislop, Paul Konchesky, Danny Gabbidon, Anton Ferdinand, Clive Clarke (Carl Fletcher 76), Hayden Mullins, Nigel Reo-Coker, Yossi Benayoun (Shaun Newton 66), Matthew Etherington, Bobby Zamora (Dean Ashton 73), Marlon Harewood

Referee: Mark Halsey, Attendance: 38,216

West Ham United’s last trip to Highbury would be a visit that their fans will always remember. They capitalised on a shoddy Arsenal defensive display to claim all three points in an impressive return to the Premier League fold.

The Hammers’ had beaten Fulham in their previous match and now had new signing Dean Ashton available, although he would begin on the bench. Arsene Wenger handed a debut to his January arrival, midfielder Abou Diaby. It was Arsenal who started the stronger. In the 7th minute, Robin van Persie’s trickery almost broke the deadlock. His close-range effort crashed against the upright after carving through the Hammers’ defence.

It was the away side though who took the lead on 25 minutes. Sol Campbell’s attempt at a clearance on the halfway life was nothing short of horrific. Nigel Reo-Coker was the beneficiary. He raced clear on goal and the skipper kept his nerve to slot past Jens Lehmann. Seven minutes later, it was 2-0 and again, Campbell had to take the responsibility. Bobby Zamora was a tough competitor to face but the way he shrugged off Campbell’s advances in the penalty area was surprising. With the defender on the floor, Zamora proceeded to curl his effort beautifully into the Arsenal net.

The home side needed a response and they grabbed a goal back right on the stroke of half-time. After a brief scramble, Robert Pires struck a low shot through a crowd of players and into the back of the net. Replays later confirmed that Pires’ effort did take a deflection off Thierry Henry. This goal gave the Frenchman the league goals record for Arsenal, overtaking Cliff Bastin’s total of 150.

Campbell disappeared at half-time and wouldn’t emerge for the second half. Wenger later confirmed that he had requested to be substituted as he wasn’t in the right frame of mind. He wouldn’t play for the first-team again until mid-April. It meant youngster Sebastian Larsson got a rare opportunity and more reshuffling was made to the defence.

Arsenal started the second half with the same command as they demonstrated in the first half but once again, it didn’t produce them with a goal. Pires and Freddie Ljungberg both wasted good chances and Van Persie constantly caused problems from set-pieces. It was West Ham again though who found the crucial goal and the timing was massive. Larsson was caught in possession and after some lax play from Phillipe Senderos; Matthew Etherington stretched the lead to 3-1.

Pires pulled a goal back as injury-time beckoned but the Hammers held on for a hard-fought victory and their first at Highbury since a Don Hutchinson winner in March 1995.

Premier League Files: David Platt

Premier League Career: Arsenal (1995-1998)

David Platt’s Premier League career lasted just three seasons but he was part of the Arsenal team that won the double in 1998 and broke Manchester United’s stranglehold on the top-flight title. His career was littered with many magical moments but the league prize he won with the Gunners’ was to be his only championship prize.

It was at Manchester United where Platt began his career as an apprentice. However, he started to make a name for himself in the old Fourth Division, playing as an attacking midfielder for Crewe Alexandra. After moving to Aston Villa in 1988, Platt had an amazing time in the Midlands, scoring an impressive 50 goals in 121 league matches across three seasons. His performances were noted by his fellow professionals, who voted him PFA Players’ Player of the Year in 1990.

His goalscoring ability was also noted by Sir Bobby Robson. Robson handed Platt his international debut in 1989 and he really came into the national thinking with his last-gasp strike in extra-time to sink Belgium in the round-of-16 at Italia 90. Platt then went onto score a header in the quarter-final victory over Cameroon as England enjoyed their best-ever World Cup on foreign soil.

With English clubs still banned from playing in European competition thanks to the Heysel disaster, Platt moved to Serie A which was experiencing a boom in technical players joining the revolution in Italy. He played for Bari, Juventus and Sampdoria before returning to England with Arsenal in the summer of 1995.

The Gunners’ spent £4.75 million to bring Platt back to these shores and came in the same summer of Dennis Bergkamp’s arrival at Highbury. There was interest in Platt’s services from both Manchester United and Tottenham Hotspur. Arsenal got their man after vice-chairman David Dein flew out to Sardinia to persuade Platt to make the move to the red side of north London. On joining, he said: “I’ve signed for Arsenal because I think I can play a key role in this club winning the title again. This will happen within two or three seasons at the most.” His prediction would prove to be correct.

Things began well for the Platt/Arsenal alliance. He scored in the second game of the season away to Everton, then scored a venomous volley at home to Nottingham Forest just one week later. Unfortunately, he sustained a knee injury in the latter match and missed two months of action. When he returned, it looked like the exploits in Italy had caught up with Platt. He had to play in a holding midfield position for much of the campaign. It was a role he never looked comfortable in under Bruce Rioch’s stewardship.

1996-1997 was better for Platt. Arsene Wenger came into the club and saw Platt’s experience as important for young Frenchman Patrick Vieira to learn from. He was seen as a safe pair of feet to have in the middle of the park as Wenger started to transform Arsenal’s playing style. David scored four times in the campaign, including the equaliser in a 4-1 win over Sheffield Wednesday. In the close season, it looked like he was set to leave Arsenal behind and join relegated Middlesbrough. Although he was given permission to talk to Boro, a fee was never agreed between the two clubs and so, Platt stuck it out for the final year of his contract.

By now, Emmanuel Petit had arrived to form a destructive partnership with Vieira and therefore, it reduced Platt’s role to a regular substitute unless either of the two Frenchman were injured or suspended. He still chipped in though with a valuable headed goal to beat Manchester United in November 1997.

He left quietly in the summer of 1998 and returned to Italy for a controversial stint as manager of Sampdoria. He resigned shortly before the club’s relegation to Serie B with other sides complaining that he didn’t have the required qualifications to coach in Serie A.

In July 1999, he returned to England for a management role with Nottingham Forest which ended with the club spending heavily, signing average players who didn’t perform well and going nowhere in Division One. He is still considered as an unpopular figure by many Forest fans within the area. In 2001, he accepted a role as manager of the England Under-21s which lasted three years. His last coaching role was as a first-team coach during Roberto Mancini’s reign at Manchester City. That ended when the Italian was sacked days after losing the 2013 FA Cup final to Wigan Athletic.

David Platt was correct in forecasting Arsenal would win the title in his days at Highbury. However, he never quite lived up to the billing that was banded about when he signed for the club. His best playing moments had come before his arrival in north London. He still won the championship medal that was missing from his career though and he wouldn’t swap that for anything else he achieved in his playing days.