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April 2004 Results & Match Reports

With Arsenal riding high on confidence, they simply seemed unstoppable and were well on course for a magnificent treble. However, Arsene Wenger’s men were cruelly brought back down to earth after being dumped out of the FA Cup and the Champions League by rivals Manchester United and Chelsea in the space of three days.

For a while, their unbeaten run also seemed to be in danger of being shattered but the Gunners displayed great spirit to make a comeback against Liverpool and gain momentum with good results against Newcastle United and Leeds United.

Arsenal’s disappointing start to the month was all but forgotten by the end of it as the Gunners were crowned Champions with four games to spare and their triumph was made all the more sweeter by the fact that their status as Premier League winners was confirmed on the ground of their bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

3/4/2004 – Arsenal 0 – 1 Manchester United, Venue – Villa Park (FA Cup)

Arsenal’s treble dreams were shattered as they succumbed to a defeat at the hands of Manchester United in the semi finals of the FA Cup.

Having missed a host of glorious chances throughout the game, Arsenal found themselves behind on the half an hour mark after Paul Scholes handed United the lead.

Despite Arsenal’s best effort though, they were unable to find the back of the net as they faced a resolute United defence and an inspired Roy Carroll in goal, and exited the competition in a disappointing fashion.

6/4/2004 – Arsenal 1 – 2 Chelsea, Venue – Highbury (UCL)

Arsenal did not have too much time to feel sorry for themselves following their exit from the FA Cup as the Gunners had a very tough tie against Chelsea in the Champions League waiting in store for them.

Holding a slight advantage through their away goal from the first leg, Arsenal were favourites to progress and managed to consolidate their position as Jose Antonio Reyes gave the hosts the lead with a goal on the stroke of half time. Soon after the interval though, Chelsea got back into the tie as Frank Lampard equalized after Jens Lehmann spilled a Claude Makelele shot from outside the box.

With the two teams desperate to avoid defeat, the match looked set for extra time. However, to break Arsenal hearts, Wayne Bridge popped up in the 87th minute to score a fine winner and send the Gunners crashing out of two competitions in the space of three days.

9/4/2004 – Arsenal 4 – 2 Liverpool, Venue – Highbury

Having seen their treble dream crumble so cruelly before their eyes, Arsenal had to shift focus back to the Premier League and look to seal the title as well as maintain their unbeaten run.

But, once again things were looking ominous for the Gunners against a strong Liverpool, as Sami Hyypia handed the away side the lead early on.

While Thierry Henry did manage to equalize on the 32nd minute, the Reds went ahead once again as Michael Owen popped up to hand the visitors the lead heading into half time and leave Arsenal with the prospect of three defeats in three matches.

However, it was the Thierry Henry show after half time which turned the game in Arsenal’s favour. Robert Pires equalized in the 49th minute for the Gunners before Henry handed the hosts the lead just a minute later with arguably one of the goals of the season.

Picking the ball up just ahead of the centre circle, Henry completely bamboozled the Liverpool defence with a fine run before expertly slotting past Jerzy Dudek. The Frenchman then capped off what was a fine afternoon for him by grabbing his hat trick in the 78th minute of the game.

The fine result brought the smiles back at Highbury and helped Arsenal take a huge step towards claiming the Premier League title.

11/4/2004 – Newcastle United 0 – 0 Arsenal, Venue – St. James’ Park

Following their magnificent victory over Liverpool, Arsenal came up against a stubborn Newcastle United side at St. James’ Park and were held to a 0-0 draw.

In a match of very few opportunities, Jens Lehmann did brilliantly well to deny Craig Bellamy while the Gunners’ attack was not at their fluent best and did not trouble Shay Given in the Newcastle goal on too many occasions. However, the draw was certainly a good result as Arsenal maintained their seven point lead at the top of the table as well as their magnificent unbeaten record.

16/4/2004 – Arsenal 5 – 0 Leeds United, Venue – Highbury

After firing blanks against Newcastle United, Arsenal were back to their brilliant best as they simply ripped apart a hapless Leeds United once again and the man who orchestrated the White’s downfall was the imperious Thierry Henry. Robert Pires had given the Gunners an early lead. Then followed the wonderful Thierry Henry show as Frenchman found the back of the net on four occasions.

Henry’s first came on the 27th minute after he coolly slotted home after being played in by Gilberto Silva and then his second came from the spot with a quite sublime chip over Paul Robinson. The mercurial striker then completed his hattrick soon after the break with a fine finish after running behind the poor Leeds backline.

Henry’s final goal was probably the pick of the lot as he picked the ball near his own half and displayed electrifying pace to get behind the defence once again, before slotting home despite being fouled inside the box. The striker’s performance on the day was truly one of the greatest ever seen in the Premier League.

25/4/2004 – Tottenham Hotspur 2 – 2 Arsenal, Venue – White Hart Lane

With Chelsea slipping up against Newcastle United earlier in the day, Arsenal knew that if they avoided defeat in their next game, they would be crowned as champions. However, it was not just any other game as they squared off against bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur in the North London Derby.

While Spurs did not have much to play for in the league, they undoubtedly would have wanted to avoid Arsenal claiming the title on their own ground and be the ones to break their rival’s proud unbeaten record.

However, Arsenal looked unstoppable on the day and registered two sublime first half goals which typified their season through Patrick Vieira and Robert Pires.

Heading into half-time, Arsenal were in the driver’s seat and well on course for the title. As a result, complacency crept into the Gunners’ game following the interval as they lost their lead, with Jamie Redknapp and Robbie Keane finding the net for Spurs to level things up.

It did not matter much though as Arsenal gained the point which would see them crowned as Premier League Champions and to do it in the home of their fiercest rivals made things that much sweeter for the Gunners. We won the league at White Hart Lane! Arsenal were by far the best team in the Premier League and their unbeaten title win was a testament to how they dominated the campaign with football that was just out of this world.







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April 2004 Results

League Table

Player Of The Month:
Thierry Henry

Despite their celebrations at the end, Arsenal got off to a very poor start after defeats at the hands of Manchester United and Chelsea in the FA Cup and Champions League respectively, and it could have been worse as they came close to slipping up in the Premier League as well.

Luckily for the Gunners, they had Thierry Henry on their side and the Frenchman was simply magnificent to guide home Arsenal to the finish line. Scoring seven goals during the month, his performances against Liverpool and Leeds United will be remembered as two of the finest ever seen in the Premier League.