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  CM 00/01

SEASON 2002/03

Our opening 3 matches for this season was surprisingly easier than the last few seasons. Sunderland was sent packing after a 3-1 defeat and that was to be followed by wins over Everton (4-2) and Manchester City (1-0). There was no mercy shown for Leicester City who visited Highbury next. Goals from Ferdinand, Pires, Henry and Joe Cole secured a 4-1 win and Arsenal went to the top of the table.

The Champions League saw us facing off with Heerenveen, Monaco and Valencia. It seems like these draws always pit us against teams, which we have played against for the past few years. On paper, we should be able to qualify easily from this group and that was proven when we won 4-1 at Heerenveen, in which we scored 4 in 20 minutes. Wins over Valencia (2-1) and Monaco (3-0) later saw us cruising into Phase 2.

Chelsea was in dire straits when we entertained them at Highbury. They weren't in the front pack chasing us but were lying in 10th place. A brace by Bergkamp in the second half separated both sides. Things didn't look too good for teams like Tottenham, Leeds, Newcastle and Liverpool when they found themselves in unfamiliar territory - relegation zone.

A quarter of the season gone and we were at the top of the table looking down on the other teams, which we had left behind. These included wins over Leeds (3-1), Liverpool (3-1) and Manchester United (4-2). White Hart Lane was the venue of another thrashing for Spurs inflicted by us. They lay at the foot of the table without a win in 9 games. Teenage sensation Saviola opened the scoring in the 14th minute when he dribbled past the Spurs defense like knife through butter. On the 32nd minute, Vieira slammed a 25-yard screamer into the back of the net. GOAL! The second half was as exciting as the first. Saviola was fouled just outside the area and Hugo Tavares could only parry Pires's free kick to Saviola. GOAL! Saviola then turned provider when he laid a pass for Wiltord in the area. GOAL! Another 4-0 win for Arsenal over our age-old enemy, Tottenham. [ScreenShot]

Further wins in Europe over Heerenveen (3-0) and Monaco (1-0) was followed by a 1-1 draw against Valencia. We failed to capitalize on the chances that were given and have only ourselves to blame for not completing a 100% unbeaten record. The Phase 2 group saw us facing NK Dinamo, Bayern Munich and mighty Barcelona. The media reported that we were in a group of death. Both Bayern and Barcelona have done well in their previous groups and we were up against stiff competition to qualify for the Quarterfinals. But things didn't turned out that way, Bayern were humiliated 5-0 by Barcelona in the opening match as we won 2-0 away against NK Dinamo. A week later, Barcelona was heading for a defeat before Kluivert rescued them with a dramatic equalizer after Pires had given us a lead in the 6th minute.

My young Reserves team did us proud when they defeated Birmingham City (2-0), Wolves (1-0) and Queens Park Rangers (4-1) to reach the Semi-Finals against local neighbours Charlton Athletic. The new boys were able to settle in and they looked quite comfortable even when faced against more experienced teams. Furthermore, the regulars showed that they were more than ready to take over some of the first team spots. But I told them that they need to gather more experience first before putting them under the limelight.

With the youngsters doing everything they can at home. I brought the team to Japan again for the World Club Cup match against the Brazilian team, Palmeiras. 62,000 spectators thronged the National Stadium at Tokyo to catch a glimpse of the soccer superstars on display. It was an entertaining match as Palmeiras started off defensively, giving us ample of room to maneuver. Woodgate started off the move, which led to Vieira squaring the ball into the path of Parlour. GOAL! Superb team play by Arsenal! Palmeiras started to attack a little bit more and a few chances went their way but Manninger was solid in goal. Then Arsenal struck twice within 7 minutes. The first came when Parlour tapped in Bergkamp's pass after the Dutchman has done everything to bring the ball into the area. Bergkamp repeated his move again and this time, he scored with a delightful chip over Marcos, the Palmeiras goalkeeper. 3-0 at halftime! For the remainder of the match, I told them to ease up and relax a little. Hooray! Another title for the trophy cabinet. [ScreenShot] Chairman Peter Hill-Wood decided to finance a 3-storey Hall of Fame building within Ashburton Grove, which will be completed by the end of the season.

  CM 00/01
  Season 00/01 :
  Pre-Season
  Part 1
  Part 2
  Part 3
  Part 4
  Post-Season

  Season 01/02 :
  Pre-Season
  Part 1
  Part 2
  Part 3
  Post-Season

  Season 02/03 :
  Pre-Season
  Part 1
  Part 2
  Part 3
  Part 4
  Post-Season


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