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  CM 00/01

Back to the Premier League, we were off to Villa Park and looking forward to extending our lead at the top of the table. But Villa obviously had other plans for us. Within 10 minutes of the first half, we were already 2-0 up after Silvestre (og) and Saviola had scored. But Villa pulled one back through Joachim. In the second half, we played one of the worse football I've ever seen. During a 10-minute blitz, my defense decided to doze off allowing Joachim and Alex to score. Then deep into injury time, Dublin added salt to our wounds by scoring another. We were staring at an embarrassing defeat against Aston Villa. [ScreenShot]

Despite the little setback, Arsenal was sitting comfortably at the top of the table with a 9-point cushion between Manchester United and us. What was even more surprising, Manchester City was lying at third place. We had 12 wins, 2 draws and 1 defeat, while United had 12 wins, 5 draws and 3 defeats. The FA decided to play a little trick on us, when they arranged us to play Blackburn Rovers twice in the Premier League in just 4 days. Odd as it seems, it was good news for us. Four days later, we came out with 6 points and 6 goals. The first match saw us thrashing them 4-0 away at Ewood Park. Whereas in the return match at Highbury, we were held back by their stout defending and could only manage a 2-0 win.

In the FA Cup 3rd Round, we came face-to-face with Liverpool. My Reserves team played one of their best matches ever. It was a fiery encounter in which 7 players were booked. Barrett scored the opener after 12 minutes of play. Then it was a see saw battle between both sides which produced one of the classic games ever. Just into first half injury time, Woodgate tucked away a pass by Ashley Cole to score his first goal for the club. The second half continued where the first half had left off. In the 54th minute, Vernazza tried his luck from 25-yards out. GOAL! His first ever goal for Arsenal. In the 67th minute, Liam Chilvers had his shot parried by Westerveld and the rebound hit the post only to fall at Notman's feet for a simple tap-in. GOAL! Liverpool started to play much more defensively to stop the waves of attack by Arsenal. A cheeky back flick by Notman allowed Ljungberg to slip through the Liverpool defense in the 82nd minute. GOAL! 5-0 against Liverpool, I couldn't believe it! [ScreenShot]

The 4th Round saw us taking on Gillingham in a one-sided affair and we walked away with a 2-0 win. In the League Cup Semi-Final match against Charlton, we led 2-0 at half time through a brace by Saviola but was later caught out by John Robinson's vital away goal in the 82nd minute.

Back to the Premier League, we went through a bad patch right after the match against Blackburn Rovers. We could only draw the next 3 matches against Leicester City (1-1), Chelsea (1-1) and Leeds (2-2). These matches saw us having to make a late comeback to get a point. Luckily, our nearest contenders were going through their own bad patch too and that allowed us to maintain our lead at the top of the table.

We were faced with 4 big matches at the start of February. In Europe, the Champions League resumed and we were up against Bayern Munich twice in one week. We also had to travel to Manchester twice within a week, when both United and City, who were lying in second and third place respectively, entertained us. Bayern was no match for us as they slumped to a 3-0 at Highbury. The away match at Olympiastadion was a thrilling encounter. Santa Cruz scored the opener for Bayern in the 13th minute. But their lead was cut short when Henry scored twice within 5 minutes to give us a 2-1 lead. Woodgate added a third, 2 minutes before half time. The second half was as impressive as the first, and Santa Cruz gave Bayern a lifeline when he scored in the 65th minute. In the 72nd minute, Bayern had the ball in the net but it was ruled offside. A goal kick from Manninger found Joe Cole who flicked the ball for Henry. Henry aimed for the top corner from 20 yards. GOAL! His hat-trick complete and Arsenal's ticket to the Quarterfinals was confirmed. [ScreenShot]

Our trip to Maine Road was for the 5th Round of the FA Cup. It was a tricky situation and we were just hoping for a draw. The previous match against Bayern had taken a toll on the regulars, so I had to field my backup strikers: Wiltord and Saviola. City defended well for the first 10 minutes or so, but they were hampered by an injury to Tim Sherwood. 2 minutes later, Saviola scored his 25th goal of the season from outside the penalty box. In the 23rd minute, City's defense was caught out again when Ljungberg flicked the ball for Wiltord. GOAL! Before City could regroup, Greening tucked away a neat pass from Saviola. GOAL! With a draw on my mind at the start of the match, Arsenal was now leading 3-0. Wiltord finished the first half with another goal from a long cross by Ljungberg. We played the second half much more defensively as we were keen to hold on to our lead. Manchester City threw everything that had at us, but Wright was at his best. In the 70th minute, a quick counter attack and Wiltord scored his hat-trick. Full time score, Arsenal 5 Manchester City 0. [ScreenShot]

  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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