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  CM 00/01

SEASON 04/05

The season started with 2 away trips against Everton and Newcastle United. The former match ended 3-2 in our favour. It wasn't the best of starts and I was beginning to wonder whether our poor showing in the friendlies would be an indication of this year's title hopes. But my team had other ideas when Newcastle United entertained us at Tyneside. Both Pires and Parlour were on the pitch. There was no love lost when we took the lead through Van der Vaart in the 10th minute. It was his first goal for Arsenal. There was no holding back the rampant Arsenal side as we swept to a 4-0 lead at half time. 2 more goals were added in the second half and the final score, a 6-0 drubbing of Newcastle United who had the service of 2 ex-Gunners. [ScreenShot] We followed it up with a hard-fought victory over Southampton.

The Champions League Phase 1 group matches pitted us against the likes of Feyenoord, Monaco and Servette FC. It would be an easy group after I witnessed the draw at UEFA's headquarters in Geneva. The first match was away to Rotterdam against Feyenoord. A freak collision between Elmander and Janssen saw both of them being substituted. We took advantage of the situation to score a 2-1 win over them. The next match was even easier as we faced Monaco who had Wiltord with them. He would be returning to familiar grounds at Ashburton Grove and the fans gave him a voracious salute for his 132 appearances and 63 goals for Arsenal during a 4-year period. Unfortunately he would be returning home empty handed after his team, Monaco was totally outplayed by us. 2 goals from Joe Cole and 1 each from Saviola, Vieira and Ljungberg gave us a 5-0 win. [ScreenShot] The match against Servette FC was an easy one as we cruised to a 4-1 win despite having Frey sent off for committing a professional foul.

Back in the domestic front, I was awarded the Manager of the Month award for September and October after some clinical wins over a few top sides. Rafael Van der Vaart won the Player of the Month award for October. The shock of the season came when we faced Chelsea at Stamford Bridge. It was unbelievable! Chelsea had been runners-up in the league for 4 seasons already but this time around, they were dead and buried with just a quarter of games being played.

35,000 fans were on hand to watch the match. Chelsea started the match strongly, hoping to avenge for the defeat in the Charity Shield match earlier this season. In the 11th minute, Van der Vaart started the move, which led to Cassano feeding a pass to him inside the area. GOAL! Just before Chelsea could compose their defence, we struck again. This time around, O'Shea combined well with Barrett to unlock the Chelsea defence, leaving Cassano one on one with the Chelsea keeper, Weaver. GOAL! Disaster struck in the 27th minute, when Chelsea was awarded a free kick. Palermo sent the ball flying but it took a wicked deflection off Canoville. GOAL! An own goal! 5 minutes later, our 2-goal cushion was restored. A poor clearance by Gerard allowed Barrett to sneak in and score. GOAL! The second half started the way the first half did. Chelsea came out in droves to attack. We were forced to put men behind the ball and rely on swift counter attacks. In the 51st minute, man-of-the-match Barrett laid a pass for Calaio just outside the area. Calaio shoots. GOAL! The goal forced Chelsea to slow down their attacks, which would be their mistake. In the 63rd minute, Cassano received a pass from Barrett before sending it towards the Chelsea goal. GOAL! A counter attack in the 70th minute by Chelsea nearly resulted in a goal but the ball rebounded off the crossbar and was well controlled by Pennant. A couple of passes later found Cassano inside the area. GOAL! That's his hat-trick! 2 minutes later, Cassano scored his fourth of the night and Arsenal's seventh of the match. Mighty Chelsea has been brought to their knees in a 7-1 humiliating defeat at home. [ScreenShot]

With a quarter of matches gone, we were 4 points clear of Liverpool and facing them in the next match. No one would have predicted that after the thrashing of Chelsea, we would re-enact the same situation over Liverpool who had become title challengers in place of Chelsea. This time around we would be doing it at Ashburton Grove in front of 68,000 spectators. The first half was an equal affair, both sides having their share of attacks and near misses. But the start of the second half showed Arsenal in their most devastating form. It took only 3 minutes of lapsed concentration in the Liverpool defence for us to take the lead and increased it. Henry started the ball rolling in the 56th minute by scoring from a Van der Vaart pass. GOAL! In the 59th minute, a badly timed tackle on Henry resulted in the ball falling at Cassano's feet. GOAL! Then in the 73rd minute, Alan Quinn headed a Van der Vaart corner into the net. GOAL! 6 minutes later, poor marking by the Liverpool defenders allowed Van der Vaart to send in a pinpoint cross for Noble inside the area. GOAL! Just when Liverpool thought that they have survived the onslaught, Van der Vaart's neatly placed header found Noble in the area again. GOAL! Final score, Arsenal 5 Liverpool 0. [ScreenShot]

  ARSENAL FC
  Season 03/04 :
  Pre-Season
  Part 1
  Part 2
  Part 3
  Part 4
  Post-Season

  Season 04/05 :
  Pre-Season
  Part 1
  Part 2
  Part 3
  Part 4
  Post-Season

  Season 05/06 :
  Pre-Season
  Part 1
  Part 2
  Part 3
  Part 4
  Post-Season




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