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Gallas and McFadden.

Jens Lehmann reveals what happened in the dressing room after Birmingham 2-2 Arsenal

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Arsenal fans will never forget the day their 2-2 draw against Birmingham City on February 23, 2008.

It was the game in which Eduardo da Silva suffered that horrific broken leg after a challenge in the third minute by Martin Taylor.

And it was also the game in which Arsenal’s title challenge began to collapse.

The Gunners held a five-point lead that was reduced to three when Birmingham’s James McFadden scored a last-minute penalty to make it 2-2.

It became the start of a miserable slide. Arsene Wenger’s side won just one of their next seven matches and would end up finished third in the table, four points behind champions Manchester United.

One of the lasting images of the draw at St Andrews is of William Gallas sat slumped in the centre-circle, knowing full well Arsenal had just thrown away two points.

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One fan has even created a video that mocks Gallas for sulking.

The Frenchman, Arsenal’s captain back then, also kicked advertising hoardings after McFadden’s goal.

In that situation, Arsenal needed a captain who would keep the players motivated and would ensure they bounced back in the next game at home to Aston Villa.

They instead got a captain who simply threw a stop, and Jens Lehmann has revealed just how disappointed Arsenal’s players were at the centre-back’s behaviour.

Lehmann reveals what happened afterwards

In his autobiography, which is being serialised by the Telegraph, Lehmann admits Gallas came to blows with Gilberto Silva in the dressing room at full-time.

“The game [against Birmingham] was fateful,” the former Arsenal goalkeeper states.

“We were leading 2-1 shortly before the end when Gael Clichy was late for a ball while in his own area - time for a penalty and time for captain Gallas to spring into action.

“Instead of standing at the edge of the area and clearing a possibly parried penalty, he abandoned the team, ran towards the halfway line and, in anger, kicked an advertising hoarding.

“After the match, he refused to leave the pitch and sat down in the centre circle like a sulky child.

“In the dressing room Gallas came to blows with Gilberto Silva, who accused him of seeking attention in a daft manner - the row dragged on for the remainder of the season.”

Match highlights

There was no way back from there. Arsenal drew against Aston Villa, Wigan Athletic and Middlesbrough before losing to Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

They were already in third place when Man United beat them 2-1 at Old Trafford in April, effectively ending their title hopes.

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Topics:
Gilberto Silva
William Gallas
Jens Lehmann
Arsenal
Premier League
Arsene Wenger
Football

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