Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger took charge of his 900th game when the Gunners could only draw with Norwich City on Saturday.
The Frenchman is the most successful manager in the club’s history, bringing unprecedented success to the north London club and leading them to their state-of-the-art new home at Emirates Stadium.
Wenger claimed he was surprised that such a milestone has arrived and insisted that he only concentrates on the next game, quickly forgetting those in the past.
Whether Wenger remembers them or not, or if he only has his mind on the next game, GMF want to use this historic moment as an opportunity to reminisce over the best matches Arsenal have had under Wenger.
15 years is a long time and they have had some memorable games in that period, so it was difficult to boil it down to five matches.
There had to be a limit as the list could go on for quite a while and we believe these are the most poignant moments in his history at the club.
This match contained one of the most iconic moments for the modern Arsenal team and the Premier League as whole. Wenger had turned a stubborn, yet not particularly dynamic, Gunners side into a highly physical and precise team.
They went into the game knowing a win would clinch the title and they were well on their way after a Marc Overmars brace was added to a Slaven Bilic own goal.
The day was topped off when captain Tony Adams ran through onto a chipped through-ball from defensive partner Steve Bould and slammed it home with aplomb.
They would then go to Wembley and complete an historic second double by beating Newcastle United in the FA Cup final two weeks later.
Wenger’s side had already won the FA Cup four days previous with a 2-0 victory over Chelsea and needed only a point at Old Trafford to clinch their second double in four years.
United were desperate to avoid the embarrassment of having their title taken off of them at their own ground and employed physical tactics that would prove successful against some of the more slight Arsenal teams of the future.
It did not work in this case as the Gunners proved more resilient than they would do later, with the momentum of the Cup win making their victory almost seem inevitable.
Sylvan Wiltord scored the only goal in the game as the north London side cruised to the title with a seven-point gap over nearest rivals Liverpool.
This was one of the defining moments for one of the greatest sides in English football history; Wenger’s ‘Invincibles’ would go through the entire season without losing a match, something that had not been done since Preston North End in 1888-89 when the season was only 22 games long.
Before they went into the history books as one of only two teams to pull off such a feat, they clinched the league title at the home of their closest and most fierce rivals Spurs.
Arsenal had won the title at White Hart Lane 33 earlier and did so again with what should have been a win, were it not for volatile goalkeeper Jens Lehmann. The German gave away a penalty in the 90th minute for pushing Robbie Keane as they were waiting for a corner to be taken.
The Gunners only needed a point and the equaliser did little to subdue the ecstatic fans that had travelled from the other end of Seven Sisters Road.
While this was not an emphatic win of any sorts, it was probably the most significant victory on the Gunners’ road to their first Champions League final.
That would ultimately prove unsuccessful but their victory in this last 16 first leg was something quite special.
Real were managed by Juan Roman Lopez Caro and had the more impressive line-up of the two teams with Robinho, Ronaldo and Zidane all starting. However, Wenger’s side were solid from the off and put in a dominating performance to snuff out the Madrid attacking threat and pose constant dangers going forward.
Thierry Henry sealed the victory just after half-time with a virtuoso solo goal, beating four players before calmly slotting home across Casillas, as they became the first English team to beat Real at the Santiago Bernabeu.
This was the same fixture as the previous year and Barcelona had then taken a two-goal lead before being pegged back late on.
As in that year, Arsenal would fail to progress after being turned over at Camp Nou, but their home performance was one to be treasured.
Barca’s first-half dominance could only produce one goal this time around and the Gunners slowly got themselves back into the game before Robin van Persie cancelled out David Villa’s opener with a finish form a tight angle.
It sparked an irrepressible surge from Wenger’s team and Andrey Arshavin strode onto Samir Nasri’s pull-back to guide home the winner in the 83rd minute. It was a remarkable comeback full of heart and determination that is still considered one of the best nights at the team’s new home.
Now you have read GMF’s five choices, we want you to remind us what other moments you think we should have included, or you may just want to join in the reminiscence.
Either way, join in the debate and leave a comment below to let us know….
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