Arsenal have been around for 134 years and are one of the most successful clubs in England.
Whether in the top-flight of English football, Europe, or one of the cups, it is safe to say that the Gunners have provided football fans with a lot of entertainment over the years – and have shredded the nerves of their loyal supporters.
Below I am going to take a look at some of the best matches that Arsenal have played in over the years.
Liverpool 0 Arsenal 2 (1989)
Arsenal went into the final game of the season needing to beat Liverpool by two clear goals to win the league and snatch the title away from Liverpool. This was a Liverpool team that had won thirteen trophies in the last eight seasons. However, George Graham, Arsenal’s manager, did not go for all-out attack to start with, he played a five-man defence and set up for a 0-0 at half-time, which is what he got.
Seven minutes into the second-half, Alan Smith scored after a discussion between the ref and his assistant. As the minutes ticked by, those Arsenal fans who were watching at home had no idea how much of the match was left, so the television producers decided to do something that was unheard of at the time – they put a running clock on the screen. With just injury time left to play, Michael Thomas found the ball at his feet and he stabbed it over Bruce Grobbelaar to send Arsenal fans all over the country into raptures.
Arsenal 3 Chelsea 0 (2016)
Apart for a poor showing on the opening day of the season at Anfield, Arsenal started the 2016/17 Premier League style in good form. When Chelsea rocked up at the Emirates in September, Arsenal were in third place with the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Mesut Özil, and Theo Walcott in great form.
These three would go on to be Chelsea’s downfall as the Gunners tore their rivals apart with electric speed. Sanchez opened the scoring in the 11th minute, Walcott doubled the lead just 3 minutes later, and Özil killed the game before half-time with a goal in the 40th minute. Chelsea would still go on to win the league under Conte, but this was Arsenal’s best Premier League performance for a long time and also their biggest winning margin over Chelsea in the league.
I remember travelling across to London from Dublin to watch this game at the Emirates. I am a huge Arsenal fan since I grew up in the 80s when the Gunners had a strong Irish connection. At the time they fielded no fewer than seven Irish players, which included the likes of Frank Stapleton, Liam Brady, Pat Rice, David O’Leary, and John Devine. I was feeling confident, so I had a £10 bet on Arsenal to win 3-0. I managed to find some of the best betting odds around as my friend recommended that I check out https://www.betinireland.ie/ as they have in-depth reviews on the best bookies around. It is needless for me to say that the celebratory beers were on me after the match.
Inter 1 Arsenal 5 (2003)
Arsenal won the 2003/04 Premier League season without losing a single game (won 26 and drawn 12) to earn themselves the title of “The Invincibles”. This was an achievement that had only ever been managed by one team before, and that was Preston during the 1888-89 season. However, this match that we are about to talk about was a Champions League match, not a Premier League game.
Although they did not go on to win the tournament, this performance has got to go down as one of Arsenal’s greatest Champions League performances. They had failed to win any of their opening 3 matches, and traveled to the San Siro, Milan, to take on Inter. Many expected a tough match as Inter had been losing semi-finalists the previous season, but Thierry Henry had other ideas. He scored a brace, assisted two goals, and terrorised Inter’s backline as Wenger’s Arsenal put on a counter-attacking masterpiece. They were eventually knocked out in the quarter finals by Chelsea.
Arsenal 3 Hull City 2 (2014)
Wenger’s first eight seasons at Arsenal saw the club win seven trophies, but his eight seasons would be completely dry. They had a chance to bring the barren run to an end with a League Cup final against Birmingham City in 2011, but they went on to lose. The next chance that they had of winning some silverware came in 2014, when they faced Hull in the FA Cup final. Arsenal were clear favourites to win, but Hull were 2 goals up with just 8 minutes in the clock.
However, Santi Cazorla gave Arsenal hope when he scored a sublime free kick with 17 minutes on the clock. As we entered the final 20 minutes of the game, Hull still led 2-1, but Laurent Koscielny drew the two teams level in the 71st minute. The game went into extra-time, and with 11 minutes left before a penalty shootout, Olivier Giroud set up Aaron Ramsey to stab home the winning goal.
Arsenal 4 Everton 0 (1998)
Arsenal went into this game knowing that a win would be enough for them to earn their first Premier League title under Arsene Wenger. This was a position that not many predicted they would get in considering that on Boxing Day they had been behind Manchester United by 13 points, and now they were 4 points clear. Slaven Bilic helped Arsenal get off to the perfect start as he inadvertently headed the ball into his own goal in the 6th minute.
Marc Overmars then made it 3-0 thanks to goals in the 28th and 57th minute, and Tony Adams then put the icing on the cake with an emphatic finish in the 89th minute. Adams celebrated by standing there with his arms outstretched and this is the pose that his bronze statue is in outside the Emirates.