No one could have predicted the rise of Arsenal this season. Admittedly last season they looked like genuine top-four contenders for the first time since the days of Arsene Wenger. But two defeats in their final three games of last season saw Champions League football slip from their grasp, and into the lap of arch-rivals Tottenham.

But this season, the Gunners are back, and to say they mean business would be an understatement. Mikel Arteta’s young side is currently five points clear of reigning champions Manchester City with a game in hand. They face Pep Guardiola’s side at the Emirates at the start of February, so if Arsenal win their game in hand and somehow beat the Blues, they could be an unassailable-looking 11-point lead as the season ticks into its final third.

Many thought that the North London club would have fallen away by now. Yet, Eddie Nketiah’s last-gasp winner in the recent 3-2 thriller against Manchester United has proven that The Gunners are in this title fight for the long haul. In fact, you can now see Canada sports betting on Bodog, and they have earmarked the Gunners as favorites to win the title for the first time all season.

In the last decade, Arsenal have picked up four FA Cups and reached a Europa League final. But you have to go back some 19 years for their last success in the English top flight. In honor of their heroics this season, we take a look back to the last time the Gunners lifted the Premier League title.

The Invincibles

The 2003/04 season was arguably the finest in Arsenal’s long and illustrious history. Led by legendary manager Arsene Wenger, the squad went on to make history by becoming the first and only team to go an entire season unbeaten in the English Premier League.

For the Gunners, the success of the season was driven by its formidable strike force. Thierry Henry, Robert Pires, and Dennis Bergkamp were all on fire throughout the campaign, scoring a combined total of over 70 goals. Henry was the top scorer with 30 goals, while Pires and Bergkamp chipped in with 17 and 15 goals respectively. The trio formed a lethal combination up front, providing the attacking impetus for the team’s success.

The team also boasted an impressive midfield, with Patrick Vieira and Gilberto Silva providing the steel in the centre of the park. The defensive unit was also rock solid, with Sol Campbell, Lauren, Ashley Cole, and Kolo Toure forming a formidable backline. The team was well-drilled and well-disciplined, and they were able to keep clean sheets in 21 out of 38 matches in the league.

The most difficult match of the season was undoubtedly against Manchester United at Old Trafford. The Gunners went into the match undefeated but were unable to break down a resilient United defence. The match ended goalless, but it was a testament to the strength of the Arsenal team that they were able to come away with a point from such a difficult match. The point was even more impressive considering United’s iconic striker Ruud van Nistelrooy blasted a last-minute penalty against the crossbar, much to the delight of the Gunners players that surrounded the Dutchman following the miss.

The 2003/04 season will forever be remembered as one of Arsenal’s greatest campaigns, with the team going on to win the Premier League title without a single defeat. The squad was full of world-class players, and the team’s achievements will live long in the memory of Arsenal fans everywhere. But if you had told any Gooner at the time that it would be their last title for almost two decades, they’d have laughed you out of the building.

So, Can They Do It?

Well, that’s the all-important question, isn’t it? If you’d have asked us following the goalless home draw against Newcastle at the start of January, we’d have said no, and that that was the beginning of the end for the title charge. We all remember how the wheels came off the bus back in 2007/08 following a 2-2 draw with Birmingham City at St. Andrew’s.

But Mikel Arteta’s side has bounced back in style this time around. Back-to-back victories against two of the Premier League’s supposed top six – firstly away at Spurs before the scintillating victory over United at the Emirates – have restored the Gunners’ advantage at the division’s summit. To coin one of football’s favourite clichés, Arsenal will be ‘there or thereabouts’.

The big concern is that there are two fixtures against Manchester City looming on the horizon. The first of which comes from the Emirates on February 15th. Arsenal will then make the long journey north to the Etihad at the end of April. And it all depends on how they perform in those fixtures that will decide where the title finally rests.

But one thing is for certain, The Gunners have the opportunity of a lifetime. And they don’t plan on passing it up.