The memories of Arsenal’s record league unbeaten run from May 2003 to October 2004 will remain forever in the hearts of soccer fans all over the world. The run was over 3 Premier League campaigns and most impressively included an undefeated 2003/04 Premier League campaign, which earned that team the title ‘Invincibles.’
With 49 matches played, 36 matches won, 13 drawn, and 0 lost, Arsenal set the record for the longest unbeaten streak. With a passion and zeal to compete, Arsenal’s record-breaking run will live on in the hearts of soccer fans everywhere and (possibly) forever in the books.
What made them ‘invincible?’ There were plenty of moments during the 2003/4 season where the streak was almost broken. 12 matches ended in a draw where the result could have gone against the Gunners had they not put up a fight and gotten a little bit of luck.
The 3 matches that most easily could have denied Arsenal the record where the away and home matches against Manchester United and the North London Derby late in the campaign.
On September 21, 2003, Arsenal headed to Old Trafford to play Manchester United for the first time in the season. Arsenal fans were worried the great start to the campaign could be slowed by the Red Devils. And those nightmares appeared to be coming true and the streak appeared to be over before it really started when the home side were awarded a penalty kick in the 80th minute. Ruud Van Nistelrooy stepped up to take the spot kick but his service hit off the bar and back into play. Arsenal and their fans were happy to leave Old Trafford with a 0-0 draw.
On March 28, 2004, Arsenal and Manchester United met up again, this time at Highbury. After the first meet-up, both teams showed up as determined as ever, but despite determination, there was still no winner for round two. The game ended in a draw of 1-1. Arsenal had the win until five minutes were left in regulation time. United gave a reply tying the game. Despite the draw, Arsenal remained invincible at the end of the month holding a secure first position in the Premiere League.
The North London Derby is always a difficult match for the Gunners and with only 5 games remaining and their unbeaten mark on the line the trip to White Hart Lane on April 25, 2004 was more pressure filled than ever. Arsenal settled nerves early taking a 2-0 advantage to the break only to hold on after the home side leveled matters in second half injury time. Despite the draw, Arsenal had reason to celebrate the result as it secured the Premier League title for Wenger’s side.
“We’ve been remarkably consistent, haven’t lost a game and we have played stylish football,” Wenger said after taking the title. “We have entertained people who just love football.”
NBC Sports will air a documentary on March 1, 2015, in the U.S focusing on the ‘Invincibles.’ It will premiere after the Arsenal v. Everton match.
Official gear of Arsenal is available at World Soccer Shop
What was the key moment from the Arsenal’s 2003/04 title run? Will the record ever be matched?