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March 2004 Results & Match Reports

March was another good month for Arsenal as they managed to maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League table as well as qualify for the semi finals and the quarter finals of the FA Cup and Champions League respectively. With the Gunners showing such wonderful run of form, many felt that they certainly had a great chance of winning the treble and also completing an unprecedented unbeaten Premier League campaign in the process.

Amid all the talk of silverware, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger did not allow his players to get carried away though and the Gunners were very professional to cap off another productive month by earning some very important results.

6/3/2004 – Portsmouth 1 – 5 Arsenal, Venue – Fratton Park (FA Cup)

Arsenal continued their defence of the FA Cup by hammering Portsmouth 5-1 under difficult weather conditions. Thierry Henry sent the Gunners on their way in the 25th minute before Freddie Ljungberg and Kolo Toure scored within a minute of each other’s strikes to hand the defending champions a commanding 3-0 lead at half time.

Henry made it four soon after the interval with a delightful finish from outside the box and then Ljungberg got on in the act once again to complete the rout. Pompey did manage to score late into the game through Teddy Sheringham but it was scant consolation after being dominated by a simply imperious Arsenal side.

10/3/2004 – Arsenal 2 – 0 Celta Vigo, Venue – Highbury (UCL)

Arsenal squared off against Celta Vigo in the second leg of the Champions League knockout clash with a healthy advantage and simply strolled their way to the quarter finals with a comfortable 2-0 victory.

Thierry Henry handed the Gunners an early lead after being played through by the brilliant Dennis Bergkamp before the Frenchman sealed victory with another strike on the 35th minute. Celta offered very little in terms of a fight back and Arsenal could not have asked for a more easier win.

13/3/2004 – Blackburn Rovers 0 – 2 Arsenal, Venue – Ewood Park

Arsenal strengthened their position at the top of the Premier League table with another convincing victory, this time over Blackburn Rovers.

The first half was a very tight affair and Arsenal were unfairly denied a goal as Thierry Henry was deemed to have obstructed Brad Friedel despite Frenchman not doing too much wrong.

However, Henry did not dwell on the injustice for too long and handed his side the lead in the second half through a truly sublime free kick from 30 yards out.

The victory was then sealed for Arsenal in the 87th minute after Robert Pires slotted home an opportunistic rebound to hand the Gunners another important three points.

20/3/2004 – Arsenal 2 – 1 Bolton Wanderers, Venue – Highbury

Arsenal managed to maintain their wonderful winning run in the Premier League with a hard fought victory over Bolton Wanderers.

The Gunners looked set for an emphatic victory after wonderful goals from Robert Pires and Dennis Bergkamp within the first 25 minutes of the game. However, an Ivan Campo strike just before half time meant that Arsenal had to go through a much tougher ride than they were expecting.

Wenger’s men held on though and the result meant that the unstoppable Gunners equaled the record for the best start to a Premier League season.

24/3/2004 – Chelsea 1 – 1 Arsenal, Venue – Stamford Bridge (UCL)

Arsenal renewed rivalries with Chelsea once again after the pair was drawn together in the quarter finals of the Champions League.

Having got the better of Chelsea on the past three occasions in the season alone, Arsenal were considered favourites for the tie.

However, the Gunners found themselves behind in the 53rd minute as Jens Lehmann needlessly came out off his line to allow Eider Gudjohnson to stroke the ball home from 25 yards out.

Arsenal did not have to wait too long to get the equalizer though as Robert Pires rose the highest to emphatically head home from a fine Ashley Cole cross. In a finely poised last half an hour, both teams tried their best to get the winner but were unsuccessful and the draw certainly suited Arsenal than it did Chelsea.

28/3/2004 – Arsenal 1 – 1 Manchester United, Venue – Highbury

Arsenal would make history if they managed to remain unbeaten in their next game by going 30 Premier League games without defeat. However, standing in the way of Arsenal and the historic record was their fiercest rivals Manchester United.

After a tense first half, it required the genius of Thierry Henry to break the deadlock as the Frenchman found the back of the net with a simply stunning strike in the 50th minute.

Arsenal were pegged back in the 86th minute after Louis Saha found the net from close range but the draw was certainly a good result for the Gunners as they managed to become the first team in English history to go unbeaten for the first 30 matches of the season and in the process effectively knock out United from the title.







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March 2004 Results

League Table

Player Of The Month:
Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry had been Arsenal’s inspiration throughout the season and it was perfectly epitomized in the month of March what a truly brilliant player the Frenchman really was.

Henry scored six goals in six matches during the month and all his goals were of the highest quality. It was not only his aesthetically pleasing goals that caught the eye though, as the striker was a vital part in Arsenal’s brilliant attack and allowed everyone else in the team to flourish.