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October 2003 Results & Match Reports

There is no denying that September was a difficult month for Arsenal but the struggles seemed to galvanize the Gunners and they started off October in a fine fashion by grabbing vital victories over Liverpool and Chelsea to land the first blow in the title race.

Europe, on the other hand, was still a problem for Arsenal as they fell to another defeat at the hands of Dynamo Kiev and the slip up condemned them to the bottom of their group.

The Gunners did manage to maintain their lead at the top of the table with a draw away to Charlton Athletic and then the youngsters managed to guide Arsene Wenger’s men into the fourth round of the League Cup after seeing off Rotherham United on penalties.

4/10/2003 – Liverpool 1 – 2 Arsenal, Venue – Anfield

In a very tough looking fixture against Liverpool at Anfield, Arsenal put in a thoroughly professional performance to come away from the fixture with all three points.

It was Liverpool who took the lead early on as Harry Kewell slammed the ball in inside the first fifteen minutes. Just on the half an hour mark though; a header from Edu was diverted into his own goal by Sami Hyypia to level matters.

With the game finely poised, it required a moment of genius to decide the game as Robert Pires curled the ball home from all of 25 yards in the 68th minute to hand Arsenal the winner and send the Gunners’ faithful into raptures.

18/10/2003 – Arsenal 2 – 1 Chelsea , Venue – Highbury

While Manchester United had been Arsenal’s main title rivals over the years, a new superpower in the form of Chelsea had emerged after they found the financial backing of Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich.

The Blues had spent heavily in their squad during the summer and were genuine title contenders as well. Therefore, the clash between the two sides at Highbury certainly grabbed the attention of many.

In a frantic start, Edu got the opener for the Gunners within the first five minutes through a free kick but only three minutes later, Hernan Crespo equalized for Chelsea with an absolute beauty.

The two teams then looked very closely matched throughout and with Carlo Cudicini looking in inspired in the Chelsea goal, the game looked set to be heading for a draw.

However, it was Cudicini who would ironically go on to become the villain as he made a horrendous error to allow Thierry Henry to score and gift Arsenal the lead as well as a big advantage in the title race.

21/10/2003 – Dynamo Kiev 2 – 1 Arsenal, Venue – Olimpiysky NSC (UCL)

Following their morale boosting win against Chelsea, the Gunners were expected to transmit their league form into Europe as well and get their Champions League campaign up and running.

However, it was not meant to be as Arsenal succumbed to another loss at the hands of Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev. Maksim Shatskikh handed the hosts the lead in the first half before some atrocious goalkeeping from Jens Lehmann allowed Valyantsin Byalkevich to double Kiev’s lead.

Arsenal did manage a consolation through Thierry Henry – their first goal in the competition, but were powerless to avoid another defeat and remained rooted to the bottom of their group.

26/10/2003 – Charlton Athletic 1 – 1 Arsenal, Venue – The Valley

Arsenal quickly had to get over their disappointment in the Champions League when they travelled to the Valley to face a tough Charlton Athletic side. Things looked ominous early on as a Lauren foul inside the box allowed Paolo Di Canio to hand the Addicks the lead from the penalty spot.

Soon after conceding, Arsenal raised the tempo and laid siege on the Charlton goal. Thierry Henry was denied a great goal when his curling effort came back off the bar but just minutes later, the Frenchman’s genius was not to be denied as his wonderful free kick whistled into the Charlton net past the despairing dive of Dean Kiely.

Both teams had good chances to take the lead in the second period but could not capitalize and the match ended in a stalemate.

28/10/2003 – Arsenal 1(P) – 1 Rotherham United, Venue – Highbury (League Cup)

There were wholesale changes made to the Arsenal squad for the League Cup clash against Rotherham United as no less than five youngsters were handed their first team debut, with Cesc Fabregas becoming the youngest ever player to represent the Gunners – aged just 16 years and 177 days.

Things got off to a good start as Jérémie Aliadière grabbed an early goal for Arsenal and following the opener, the young Gunners had a lot of chances to seal the game. However, their lack of experience showed at the end as Rotherham managed to grab an equalizer in the dying minutes through Darren Byfield to send the game into extra time.

Despite Rotherham goalkeeper Mike Pollitt being shown a red card in extra time, Arsenal were unable to find the winner and the match would be decided by penalties.

The penalties was a marathon in itself as it required 22 spot kicks to decide the winner. But, following Graham Stack’s fine save from Chris Swailes, the experienced Sylvain Wiltord stepped to score and hand Arsenal the hard fought victory.

















Champions League

Dinamo Kiev





Charlton Athletic




League Cup

Rotherham United


1-1 (Won on Pens)

















Man Utd





Birmingham City




October 2003 Results

League Table

Player Of The Month: Thierry Henry

Thierry Henry was Arsenal Player of the Month October 2003Thierry Henry was once again fantastic for Arsenal and the brilliant Frenchman was one of the reasons why Arsenal enjoyed such a fine month.

Henry scored vital goals in the win over Chelsea and also proved vital in helping the Gunners maintain their unbeaten streak against Charlton.

While the entire Arsenal team seemed to be functioning as a fine unit, it was Henry who made the difference, and was providing the spark which gave the Gunners an edge over their rivals.