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September 2003 Results & Match Reports

After an almost flawless first month to the campaign, Arsenal were brought back down to earth in September as the Gunners managed to secure only a  single victory in five matches.

The month began with a draw against Portsmouth but it was the following game which proved to be a reality check for Arsenal as they were hammered 3-0 by Italian giants Inter Milan in the Champions League.

Then followed one of the most controversial matches of the season as the Gunners played out a 0-0 draw against Manchester United at Old Trafford in what proved to be an ill tempered affair.

Arsenal finally grabbed their first victory of the month by claiming a hard fought win over Newcastle United but once again disappointed in the Champions League in the following game by only managing a draw against Lokomotiv Moscow.

13/9/2003 – Arsenal 1 – 1 Portsmouth, Venue – Highbury

Arsenal dropped their first points of the season after playing out a 1-1 draw against high flying Portsmouth.

In what was a very closely fought game, it was Portsmouth who took the lead as Teddy Sheringham found the net with a fine diving header in the first half. Pompey’s lead did not last long though as Robert Pires won a penalty for the Gunners after falling under the challenge of Dejan Stefanovic.

Thierry Henry stepped up to convert the resulting spot kick and restore parity heading into the break. Both teams had chances to score the winner in the second half but were unable to find the net and the match ended with the two sides sharing the spoils.

17/9/2003 – Arsenal 0 – 3 Inter Milan, Venue – Highbury (UCL)

In the Champions League, Arsenal had been placed in a group consisting of Inter Milan, Lokomotiv Moscow and Dynamo Kiev, and it was certainly a challenging draw for the Gunners – both in terms of the quality of the opposition as well as the long travels.

And the Gunners’ European campaign certainly got off to the worst start possible as Italian giants Inter Milan simply ripped them apart in front of the shocked home crowd.

Arsenal put up a simply woeful performance in the first half as Inter raced to a 3-0 lead through goals from Julio Cruz, Andy Van der Meyde and Obafemi Martins to completely silence the usually vibrant Highbury.

Arsenal showed little signs of a comeback in the second half and to add insult to injury Thierry Henry missed a penalty after being denied by Francesco Toldo. As a result, the Gunners were condemned to a humbling defeat – their first of the season.

21/9/2003 – Manchester United 0 – 0 Arsenal, Venue – Old Trafford

After their shocking loss at the hands of Inter, Arsenal were handed the fixture which they probably least wanted just four days later as the Gunners would square off against fierce rivals Manchester United at Old Trafford.

Having conceded three goals in their previous match, Arsenal understandably went into the game with a defensive mindset and it was a clash of very few chances for both sides. However, there was a twist to the tale in the 80th minute as Patrick Vieira was shown a red card for attempting a kick out at Ruud van Nistelrooy.

Late into the game - United had a fantastic opportunity to take the lead as Martin Keown fouled Diego Forlan inside the box to concede a penalty.

Van Nistelrooy stepped up but surprisingly sent his shot crashing into the bar. What followed soon after the penalty would go on to add shame to the fixture as the two teams were involved in an almighty confrontation to which many of the players had to face the consequences later.

Amid all the commotion though, it was a valuable point earned for Arsenal away from home in the end.

26/9/2003 – Arsenal 3 – 2 Newcastle United, Venue – Highbury

Arsenal finally grabbed their first win during September in a pulsating 3-2 victory over Newcastle United. Playing under torrential rain, there were bound to be mistakes throughout the game and it was Titus Bramble who unfortunately committed a costly one as his wild kick ended up in the path of Thierry Henry to allow the Frenchman to grab the easiest of goals.

Arsenal were soon pegged back though as Laurent Robert equalized to send the two teams into half time level.

The Gunners regained the lead in the second half as Gilberto emphatically headed in from a corner but the home side squandered the lead once again just minutes later as Olivier Bernard scored a fine goal to tie the game at 2-2.

Just when it looked like the game was heading for a draw, a stupid handball by Jermaine Jenas handed Arsenal a penalty with ten minutes to go. Henry stepped up to convert it into goal with a nonchalant chip over Shay Given to earn the Gunners their first three points of the month and keep their lead at the top of the table intact.

30/9/2003 – Lokomotiv Moscow 0 – 0 Arsenal, Venue – Lokomotiv Stadium (UCL)

Arsenal’s difficult month was capped off following another poor result in the Champions League as the Gunners labored to a 0-0 draw against Lokomotiv Moscow.

In a game which will surely not live long in the memory, Arsenal spurned a host of chances while Lokomotiv keeper Sergei Ovchinnikov was in inspired form to deny the Gunners’ attack. At the end, the honours were split between the two sides and the draw was probably a fair result.












Champions League

Inter Milan





Man Utd





Newcastle United




Champions League

Lokomotiv Moscow



















Man Utd





Birmingham City




September 2003 Results

League Table

Player Of The Month: Kolo Toure

The month of September was a very disappointing one for the Gunners but one player who stood out was defender Kolo Toure.

The Ivorian had been converted into a centre back by manager Arsene Wenger at the start of the season and it certainly proved to be a stroke of genius by the French manager as Toure was simply sensational for Arsenal.

Although Arsenal struggled throughout the month, if it were not for Toure - the Gunners would have perhaps endured a much more difficult time.