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29 Jan 2008; Arsenal challenging at the top of the league

Arsenal 3 Newcastle 0 (again)

This match saw Arsenal go top of the league, and was part an unbeaten run that started on 16 December 2007 when Arsenal beat Chelsea 1-0.  The one defeat of the season so far had come against Middlesbrough on 9 December 2007 (2-1 away), and the new run including this game was of six wins and a draw.  It continued until 23 March 2008 when Chelsea won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal were challenging for the championship all the way through the season until the assault on Eduardo on 23 February 2008 at Birmingham.  That game was drawn, and was the start of a run of one win, five draws and two defeats, which saw the push for the title drop away.

But back on 19 January 2008 Arsenal were second in a three horse race

Pd W D L F A G.D. Pts
1 Manchester United 23 17 3 3 46 11 +35 54
2 Arsenal 23 16 6 1 46 17 +29 54
3 Chelsea 23 15 5 3 36 16 +20 50
4 Liverpool 21 10 9 2 35 14 +21 39
5 Everton 22 12 3 7 38 22 +16 39
6 Aston Villa 22 11 6 5 40 28 +12 39
7 Manchester City 22 11 6 5 29 23 +6 39
The team was for the day was…
.
                    Almunia
Clichy, Senderos, Gallas, Sagna
Diaby, Fabregas, Flamin, Hleb
              Adebayor, Eduardo

Adebayor gave us the lead in the 9th minute, after a series of one-touch passes between Hleb, Fabregas and Flamini, and given the way results had been going I think the general feeling in the ground was, “off we go again”, and indeed it was true – both in the league (where consistency was certain) and the FA Cup (see below).

(The league cup had been a different affair with the reserves being beaten by Tottenham’s first team 5-1 away on 22 January 2008).

But just to add to the feeling of familiarity and consistency Arsenal had already beaten Newcastle 3-0 on 26 Jan in the FA Cup.  Hence the “here we go again” feeling.  Or if you prefer, that deja vu thing all over again.

The game also saw another frightening injury to Diaby, as Newcastle put themselves about, and he was stretchered off.  However he did return to continue the match.

——————–

Although the result helped us along, it left Arsenal having played one more, but the league table was certainly encouraging….

Pd W D L F A G.D. Pts
1 Arsenal 24 17 6 1 49 17 +32 57
2 Manchester United 23 17 3 3 46 11 +35 54
3 Chelsea 23 15 5 3 36 16 +20 50
4 Everton 23 13 3 7 40 23 +17 42
5 Aston Villa 24 11 8 5 43 31 +12 41
6 Liverpool 22 10 10 2 37 16 +21 40
7 Manchester City 23 11 7 5 30 24 +6 40

Man U won their game in hand, and went back to the top but everything continued to look rosy until that awful moment on 23 February.

Books on Arsenal at a discount

The latest from the Arsenal History Society anniversary files

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