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Last Updated: Monday, 25 October, 2004, 10:39 GMT 11:39 UK
Arsenal run ends at 49
By Andrew Fraser

Robert Pires celebrates scoring the last goal of Arsenal's unbeaten run
Arsenal's players may not care to remember the manner in which their 49-game unbeaten Premiership run ended with a 2-0 defeat at Manchester United.

But in the fullness of time they will be able to look back with satisfaction on how they rewrote the record books with a brilliant string of results between 7 May 2003 and 16 October 2004.

No other English club has gone undefeated for so many league games since the Football League began in 1888.

And the run has been bettered in the major European leagues only by AC Milan, who put together a 58-match run without losing from 1991-93.

P49 W36 D13 L0 F112 A34
4 May 2003: Gunners lose 3-2 to Leeds to concede title
7 May: run begins with 6-1 win over Southampton
25 April 2004: title clinched with 2-2 draw at Tottenham
15 May: 2-1 win over Leicester seals unbeaten season
25 August: equal Nottingham Forest's 42-game record run
24 October: run ends with 2-0 loss at Man Utd
Arsenal began their unbeaten streak on a major low, having thrown away an eight-point lead to surrender the Premiership crown to Manchester United.

They followed the 3-2 home defeat by Leeds, which cost the title, with a 6-1 thrashing of Southampton, and closed a season to forget with a 4-0 win at Sunderland.

The following campaign, however, was as good as they come.

Arsene Wenger's side won 26 and drew 12 of their 38 games, scoring 73 goals and conceding 26 to be crowned champions with a grand total of 90 points - 11 clear of Chelsea.

It emulated the feat of Preston in 1888-89, who were nicknamed the 'Invincibles' after going through the 22-game inauguaral Football League season without defeat.

But the Gunners did not stop there.

A 3-0 win over Blackburn on 25 August saw them beat the previous English record of 42 games unbeaten set by Nottingham Forest from 1977-79.

58 - AC Milan (1991-93)
49 - Arsenal (2003-04)
38 - Real Sociedad (1978-80)
36 - Hamburg (1982-83)
32 - Nantes (1994-95)
Victories over Norwich and Fulham, a draw against Bolton, and wins against Manchester City, Charlton and Aston Villa stretched the record to 49 games.

But Robert Pires' goal against Villa turned out to be the last of the run as a controversial Ruud van Nistelrooy penalty and a Wayne Rooney strike stopped Wenger's 'Invincibles' in their tracks at Old Trafford.

In total, Arsenal won 36 and drew 13 of their 49 games, amassing 121 points out of a possible 147.

They scored 112 goals - an average of 2.3 per game - and conceded just 34 - an average of 0.7.

In only four of those games did they fail to score, with striker Thierry Henry alone contributing 39 goals.

Interview: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger

Interview: Patrick Vieira

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25 Oct 04 |  Fun and Games
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25 Apr 04 |  Premiership

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