Author Topic: 2007 was a memorable Arsenal year on more than one front  (Read 728 times)

Offline David

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2007 was a memorable Arsenal year on more than one front
« on: January 07, 2008, 08:57:13 PM »
JANUARY

Arsenal kick off the New Year with a 4-0 home victory over Charlton, Thierry Henry making a scoring return after five weeks out injured.

The Gunners then win 3-1 at Liverpool in the FA Cup third round and eclipse that result three days later with a 6-3 victory in the Carling Cup at the same venue, Julio Baptista scoring four.

It was Liverpool's heaviest home defeat since 1929-30.

Manchester United are beaten 2-1 at The Emirates on January 21 - Robin van Persie and Henry score in the last 10 minutes after United lead through Wayne Rooney. Van Persie breaks a metatarsal in the act of scoring and discovers shortly after his season is over.

The Carling Cup final is reached after a 5-3 aggregate win over Spurs. Lauren, the long-serving Cameroon defender, leaves for Portsmouth.

FEBRUARY

The international spotlight fell on The Emirates on February 6 when old foes Brazil locked horns with Portugal. A 60,000 sell-out saw the Portuguese triumph 2-0.

Theo Walcott breaks his duck to opening the scoring against Chelsea in the Carling Cup final.

But a youthful Arsenal side are finally broken by two Didier Drogba goals as the game ends in a brawl with Emmanuel Eboue, Kolo Toure and Chelsea's John Obi Mikel all shown red cards.

FA Cup interest is ended in a fifth round replay at Blackburn Rovers, who win 1-0 courtesy of an 87th minute Benni McCarthy strike.

MARCH

Arsenal crash out of the Champions League. Alex heads an equaliser for PSV Eindhoven after putting through his own net as the Dutch - who lead 1-0 from the first leg in Holland - scrape a draw in London to go through.

To compound matters, groin and stomach injuries end Thierry Henry's season - he'll never play for Arsenal again. A miserable month ends with defeats at the two big Merseyside clubs, Everton and Liverpool, with Peter Crouch netting a hat-trick.

Steve Bould's Under-18s offer a ray of light. A record 38,187 flock to The Emirates to see them beat Manchester United 1-0 in the FA Youth Cup semi-final first leg. But United win the return 4-2 to go through.

APRIL

West Ham becme the first visiting side to win at The Emirates, Bobby Zamora netting the only goal of the game.

Arsenal's Ladies, however, were having the season to end all seasons. They regained the league title - for the fourth successive year - winning all 22 games and took the FA Cup and League Cup for a domestic treble.

But, most impressively, they also became the first English side to win the Uefa Womens' Cup, beating Umea IK 1-0 on aggregate.

Cesc Fabregas finally scores his first goal of the season in a 2-1 win over Bolton on April 14. He scores again three days later as Manchester City are beaten on his 50th appearance of the season and Champions League football is all-but assured.

David Dein leaves the Arsenal board after 23 years - the club cites "irreconcilable differences".

Meanwhile, thousands of hopefuls flock to The Emirates for X-Factor auditions.

MAY

The Gunners survive a frenzied second half Chelsea performance to draw 1-1 at The Emirates - ending the Blues' title hopes. A total of 1,838,152 fans have attended matches at Arsenal's new home in its first year.

The season limps to a dull conclusion with a goalless draw at Portsmouth.

Theo Walcott's girlfriend Melanie Slade joins Arsenal. The teenager, who is studying physiotherapy, gains some work experience with the medical staff at Shenley with the Ladies side.

The two Emmanuels - Eboue and Adebayor - sign long-term deals with the club. Poland international goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski is snapped up from Legia Warsaw. Wenger immediately tips him as a future No1.

JUNE

After eight incredible years, Henry (left) finally leaves Arsenal for long-term suitors Barcelona. He became the club's all-time leading goalscorer with 226 goals from his 370 appearances and won two Premierships, two FA Cups, the Premiership Golden Boot four times and the FWA Player of the Year on three occasions.

An emotional Henry bids farewell and says: "Arsenal will be in my blood as well as my heart. I will always, always, always remember you guys. I said I was going to be a Gunner for life and I did not lie because when you are a Gunner you will always be a Gunner."

JULY

A blue plaque is unveiled at the birthplace of David Danskin in Burntisland, Fife. Danskin was a founding member of Arsenal in 1886 and the club's first captain. Arsenal's longest serving player departs. Freddie Ljungberg leaves for West Ham after 72 goals in 316 appearances.

Jose Reyes, on loan at Real Madrid last season, also leaves for good when he returns to the Spanish capital to sign for Atletico.

But there are soon new arrivals in the form of Dinamo Zagreb striker Eduardo da Silva and French defender Bacary Sagna from Auxerre. Paris Saint-Germain and Internazionale are beaten as Arsenal win the inaugural Emirates Cup.

AUGUST

The league campaign kicked off with a 2-1 win over Fulham - despite a Jens Lehmann howler handing the Cottagers an early lead. But when his mistake leads to two lost points in a 1-1 draw at Blackburn four days later - allowing David Dunn to equalise - Wenger drafts in Manuel Almunia as the club's new No1.

The Spaniard keeps a clean sheet in his first game - a 1-0 win over early pacesetters Manchester City - and then his next outing, when Sparta Prague are beaten 3-0 in the Champions League qualifying stages. Fabregas dedicated his goal - Arsenal's second of the night - to his friend, Sevilla and Spain defender Antonio Puerta, who died the day before after suffering a heart attack playing against Getafe the previous Sunday.

SEPTEMBER

Wenger signs a contract extension until 2011. "My heart is tied to this football club so signing a new deal was always my intention," said the boss, who is later named Barclays manager of the month for September.

Arsenal kick off Champions League Group H with a 3-0 home win over highly-fancied Sevilla. Adebayor makes history by scoring the first senior hat-trick at The Emirates as Derby are crushed 5-0.

Spurs are also beaten 3-1 in the first north London derby of the season.

And there's more recognition for The Emirates - it wins the Best Major Project gong at the British Construction Industry Awards. Arsenal deliver stunning financial figures at the end of the month; turnover's up nearly 50 per cent to £200.8 million while group operating profits increase by a massive 274 per cent to £51.2 million.

OCTOBER

Arsenal's board announces a lock-down agreement on the sale of shares - the club's directors must give fellow board members first option to buy their shares until 2012.

The move is designed to prevent a major takeover with US businessman Stan Kroenke and a Uzbek Billionaire owning more than a third of club between them.

Walcott, 18, finally shows his true potential with two goals as Slavia Prague are battered 7-0 - it's the third such scoreline during Wenger's reign.

Arsenal's 12-game winning run comes to an end the following weekend when Fabregas scores a late equaliser in a 1-1 draw at Liverpool.

NOVEMBER

November, as is club tradition, proves an indifferent month. Arsenal, the league leaders, start with a 2-2 home draw with Manchester United, William Gallas's late equaliser salvaged a point for the Gunners.

Arsenal Ladies are named The Sunday Times Team of the Year at a prestigious ceremony at Lord's Cricket Ground.

The men finally relinquish their 28-game unbeaten run in all competitions with a 1-3 loss at Sevilla. Wenger is sent from the dug-out as his team go down.

The Spanish side leapfrog Arsenal into top spot in Group H.

DECEMBER

More recognition for the remarkable Ladies side - they're awarded the freedom of the borough of Islington.

The Gunners bounce back from their first league loss since April - 1-2 at Middlesbrough - by deposing of Chelsea 1-0 to maintain their lead at the top of the Premier League. Former Bridge player William Gallas heads the only goal of the game.

Nicklas Bendtner comes off the bench to score the winner with his first touch in a 2-1 north London derby win. Emmanuel Adebayor opens the scoring.

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