Headaches for Highbury

How it has all gone wrong
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The Independent Football

Manchester United

Manchester United

24 October (a). Lost 0-2

When Arsenal's unbeaten Premiership run of 49 matches of went, it did not go gracefully. However, amid the flying pizza, accusations that Ruud van Nistelrooy was a "cheat", and allegations over the number of penalties awarded by Mike Riley at Old Trafford, it was forgotten that Arsenal were stifled by Manchester United, with Thierry Henry reduced to a bit-part player.


30 October (h). Drew 2-2

Against a club in chaos, this should have been the easiest of recoveries from the dramas of Manchester. Minus Sol Campbell, their defence was ruthlessly exposed by two headers from Rory Delap that would have given Southampton victory but for a late intervention from Robin van Persie.


2 November (h). Drew 1-1.

It was not just Campbell's absence that was harming Arsenal, it was that Pascal Cygan was playing. The Frenchman diverted a cross into his own net and had Angelos Basinas not missed a penalty, Panathinaikos, a side humiliated at Old Trafford last season, would have won.

Crystal Palace

6 November (a). Drew 1-1

For the first time since 18 January, Arsenal found themselves not leading the Premiership. As against Southampton and Panathinaikos, they ought to have lost as Vassilis Lakis failed to hit the target from three yards once Aki Riihilahti had equalised.


9 November (h). Won 3-1

A stunning victory against a club third in the Premiership with one of the league's most rugged away records. Pity it was in the League Cup and featured not a single player who failed to beat Palace.

Tottenham Hotspur

13 November (a). Won 5-4.

An astonishingly surreal match, featuring the kind of scoreline that went out with putting dubbin on football boots. Arsène Wenger thought it might be a catalyst for revival because Arsenal had "remained true to our philosophy, which is to attack". Sadly, George Graham's philosophy, that it is better to defend, was not listened to at all.

West Bromwich

20 November (h). Drew 1-1

For the seventh time this season, Arsenal squandered a lead, albeit one earned through a dreadful goalkeeping error by Russell Hoult. However, West Brom did not panic and equalised with a splendidly-taken goal from Robert Earnshaw.

PSV Eindhoven

24 November (a). Drew 1-1

It had been thought that Arsenal's on-field indiscipline under Wenger had been cured, but at the Philips Stadium, they hung on grimly for a point after first Lauren and then Patrick Vieira were dismissed. Campbell was back but he appeared to have been pressed into service too soon.


28 November (a). Lost 1-2

A dreadful first-half display at Anfield that Wenger compared to a bottom-of-the-table side, was salvaged by Vieira's beautifully-taken equaliser, but if Neil Mellor's winner was superb, the move that led to it was eminently preventable by a side that looked, frankly, exhausted.