In English football, "The Invincibles" is a nickname that has been used to refer to the Preston North End team of the 1888–89 season, managed by William Sudell,and the Arsenal team of the 2003–04 season managed by Arsène Wenger. Preston North End earned the nickname after completing an entire season undefeated in league and cup competition (27 games), while Arsenal were undefeated in the league only (38 games). The actual nickname of the Preston team was the "Old Invincibles", but both versions have been in use.
Association football is the most popular sport in England, where the first modern set of rules for the code were established in 1863, which were a major influence on the development of the modern Laws of the Game. With over 40,000 association football clubs, England has more clubs involved in the code than any other country as well as the world's first club, the world's oldest professional association football club, the oldest national governing body, the first national team, the oldest national knockout competition and the oldest national league. Today England's top domestic league, the Premier League, is one of the most popular and richest sports leagues in the world, with six of the ten richest football clubs in the world as of 2019.
Association football, more commonly known as football or soccer, is a team sport played with a spherical ball between two teams of eleven players. It is played by 250 million players in over 200 countries and dependencies, making it the world's most popular sport. The game is played on a rectangular field called a pitch with a goal at each end. The object of the game is to score by moving the ball beyond the goal line into the opposing goal.
Preston North End Football Club is a professional football club in Preston, Lancashire, whose team currently plays in the EFL Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. Originally a cricket club, Preston have been based at Deepdale since 1875. The club first took up football in 1878 as a winter fitness activity and decided to focus on it in May 1880, when the football club was officially founded. Deepdale is now football's oldest ground in terms of continuous use by a major league club.
The term "Invincibles" has also been used elsewhere in European football. Italian clubs Milanand Juventus received the nickname after winning the 1991–92 and 2011–12 Serie A titles respectively. Celtic earned the nickname after going unbeaten across domestic league and cup competition during the 2016–17 season in Scotland. In Greece, PAOK have earned the nickname after winning the 2018–19 championship undefeated.
Football is the most popular sport in Italy. The Italian national football team is considered to be one of the best national teams in the world. They have won the FIFA World Cup four times, trailing only Brazil, runners-up in two finals and reaching a third place (1990) and a fourth place (1978). They have also won one European Championship (1968), also appearing in two finals, finished third at the Confederations Cup (2013), won one Olympic football tournament (1936) and two Central European International Cups.
Associazione Calcio Milan, commonly referred to as A.C. Milan or simply Milan, is a professional football club in Milan, Italy, founded in 1899. The club has spent its entire history, with the exception of the 1980–81 and 1982–83 seasons, in the top flight of Italian football, known as Serie A since 1929–30.
During the 1991–92 Serie A, under the guidance of Fabio Capello, Milan completed a remarkable unbeaten season, a run that eventually totalled 58 games. They finished eight points ahead of Serie A runners-up Juventus. However, it was a disappointing season for Internazionale, who could only manage an eighth-place finish, meaning that 1992–93 would bring no European action for them - something which had been a rare occurrence over the last three decades. Defending champions Sampdoria finished sixth and their last chance of European action for the following season was lost when they were beaten by the Spanish champions Barcelona in the final of the European Cup. Bari, Hellas Verona, Cremonese and Ascoli were all relegated.
Preston North End became known as "The Invincibles" after they won the inaugural Football League competition in 1888–89, completing the season unbeaten in both the league and the FA Cup, so becoming the first team ever to achieve the "Double". Preston's league record was 18 wins, 4 draws and 0 losses, out of 22 games played, while their cup record was 5 wins out of 5 rounds played and they won the FA Cup without conceding a goal.In his autobiography, Tom Finney wrote: "The championship stayed with North End — by now tagged the Old Invincibles — the following year, but runners-up spot had to suffice for the next three seasons".
Founded in 1888, the Football League is the oldest such competition in world football. The 1888–89 Football League was the first edition of the Football League, which ran from the autumn of 1888 until the spring of 1889. The Football League was formally created and named in Manchester during a meeting on 17 April 1888.
The 1888–89 FA Cup was the eighteenth edition of the world's oldest football knockout competition, The Football Association Challenge Cup, or FA Cup.
The Double, in association football, is the achievement of winning a country's top tier division and its primary cup competition in the same season. The lists in this article examine this definition of a double, while derivative sections examine much less frequent, continental instances. The Double can also mean beating a team both home and away in the same league season, a feat often noted as doing the double over a particular opponent.
Preston's unbeaten run stretched to one game the following season, their first league defeat came away to Aston Villa in the second game, losing 5–3.Of the seven teams to have completed the Double in England, Preston remain the only one to have done so unbeaten. In 2008, Preston opened a new 5,000 seater stand at their Deepdale stadium, named the Invincibles Pavilion in honour of the unbeaten 1880s team that had also played their home matches at the same site.
The Football League 1889–90 was the second season of English league football, with Preston North End being crowned as the champions for the second successive season. The clubs competing were the 12 original clubs which were the founders of the league the previous year. Unlike the modern system, two points were awarded for a win, with one for a draw and no points for a loss; this system was carried on until the 1980s when teams were awarded three points for a win.
Aston Villa Football Club is a professional football club based in Aston, Birmingham, England. The club currently competes in the Championship, the second tier of the English football league system. Founded in 1874, they have played at their current home ground, Villa Park, since 1897. Aston Villa were one of the founder members of the Football League in 1888 and of the Premier League in 1992. Villa are one of only five English clubs to have won the European Cup, in 1981–82. They have also won the Football League First Division seven times, the FA Cup seven times, the League Cup five times, and the UEFA Super Cup once.
Deepdale is a football stadium in the Deepdale area of Preston, England, the home of Preston North End F.C.
The Preston team that won the 1889 FA Cup Final at Kennington Oval, beating Wolverhampton Wanderers 3–0, was as follows:
The 1889 FA Cup Final was contested by Preston North End and Wolverhampton Wanderers at the Kennington Oval.
The Oval, currently referred to for sponsorship purposes as the Kia Oval, is an international cricket ground in Kennington, in the London Borough of Lambeth, in south London. The Oval has been the home ground of Surrey County Cricket Club since it was opened in 1845. It was the first ground in England to host international Test cricket in September 1880. The final Test match of the English season is traditionally played there.
Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club, commonly known as Wolves, is a professional football club in Wolverhampton, West Midlands, England. Formed as St Luke's F.C. in 1877, they have played at Molineux Stadium since 1889 and compete in the Premier League, the top tier of English football, after winning the 2017–18 EFL Championship. Wolves will compete in the 2019–20 UEFA Europa League, the first time the club has qualified for a European tournament for thirty-nine years, by virtue of finishing in seventh-place in the 2018–19 Premier League in their first season back in the top tier.
|1||8 September 1888||Burnley||H||5–2||5,000||Gordon, Ross (2), Dewhurst (2)|
|2||15 September 1888||Wolverhampton Wanderers||A||4–0||5,000||Gordon, Ross, A. Goodall, J. Goodall|
|3||22 September 1888||Bolton Wanderers||H||3–1||5,000||Gordon (2), Drummond|
|4||29 September 1888||Derby County||A||3–2||6,000||Robertson, Ross (2)|
|5||6 October 1888||Stoke||H||7–0||3,000||Ross (4), Whittle, J. Goodall, Dewhurst|
|6||13 October 1888||West Bromwich Albion||H||3–0||10,000||Dewhurst, Edwards (2)|
|7||20 October 1888||Accrington||A||0–0||6,000|
|8||27 October 1888||Wolverhampton Wanderers||H||5–2||6,000||Gordon, Ross, J. Goodall (3)|
|9||3 November 1888||Notts County||A||7–0||7,000||Gordon (3), Ross, J. Goodall (3)|
|10||10 November 1888||Aston Villa||H||1–1||10,000||J. Goodall|
|11||12 November 1888||Stoke||A||3–0||4,500||Ross, Thomson, Robertson|
|12||17 November 1888||Accrington||H||2–0||7,000||Gordon, Dewhurst|
|13||24 November 1888||Bolton Wanderers||A||5–2||10,000||Ross (2), Robertson, Dewhurst, J. Goodall|
|14||8 December 1888||Derby County||H||5–0||4,000||Inglis, J. Goodall (2), Dewhurst (2)|
|15||15 December 1888||Burnley||A||2–2||8,000||Ross, Thomson|
|16||22 December 1888||Everton||H||3–0||8,000||Dewhurst, J. Goodall (2)|
|17||26 December 1888||West Bromwich Albion||A||5–0||5,150||J. Goodall (2), Ross (2), Gordon|
|18||29 December 1888||Blackburn Rovers||H||1–0||8,000||J. Goodall|
|19||5 January 1889||Notts County||H||4–1||4,000||J. Goodall (2), Edwards, unknown|
|20||12 January 1889||Blackburn Rovers||A||2–2||10,000||Dewhurst, Thomson|
|21||19 January 1889||Everton||A||2–0||15,000||J. Goodall, Ross|
|22||9 February 1889||Aston Villa||A||2–0||10,000||Dewhurst (2)|
|1||2 February 1889||Bootle||A||3–0||1,000||J. Goodall, Gordon, Thomson|
|2||16 February 1889||Grimsby Town||A||2–0||8,000||J. Goodall, Ross|
|3||2 March 1889||Birmingham St George's||H||2–0||8,000||Holmes, Thomson|
|Semi-final||16 March 1889||West Bromwich Albion||N||1–0||22,688||Russell|
|Final||30 March 1889||Wolverhampton Wanderers||N||3–0||25,000||Dewhurst, Thomson, Ross|
In May 2002, Arsenal beat Manchester United to regain the Premier League and equal Preston's record of not losing an away match all season. In assessing the team's achievement, Tim Rich of The Independent wrote: "Invincibles, they called the last team to go through a season unbeaten away from home, although it is a word which belongs far more to the Arsenal side of 2002 than it ever could to the Preston team of 1888–89."Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger wanted his team to push on for more honours and described the defeat of Manchester United as a "shift of power" in English football. The team began the following season in good stead; a 4–1 win against Leeds United in September 2002 meant Arsenal broke the domestic record for scoring in consecutive games (47), and away league games without defeat (22). Such was their effective start to the campaign, Wenger reiterated his belief that Arsenal could remain the whole season undefeated:
Manchester United Football Club is a professional football club based in Old Trafford, Greater Manchester, England, that competes in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. Nicknamed "the Red Devils", the club was founded as Newton Heath LYR Football Club in 1878, changed its name to Manchester United in 1902 and moved to its current stadium, Old Trafford, in 1910.
The Premier League is the top level of the English football league system. Contested by 20 clubs, it operates on a system of promotion and relegation with the English Football League (EFL).
The Independent is a British online newspaper. Established in 1986 as a politically independent national morning newspaper published in London, it was controlled by Tony O'Reilly's Independent News & Media from 1997 until it was sold to Russian oligarch Alexander Lebedev in 2010. The last printed edition of The Independent was published on Saturday 26 March 2016, leaving only its digital editions.
"It's not impossible as A.C. Milan once did it but I can't see why it's so shocking to say it. Do you think Manchester United, Liverpool or Chelsea don't dream that as well? They're exactly the same. They just don't say it because they're scared to look ridiculous, but nobody is ridiculous in this job as we know anything can happen."
After breaking a Premier League record of 30 matches unbeaten,Arsenal lost to Everton in October 2002 (the decisive goal was struck in the last minute by Wayne Rooney, the first at senior level for the player who would go on to become England's record scorer) and failed to win their next three matches in all competitions, representing their worst run of form in 19 years. By March 2003, Arsenal had established themselves as league leaders, but nearest challenger Manchester United overhauled them to win the title. Arsenal finished the season with league wins against Southampton and Sunderland and was later consoled with success in the FA Cup – they beat the former team 1–0 in the 2003 final.
Wenger sought to strengthen his team with minor additions: goalkeeper Jens Lehmann, as well as a number of young players from academies abroad, namely Gaël Clichy and Phillipe Senderos. In comparison to their rivals Chelsea, bankrolled by new owner Roman Abramovich, and Manchester United, Arsenal's transfer activity was quiet. The financial constraints that came with the Ashburton Grove stadium project meant Wenger had little income to spend on new players.Once funding was found amidst the season, the club added to its roster, with José Antonio Reyes arriving in the winter transfer window.
In the 2003–04 season, Arsenal regained the Premier League without a single defeat. Over the 38 games played, their league record stood at 26 wins, 12 draws and 0 losses. The unbeaten run came close to ending six matches into the campaign against Manchester United, as striker Ruud van Nistelrooy missed a penalty in injury time; the match then ended 0–0. At the turn of the calendar year, Arsenal won nine league matches in a row to consolidate first position; they secured their status as champions with a draw against local rivals Tottenham Hotspur in April 2004. Their form did not continue into the domestic cups; Arsenal exited the semi-final stage of the Football League Cup and the FA Cup to eventual winners Middlesbrough and Manchester United, respectively. In Europe, Arsenal lost two of their opening three UEFA Champions League group stage matches, 3–0 at home to Internazionale and 2–1 away to Dynamo Kyiv, but eventually finished top of the group.Arsenal ultimately reached the quarter-final stage of the Champions League, where they were eliminated by London rivals Chelsea.
Continuing into the next season, a special gold version of the Premier League trophy was commissioned to commemorate Arsenal winning the title without a single defeat.In May 2018, this gold trophy was presented to Arsene Wenger as a gift from Arsenal Football Club at Wenger's final home game as manager after 22 years. In addition to their two wins at the end of the 2002–03 FA Premier League, Arsenal beat Middlesbrough in their second league game of 2004–05 to equal Nottingham Forest's record of 42 league matches unbeaten; the feat was eclipsed with a win at home to Blackburn Rovers. The run extended to six more matches for a total of 49 league games undefeated, before coming to an end with a controversial 2–0 defeat to Manchester United. The Guardian noted that Arsenal never trailed in the last 20 minutes of a game during their unbeaten run.
|The most used Arsenal players in the 2003–04 season, positioned in a 4–4–1–1 formation.|
Compared with the club's double-winning side of 1998, only Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp remained as first team players throughout the unbeaten run; Martin Keown and Ray Parlour featured briefly. Defenders Lee Dixon and Tony Adams had retired from professional football in 2002 and goalkeeper David Seaman joined Manchester City a year later. Kolo Touré, signed as a right-back and defensive midfielder, was chosen to play in central defence alongside Sol Campbell after impressing during pre-season. Lauren who played as a midfielder for Real Mallorca was shifted as a right-back when he joined Arsenal. Wenger initially replaced left-back Nigel Winterburn with Sylvinho, but an injury to the defender allowed Ashley Cole to take his place as first pick by the 2000–01 season. In midfield Gilberto Silva partnered Vieira, and Freddie Ljungberg and Robert Pires each played either side of the wing. Thierry Henry, signed as Nicolas Anelka's replacement in 1999, was the team's focal point in attack; he was supported most often by Bergkamp.
Although the team were interpreted as one which organised themselves as 4–4–2, the formation with the ball was akin to 4–4–1–1. Wenger's tactics emphasised attacking football and relied on movement and interchanging, with full-backs joining in attacks. Journalist Michael Cox noted Arsenal's strengths lay on the left side of the pitch and added because the opposition focused on containing Cole, Pires and Henry, it allowed Lauren and Ljungberg to find space and cross the ball. The team were also strong on the counter, exemplified in their away performances against Leeds United and Tottenham Hotspur.
|1||7 May 2003||Southampton||H||6–1||38,052||Pires 8', 22', 46', Pennant 15', 18', 25'|
|2||11 May 2003||Sunderland||A||4–0||40,188||Henry 7', Ljungberg 39', 78', 88'|
|3||15 August 2003||Everton||H||2–1||38,014||Henry 35' (pen.), Pires 58'|
|4||24 August 2003||Middlesbrough||A||4–0||29,450||Henry 5', Gilberto Silva 13', Wiltord 22', 60'|
|5||27 August 2003||Aston Villa||H||2–0||38,010||Campbell 57', Henry 90'|
|6||31 August 2003||Manchester City||A||2–1||46,436||Wiltord 48', Ljungberg 72|
|7||13 September 2003||Portsmouth||H||1–1||38,052||Henry 40' (pen.)|
|8||21 September 2003||Manchester United||A||0–0||67,639|
|9||26 September 2003||Newcastle United||H||3–2||38,112||Henry 18', 80' (pen.), Gilberto Silva 67'|
|10||4 October 2003||Liverpool||A||2–1||44,374||Hyypiä 31' (o.g.), Pires 68'|
|11||18 October 2003||Chelsea||H||2–1||38,172||Edu 5', Henry 75'|
|12||26 October 2003||Charlton Athletic||A||1–1||26,660||Henry 39'|
|13||1 November 2003||Leeds United||A||4–1||36,491||Henry 8', 33', Pires 18', Gilberto Silva 50'|
|14||8 November 2003||Tottenham Hotspur||H||2–1||38,101||Pires 69', Ljungberg 79'|
|15||22 November 2003||Birmingham City||A||3–0||29,588||Ljungberg 4', Bergkamp 80', Pires 88'|
|16||30 November 2003||Fulham||H||0–0||38,063|
|17||6 December 2003||Leicester City||A||1–1||26,660||Gilberto Silva 60'|
|18||14 December 2003||Blackburn Rovers||H||1–0||37,677||Bergkamp 11'|
|19||20 December 2003||Bolton Wanderers||A||1–1||28,003||Pires 57'|
|20||26 December 2003||Wolverhampton Wanderers||H||3–0||38,003||Craddock 13' (o.g.), Henry 20', 89'|
|21||29 December 2003||Southampton||A||1–0||32,151||Pires 13'|
|22||7 January 2004||Everton||A||1–1||38,726||Kanu 29'|
|23||10 January 2004||Middlesbrough||H||4–1||38,117||Henry 38' (pen.), Queudrue 45' (o.g.), Pires 57', Ljungberg 68'|
|24||18 January 2004||Aston Villa||A||2–0||39,380||Henry 29', 53' (pen.)|
|25||1 February 2004||Manchester City||H||2–1||38,103||Tarnat 7' (o.g.), Henry 83'|
|26||7 February 2004||Wolverhampton Wanderers||A||3–1||29,392||Bergkamp 9', Henry 58', Touré 63'|
|27||10 February 2004||Southampton||H||2–0||38,007||Henry 31', 90'|
|28||21 February 2004||Chelsea||A||2–1||41,847||Vieira 15', Edu 21'|
|29||28 February 2004||Charlton Athletic||H||2–1||38,137||Pires 2', Henry 4'|
|30||13 March 2004||Blackburn Rovers||A||2–0||28,627||Henry 57', Pires 87'|
|31||20 March 2004||Bolton Wanderers||H||2–1||38,053||Pires 16', Bergkamp 24'|
|32||28 March 2004||Manchester United||H||1–1||38,184||Henry 50'|
|33||9 April 2004||Liverpool||H||4–2||38,119||Henry 31', 50', 78', Pires 49'|
|34||11 April 2004||Newcastle United||A||0–0||52,141|
|35||16 April 2004||Leeds United||H||5–0||38,094||Pires 6', Henry 27', 33' (pen.), 50', 67'|
|36||25 April 2004||Tottenham Hotspur||A||2–2||36,097||Vieira 3', Pires 35'|
|37||1 May 2004||Birmingham City||H||0–0||38,061|
|38||4 May 2004||Portsmouth||A||1–1||20,140||Reyes 50'|
|39||9 May 2004||Fulham||A||1–0||18,102||Reyes 9'|
|40||15 May 2004||Leicester City||H||2–1||38,419||Henry 47' (pen.), Vieira 66'|
|41||15 August 2004||Everton||A||4–1||35,521||Bergkamp 23', Reyes 39', Ljungberg 54', Pires 83'|
|42||22 August 2004||Middlesbrough||H||5–3||37,415||Henry 25', 90', Bergkamp 54', Reyes 65', Pires 65'|
|43||25 August 2004||Blackburn Rovers||H||3–0||37,496||Henry 50', Gilberto Silva 58', Reyes 79'|
|44||28 August 2004||Norwich City||A||4–1||23,944||Reyes 22', Henry 36', Pires 40', Bergkamp 90'|
|45||11 September 2004||Fulham||A||3–0||21,681||Ljungberg 62', Knight 65' (o.g.), Reyes 71'|
|46||18 September 2004||Bolton Wanderers||H||2–2||37,010||Henry 31', Pires 66'|
|47||25 September 2004||Manchester City||A||1–0||47,015||Cole 14'|
|48||2 October 2004||Charlton Athletic||H||4–0||38,103||Ljungberg 33', Henry 48', 69', Reyes 70'|
|49||16 October 2004||Aston Villa||H||3–1||38,137||Pires 19', 72', Henry 45'|
Celtic completed the domestic 2016–17 season unbeaten in 47 league and cup games, winning the Scottish Premiership, Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup for an unprecedented unbeaten domestic Treble under manager Brendan Rodgers.Their domestic unbeaten run continued into the 2017–18 season and eventually reached 69 games, before they lost 4–0 to Hearts on 17 December 2017.
Porto won the 2010–11 Primeira Liga undefeated (30 games). That season, they also won the 2010–11 Taça de Portugal and 2010–11 UEFA Europa League to complete a treble. In the latter competition, they only suffered defeats to Sevilla in the round of 32 and Villarreal in the semifinal. They also went unbeaten for the first 16 league games of the following season. Porto won the 2012–13 Primeira Liga undefeated as well, although they did not win any other trophies that season.
Maree Oranmore FC Under 14 Division 2 won the 2018–19 League Title undefeated (14 games). That season, they won 13 games out of 13, drawing the last game in injury time against Corrib Rangers.
During the 2011–12 Serie A season, Juventus won the league title undefeated under manager Antonio Conte, and went unbeaten for a total of 49 consecutive matches in the league between 2011 and 2013.
Under manager Fabio Capello, Milan went undefeated throughout all of their 34 matches in the league to capture the 1991–92 Serie A title, earning the nickname "the Invincibles". Between 1991 and 1993, Milan went unbeaten for an Italian record of 58 league matches in total.
In the 2018-19 season, Jarrow Crusaders FC earned the nickname ‘the invincibles’ after going the entire season undefeated whilst winning the South Shields League A-Division Title.
Also in the 2018-2019 season Harefield United went the whole league season unbeaten in the 2018-2019 Spartan South Midlands Football League Division 1 playing 38 games, achieving 36 wins and 2 draws.
Arsenal Football Club is a professional football club based in Islington, London, England, that plays in the Premier League, the top flight of English football. It has won 13 League titles, a record 13 FA Cups, two League Cups, the League Centenary Trophy, 15 FA Community Shields, one UEFA Cup Winners' Cup, and one Inter-Cities Fairs Cup.
The 2002–03 FA Premier League was the 11th season of the Premier League, the top division in English football. The first matches were played on 17 August 2002 and the last were played on 11 May 2003.
The 2003–04 FA Premier League was the 12th season of the Premier League. Arsenal were the champions and Chelsea, who had spent heavily throughout the season, were the runners up. Arsenal ended the season without a single defeat – the first team ever to do so in a 38-game league season and the second team overall.
Gaël Dimitri Clichy is a French professional footballer who currently plays for Turkish club İstanbul Başakşehir in the Süper Lig. He has also played for the France national team. Clichy is predominantly left footed but naturally right footed, he primarily plays as a left back that is also capable of playing as an offensive-minded wing-back. Earlier in his career, he was described as a player who possesses "almost unrivaled stamina" that is "quick in the tackle and willing to drive forward". He was a member of Arsenal's famous Invincibles team then becoming the youngest player to win a Premier League medal.
Kolo Abib Touré is an Ivorian football coach and former footballer. He played as a defender for Arsenal, Manchester City, Liverpool, Celtic and the Ivory Coast national team. He is currently a first team coach at Leicester City as well as a member of the coaching staff for the Ivory Coast.
Jérémie Aliadière is a French footballer who plays as a striker.
The 2005 FA Cup Final was a football match played between Arsenal and Manchester United on 21 May 2005 at the Millennium Stadium, Cardiff. It was the final match of the 2004–05 FA Cup, the 124th season of English football’s primary cup competition, the FA Cup. Arsenal became the first team to win the FA Cup via a penalty shoot-out, despite being outplayed throughout the game, after neither side managed to score in the initial 90 minutes or in 30 minutes of extra time. The shoot-out finished 5–4 to Arsenal, with Patrick Vieira scoring the winning penalty after Paul Scholes' shot was saved by Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann.
Aaron James Ramsey is a Welsh professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club Arsenal and the Wales national team. Ramsey mainly plays as a box-to-box midfielder, but has also been deployed on the left and right wings. He played as a schoolboy for Cardiff City, where he spent eight years in youth football, became the club's youngest ever first team player, and made 28 appearances for the senior team – including the 2008 FA Cup Final.
The "Battle of the Buffet" is a name used by the British press to refer to a Premier League match played between Manchester United and Arsenal at Old Trafford, Manchester, on 24 October 2004. The match saw a series of unprofessional fouls that were overlooked by referee Mike Riley, such as Rio Ferdinand on Freddie Ljungberg in the 19th minute and striker Ruud van Nistelrooy's studs-up challenge on Ashley Cole. Arsenal dictated much of the early play and created several openings, but as the game progressed Manchester United threatened. The home team were awarded a controversial penalty in the 73rd minute, as Wayne Rooney allegedly tumbled over Sol Campbell's outstretched leg. Van Nistelrooy converted the penalty kick and late in the game Rooney scored for 2–0. The result ended Arsenal's record-breaking 49-match unbeaten run. Many Arsenal fans were disgruntled, as they believed Rooney had dived and the penalty should not have been given.
The 2004 Football Association Community Shield was the 82nd staging of the FA Community Shield, an annual football match contested by the reigning champions of the Premier League and the holders of the FA Cup. It was contested on 8 August 2004 by Arsenal, champions of the 2003–04 Premier League, and Manchester United, who beat Millwall in the final of the 2003–04 FA Cup. Watched by a crowd of 63,317 at the Millennium Stadium, Arsenal won the match 3–1.
The 2003–04 season was the 109th in the history of Arsenal Football Club. It began on 1 July 2003 and concluded on 30 June 2004, with competitive matches played between August and May. The club ended the Premier League campaign as champions without a single defeat – a record of 26 wins and 12 draws. Arsenal fared less well in the cups, eliminated in the FA Cup and League Cup semi-finals to Manchester United and Middlesbrough respectively, and at the quarter-final stage of the UEFA Champions League to Chelsea.
The 2004–05 season was the 107th season of competitive football played by Arsenal. The club ended the campaign as FA Cup winners, but failed to retain their Premier League title as they finished second to Chelsea. In the UEFA Champions League, Arsenal made an exit in the knockout stages to Bayern Munich.
The 2002–03 season was the 105th season of competitive football played by Arsenal. The club retained the FA Cup, a feat last achieved by Tottenham Hotspur in 1982, but finished runners-up to Manchester United in the Premier League. In the UEFA Champions League, defeat to Valencia in the second group stage meant Arsenal exited the competition at the same round for the second successive year.
Jack Andrew Garry Wilshere is an English professional footballer who plays as a midfielder for Premier League club West Ham United and the English national team.
The 2009–10 season was the 115th in the history of Arsenal Football Club. It began on 1 July 2009 and concluded on 30 June 2010, with competitive matches played between August and May. Arsenal's Premier League campaign began with a 1–6 victory away to Everton. Arsenal suffered back-to-back Premier League losses on four occasions, which proved fatal for their title hopes, but finished the season in third place. Arsenal also advanced to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League, after finishing top of their group in the group stage and defeating Porto in the first knockout round; however, they were knocked out by reigning champions Barcelona in a two-legged tie. In the domestic cup competitions, Arsenal were knocked out in the fourth round of the FA Cup and the fifth round of the League Cup.
The rivalry between Arsenal and Manchester United is a notable one in English football as both clubs are recognised for having great history and traditions. Although the two clubs have frequently been in the same division as each other since 1919, the rivalry was instigated in 1990, when a brawl resulted in both clubs having points deductions in the Football League First Division.
Arsène Charles Ernest Wenger is a French football manager and former player. He was the manager of Arsenal from 1996 to 2018, where he was the longest-serving and most successful in the club's history. His contribution to English football through changes to scouting, players' training and diet regimens revitalised Arsenal and aided the globalisation of the sport in the 21st century.
Arsenal Football Club is an English professional football club based in Holloway, North London. The club's first European football match was played against Copenhagen XI on 25 September 1963, and it has since participated in European club competitions on several occasions, most of which organised by the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA). Arsenal has won two European honours: the Inter-Cities Fairs Cup in 1970 and the Cup Winners' Cup in 1994 – the latter title recognised by the European confederation. The club played the 1994 European Super Cup and repeated its presence in the following year's Cup Winners' Cup final. Arsenal also reached the final of the UEFA Cup in 2000, and became the first London team to appear in a UEFA Champions League final, in 2006.
The 2017 FA Cup Final was the 136th final of the FA Cup, the world's oldest football cup competition. It took place on 27 May 2017 at Wembley Stadium in London, England and was contested between London rivals Arsenal and Chelsea. Arsenal won the game 2–1 to secure a record 13th title, while manager Arsène Wenger became the most successful manager in the tournament's history with seven wins.