Five classic Arsenal matches under Wenger

21 March 2014 01:16

Alex Ferguson's retirement last year left Arsene Wenger as the longest-serving manager in English football and he will mark his 1,000th match at the Arsenal helm against Chelsea this weekend.

Here, AFP Sports selects five matches that have helped to distinguish the Frenchman's time in north London.

BLACKBURN ROVERS 0 ARSENAL 2 (Premier League, October 1996)

- Wenger's first game saw Arsenal emerge from Ewood Park with a 2-0 victory over Blackburn, who had been crowned league champions the previous year. England striker Ian Wright scored both of the visitors' goals, breaking the deadlock from a John Hartson knock-down in the third minute and dinking a shot past Blackburn goalkeeper Tim Flowers in the 51st minute after Tim Sherwood -- the current Tottenham Hotspur manager -- had twice hit the woodwork for the hosts.

ARSENAL 4 EVERTON 0 (Premier League, May 1998)

- Wenger's first full season ended with Arsenal claiming a double of Premier League and FA Cup trophies, and they secured the league title with a breezy win over Everton at a sun-splashed Highbury. Captain Tony Adams capped victory with a fine fourth goal, bursting from the halfway line to gather a pass from centre-back partner Steve Bould before blasting a left-foot half-volley past goalkeeper Thomas Myhre. As Adams turned to acknowledge the home fans' acclaim, Sky Sports commentator Martin Tyler succinctly exclaimed: "That sums it all up!"

ARSENAL 2 CHELSEA 0 (FA Cup final, May 2002)

- A year after a dramatic 2-1 loss to Liverpool in the 2001 FA Cup final, Arsenal returned to Cardiff's Millennium Stadium and claimed victory thanks to two superb long-range goals by Ray Parlour and Freddie Ljungberg. Four days later they beat Manchester United 2-0 at Old Trafford to complete Wenger's second double in four years. Arsenal qualified for a third successive FA Cup final in 2003, beating Southampton 1-0 through a goal by Robert Pires.

INTER MILAN 1 ARSENAL 5 (Champions League group phase, November 2003)

- European success has eluded Wenger -- with defeat by Galatasaray on penalties in the 2000 UEFA Cup final followed six years later by a 2-1 loss to Barcelona in the Champions League final -- but Arsenal's handsome win at San Siro was one of the finest overseas performances by an English club. Thierry Henry claimed a brace of goals, the second a twisting solo effort, with Freddie Ljungberg, Edu and Robert Pires also on target.

ARSENAL 2 LEICESTER CITY 1 (Premier League, May 2004)

- Arsenal thrilled neutral observers with their swashbuckling football during the 2003-04 season and having already won the league, they welcomed Leicester to Highbury needed to avoid defeat to complete an unbeaten campaign. Paul Dickov threatened to spoil the party by giving the visitors the lead with a 25th-minute header, but Thierry Henry equalised from the penalty spot before Patrick Vieira gathered a pass from Dennis Bergkamp and rounded goalkeeper Ian Walker to score the winner. Former Liverpool defender turned media pundit Alan Hansen described Wenger's 'Invincibles' as "quite simply the most fluid, devastating team the British Isles has seen".

Source: AFP

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