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Arsenal, The Invincibles in the unbeaten season 2003-04

If you are a football fanatic, especially a big fan of The Gunners, it is impossible that you never heard about The Invincibles. But what is the origin of this nickname and what happened in the 2003-04 season? Betimate takes a look and sums it up for all you guys to follow.
Harry Siuu
By: Harry Siuu
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A few things about Arsenal

Before learning about The Invincibles, let’s grasp some knowledge about Arsenal F.C. in this section. We will quickly go through the club's history and their achievements so far. 

History

Arsenal Football Club is an English professional football club based in Islington, London. They were initially known as Dial Square in the founding year, October 1886, now they are also referred to as The Gunners, which is a symbol featured on their logo.

Arsenal is playing at the Emirates Stadium with 60,704-seat capacity as their home ground. This is also the fourth largest stadium in England, after Wembley Stadium, Old Trafford Stadium, and Tottenham Hotspur Stadium. Since the club’s inception, there have been almost 30 full-time managers as well as caretakers that led Arsenal to plenty of titles. The current coach of Arsenal is Mikel Arteta, who has been in charge of this club since 2019. 

Arsenal logo

League honors

During their career so far, Arsenal has obtained numerous trophies. They were the first football club from the South of England to participate in The Football League in 1893. They won the second-most top-notch matches in the history of English football. 

They won a total of 13 league titles, the most FA Cups with 14 tims winning, two EFL Cups, 16 FA Community Shields, the League Centenary Trophy, one European Cup Winners’ Cup, and one Inter-Cities Fairs Cup. In the 20t century, Arsenal ended up with the highest average league position. Below are the detailed seasons and major competitions that Arsenal have won since the club’s inception.   

1. EFL and Premier League

First Division / Premier League (First tier)

  • Winners (13): 1930–31, 1932–33, 1933–34, 1934–35, 1937–38, 1947–48, 1952–53, 1970–71, 1988–89, 1990–91, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2003–04

League Cup / EFL Cup

  • Winners (2): 1986–87, 1992–93

League Centenary Trophy

  • Winners (1) (record): 1988

2. The FA

FA Cup

  • Winners (14) (record): 1929–30, 1935–36, 1949–50, 1970–71, 1978–79, 1992–93, 1997–98, 2001–02, 2002–03, 2004–05, 2013–14, 2014–15, 2016–17, 2019–20

FA Community Shield (FA Charity Shield before 2002)

  • Winners (16): 1930, 1931, 1933, 1934, 1938, 1948, 1953, 1991 (shared), 1998, 1999, 2002, 2004, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2020

3. UEFA

UEFA Cup Winners' Cup (European Cup Winners' Cup before 1994)

  • Winners (1): 1993–94

Inter-Cities Fairs Cup[g]

  • Winners (1): 1969–70

UEFA Champions League

  • Runners-up (1): 2005–06

The origin of the Invincibles nickname

Now, every time someone mentions the 2003-04 season of football in the world, we think of Arsenal as “The Invincibles”. The reason why Arsenal was called under this nickname is that they were unbeaten within 38 games of the Premier League in that season. They won 26 matches and drew 12. 

The ultimate result was Arsenal obtained 90 points, ranked first in the 2003-04 Premier League table. They surpassed all the giants in football, like Chelsea, Man United, and Liverpool with a huge difference in aggregate points.  

Match

Date

Opponent

Venue

Result

1

7 May 2003

Southampton

Home

6–1

2

11 May 2003

Sunderland

Away

4–0

3

15 August 2003

Everton

Home

2–1

4

24 August 2003

Middlesbrough

Away

4–0

5

27 August 2003

Aston Villa

Home

2–0

6

31 August 2003

Manchester City

Away

2–1

7

13 September 2003

Portsmouth

Home

1–1

8

21 September 2003

Manchester United

Away

0–0

9

26 September 2003

Newcastle United

Home

3–2

10

4 October 2003

Liverpool

Away

2–1

11

18 October 2003

Chelsea

Home

2–1

12

26 October 2003

Charlton Athletic

Away

1–1

13

1 November 2003

Leeds United

Away

4–1

14

8 November 2003

Tottenham Hotspur

Home

2–1

15

22 November 2003

Birmingham City

Away

3–0

16

30 November 2003

Fulham

Home

0–0

17

6 December 2003

Leicester City

Away

1–1

18

14 December 2003

Blackburn Rovers

Home

1–0

19

20 December 2003

Bolton Wanderers

Away

1–1

20

26 December 2003

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Home

3–0

21

29 December 2003

Southampton

Away

1–0

22

7 January 2004

Everton

Away

1–1

23

10 January 2004

Middlesbrough

Home

4–1

24

18 January 2004

Aston Villa

Away

2–0

25

1 February 2004

Manchester City

Home

2–0

26

7 February 2004

Wolverhampton Wanderers

Away

3–1

27

10 February 2004

Southampton

Home

2–0

28

21 February 2004

Chelsea

Away

2–1

29

28 February 2004

Charlton Athletic

Home

2–1

30

13 March 2004

Blackburn Rovers

Away

2–0

31

20 March 2004

Bolton Wanderers

Home

2–1

32

28 March 2004

Manchester United

Home

1–1

33

9 April 2004

Liverpool

Home

4–2

34

11 April 2004

Newcastle United

Away

0–0

35

16 April 2004

Leeds United

Home

5–0

36

25 April 2004

Tottenham Hotspur

Away

2–2

37

1 May 2004

Birmingham City

Home

0–0

38

4 May 2004

Portsmouth

Away

1–1

39

9 May 2004

Fulham

Away

1–0

40

15 May 2004

Leicester City

Home

2–1

41

15 August 2004

Everton

Away

4–1

42

22 August 2004

Middlesbrough

Home

5–3

43

25 August 2004

Blackburn Rovers

Home

3–0

44

28 August 2004

Norwich City

Away

4–1

45

11 September 2004

Fulham

Away

3–0

46

18 September 2004

Bolton Wanderers

Home

2–2

47

25 September 2004

Manchester City

Away

1–0

48

2 October 2004

Charlton Athletic

Home

4–0

49

16 October 2004

Aston Villa

Home

3–1

The Invincibles in the 2003-04 season

Notable players of the Invincibles 

No.

Position

Nation

Name

Total appearances

Total goals

14

FW

FRA

Thierry Henry

50 (1)

39

7

MF

FRA

Robert Pires

46 (5)

19

8

MF

SWE

Freddie Ljungberg

40 (4)

10

17

MF

BRA

Edu

28 (20)

7

9

FW

ESP

José Antonio Reyes

12 (9)

5

10

FW

NED

Dennis Bergkamp

29 (9)

5

In the table above, we have shown the top five notable players in the unbeaten season of Arsenal. They were the top goalscorers who brought back most of the goals for their team. Forward Thierry Henry was the name that was called a lot during that season as he had scored a total of 39 goals. 

Two goals from him in the matches with Man City and Liverpool, along with one from Vieira against Tottenham Hotspur were mentioned in the Goal of the Season. This event also marked a spotlight in the career of manager Arsene Wenger. 

Thierry Henry

References

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Arsenal_F.C.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2003%E2%80%9304_Arsenal_F.C._season

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Invincibles_(English_football)

Harry Siuu
Written by: Harry Siuu
a specialized football specialist with over ten years' experience as a football journalist who works for Betimate.com.

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Premier League
Overall table PTS GP W D L GF GA +/-
1 Arsenal 50 19 16 2 1 45 16 29
2 Man City 45 20 14 3 3 53 20 33
3 Newcastle 39 20 10 9 1 33 11 22
4 Man Utd 39 20 12 3 5 32 25 7
5 Tottenham 36 21 11 3 7 40 31 9
6 Brighton 31 19 9 4 6 37 27 10
7 Fulham 31 21 9 4 8 32 30 2
8 Brentford 30 20 7 9 4 32 28 4
9 Liverpool 29 19 8 5 6 34 25 9
10 Chelsea 29 20 8 5 7 22 21 1
11 Aston Villa 28 20 8 4 8 23 27 -4
12 Crystal Palace 24 20 6 6 8 18 27 -9
13 Nottm Forest 21 20 5 6 9 16 35 -19
14 Leicester 18 20 5 3 12 28 35 -7
15 Leeds 18 19 4 6 9 26 33 -7
16 West Ham 18 20 5 3 12 17 25 -8
17 Wolverhampton 17 20 4 5 11 12 30 -18
18 Bournemouth 17 20 4 5 11 19 42 -23
19 Everton 15 20 3 6 11 15 28 -13
20 Southampton 15 20 4 3 13 17 35 -18