By Tony Attwood
The memories of past heroes and villains had long gone: Sol Campbell , Lauren, Robert Pirès, Ashley Cole – all had moved on a year before. In the summer of 2007 more left: Fabrice Muamba, Mart Poom, Jérémie Aliadière, Thierry Henry, Fredrik Ljungberg, José Antonio Reyes, Arturo Lupoli, Ryan Garry, Joe O’Cearuill. It was a huge clear out.
In came Łukasz Fabiański, Eduardo, Bacary Sagna, and (for a while at least) Lassana Diarra
It was a significant turn around, and yet despite the comings and goings by September we were top of the league, and indeed there was to be no league defeat until 9 December.
By the time Derby came along Arsenal had won four and drawn one game – with the last victory in the sequence before the Derby game being a 3-1 away win to Tottenham.
The Derby match was thus part of a long undefeated sequence, and it continued the regularity of the team scoring five or more goals – indeed this was the 23rd time we scored 5 or more under Mr Wenger. What’s more it was a part of a 15 match unbeaten run from the start of the season, and the match ended to see Arsenal top of the table.
But the injury was growing however with Tomas Rosicky Alex Hleb Jens Lehmann Manu Eboue and William Gallas all out.
Yet Arsenal were confident despite the injuries and the only worry was that having played in the Champions League away during the week Arsenal might not be sharp, but it was not to be.
Sagna Toure Senderos Clichy
Walcott Flamini Fabregas Diaby
Diaby scored the first on 10 minutes, from the corner of the Derby area, having beaten two men. On 25 minutes Cesc chipped the ball to Adebayor who took the ball round the keeper and scored the second.
Five minutes into the second half Oakley of Derby pulled back Eduardo and Adebayor scored from the penalty spot. It was his fifth of the season. Eduardo set up Fabregas for a fourth goal with 20 minutes to go.
Cesc went off to be replaced by Denilson and eleven minutes from the end Adebayor took down a long pass to the edge of the area, moved round the defence and scored his third.
Arsenal had scored 10 in the previous five games in the League. Now it was 15 for and four against. The run of consecutive wins continued until 20 October and involved beating Manchester City, Portsmouth, Tottenham, Derby, West Ham, Sunderland and Bolton.