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24 November 2004: PSV 1 Arsenal 1. Arsenal fourth draw in a row; but still we qualify

By Tony Attwood

The 2004/5 Champions League group stage campaign was one of the strangest Arsenal have played in.   The game on 24 November 2004 was, as noted above, the fourth draw – but more than that, it was the four draw Arsenal had in a row in the group.

Now one might expect that Arsenal would thus be struggling to qualify as a result – but far from it, Arsenal won the group – not least aided by the fact that having drawn four games they won the other two.

The series went like this

14 September 2004: Arsenal 1 PSV Eindhoven 0 (Arsenal benefiting from an own goal)

29 September 2004: Rosenborg 1 Arsenal 1 (Ljungberg)

20 October 2004: Panathinaikos 2 Arsenal 2 (Ljunberg, Henry)

2 November 2004: Arsenal 1 Panathinaikos 1 (Henry – plus an own goal from Cygan)

24 November 2004: PSV Eindhoven 1 Arsenal 1 (Henry)

7 December 2004: Arsenal 5 (Reyes, Henry, Fabregas, Pires, Van Persie) Rosenburg 0.

One other little point of interest is that the final game had the highest attendance of all the matches Arsenal played in the group – 35,421.

As a result of these games the table was

P W D L F A GD Pts
Arsenal 6 2 4 0 11 5 +6 10
PSV 6 3 1 2 6 7 -1 10
Panathin’ 6 2 3 1 11 8 +3 9
Rosenborg 6 0 2 4 6 13 -7 2

In the round of 16 Arsenal played Bayern Munich.  We lost 3-1 away (Toure scoring) and won 1-0 at Highbury (Henry).  Again the crowds were interesting – only 36891 saw the first match in the Olympic Stadium.

So, a knock out in the first knock out round – but an undefeated run in the group section.  One of Arsenal’s more curious rounds of European football.

 

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