11 May 2005: Arsenal 7 Everton 0.
By Tony Attwood
There is every reason to remember 11 May 2005. First off, for me, the reason is I was there.
But also the last Highbury game in red and white and the conclusion of a 12 match unbeaten run in the league, and the largest Premier League win, before being equalled on 14 January 2006.
The day before, Man U, who Arsenal were to meet in the Cup Final, lost at Very Old Trafford (built 1910) to Chelsea. Then along we came. The general comment in the papers was that Everton were lucky to lose to by only seven.
This was one of the great Arsenal teams at its pomp. Sol Campbell who had been out for a while, came back and played the whole game but there was still much debate as to whether he or Senderos would play in the Cup Final with Kolo Touré, who was rested for this game. It seems hard to imagine now, but that’s really how it was. Henry just played the second half – we didn’t want to tire him.
But the master of the masterpiece was Dennis Bergkamp. It is amazing now to look back and remember that at the time we didn’t know if Dennis would do another year at the club.
And so he took on the role of Imperial Majesty. He looked around, surveyed the minions, took in his servants and assistants, and conducted the show. He was 36 at the time and scored one and had three direct assists.
Robert Pires also got two, and in this company even Jose Antonio Reyes looked to have potential. Everton had not seen anything like this since 1949.
Mr Wenger summed it up…
“It was a great performance because there was always something sharp going on and some fantastic touches on the pitch. I’m a little bit envious because I would like to be in the middle of that, though I would destroy our play a little bit.”
As for the other team, they had one Mikel Arteta playing, and he could have scored just after the start, but his shot woke up Arsenal and off we went. We even had a kid playing up front called Van Persie, and he scored the first goal past another name from the past – Richard Wright in the Everton goal.
And here’s another one for the scrap book. Patrick Vieira scored by clipping a shot over Mr Wright.
Everton must have been happy to reach half time, planning perhaps to tighten it up at the back and not let any more in.
Unfortunately as they came out you could see the Everton players all looking on in horror. Henry was standing on the half way line, ready to come on as a sub.
Henry then ran the show. Even his mistakes became goals. He slipped one pass through which hit Carsley and bounced on to Pires who scored.
That worked by chance so he tried it again deliberately. This time he sent a pass straight onto Carsley’s arm and Edu scored the penalty. Next, spotting Flamini looking a bit out of things, Henry then gave him the ball. It went on to Reyes, came back and Flamini scored. He looked rather chuffed. It was the 14th goal Everton had let in against Arsenal in the season.
Lauren, Senderos, Campbell, Cole
Pires (Fábregas, 64), Vieira (Flamini, 45), Edu, Reyes
Bergkamp, Van Persie (Henry, 45).
Also on the bench: Alminia, Touré.