29 January: Arsenal beat Newcastle 3-0 to go top of the league



Arsenal 3 Newcastle 0; 29 January 2008

This match saw Arsenal go top of the league, and was part an unbeaten run that started on 16 December 2007 when Arsenal beat Chelsea 1-0.  The one defeat of the season so far had come against Middlesbrough on 9 December 2007 (2-1 away), and the new run including this game was of six wins and a draw.  It continued until 23 March 2008 when Chelsea won 2-1 at Stamford Bridge.

Arsenal were challenging for the championship all the way through the season until the assault on Eduardo on 23 February 2008 at Birmingham.  That game was drawn, and was the start of a run of one win, five draws and two defeats, which saw the push for the title drop away.

But back on 19 January 2008 Arsenal were second in a three horse race.

P W D L F A G.D. Pts
1 Manchester United 23 17 3 3 46 11 +35 54
2 Arsenal 23 16 6 1 46 17 +29 54
3 Chelsea 23 15 5 3 36 16 +20 50
4 Liverpool 21 10 9 2 35 14 +21 39
5 Everton 22 12 3 7 38 22 +16 39
6 Aston Villa 22 11 6 5 40 28 +12 39
7 Manchester City 22 11 6 5 29 23 +6 39
The team was for the day was…
Clichy Senderos Gallas Sagna
Diaby Fabregard Flamini Hleb
Adebayor Eduardo

Adebayor gave us the lead in the 9th minute, after a series of one-touch passes between Hleb, Fabregas and Flamini, and given the way results had been going I think the general feeling in the ground was, “off we go again”, and indeed it was true – both in the league (where consistency was certain) and the FA Cup (see below).

(The league cup had been a different affair with the reserves being beaten by Tottenham’s first team 5-1 away on 22 January 2008).

But just to add to the feeling of familiarity and consistency Arsenal had already beaten Newcastle 3-0 on 26 Jan in the FA Cup.  Hence the “here we go again” feeling.  Or if you prefer, that deja vu thing all over again.

The game also saw another frightening injury to Diaby, as Newcastle put themselves about, and he was stretchered off.  However, he did return to continue the match.


Although the result helped us along, it left Arsenal having played one more, but the league table was certainly encouraging….

P W D L F A G.D. Pts
1 Arsenal 24 17 6 1 49 17 +32 57
2 Manchester United 23 17 3 3 46 11 +35 54
3 Chelsea 23 15 5 3 36 16 +20 50
4 Everton 23 13 3 7 40 23 +17 42
5 Aston Villa 24 11 8 5 43 31 +12 41
6 Liverpool 22 10 10 2 37 16 +21 40
7 Manchester City 23 11 7 5 30 24 +6 40

Here are the anniversaries for this day in Arsenal’s history

29 January 1887: Erith 2 Royal Arsenal 3. This was the return match of the first ever game played under the name Royal Arsenal, and the fifth successive victory (including the opening game played as Dial Square), with 27 goals scored and 3 against.

29 January 1894: Walter Williams played in a 5-2 friendly win over Blackpool at number 10 and scoring two goals. He signed as an amateur in November 1893, before turning professional in 1894    His one league game was a 3-2 win over Crewe Alexandra 10 February 1894.

29 January 1896: At the half-yearly committee general meeting an attempt was made to discuss the issue of appointing a manager, but the sub-committee in charge of the team objected for fear that they could lose their paid weekends away for away games.

29 January 1898: After battling through the preliminary rounds of the FA Cup Arsenal went out 1-3 away to Burnley in the first round proper.

29 January 1906: Hugh McDonald joined from Beith.  After a slow start he became a regular goalkeeper, playing even when injured.  He eventually moved to Fulham – where Henry Norris was a director.

29 January 1910: Woolwich Arsenal v Bolton W – the last game for Archie Cross who then returned to Dartford. After no wins in five Arsenal made it two in a row with a 2-0 win.  But then it was another case of five without a win.     See this page also.  

29 January 1927.  Port Vale 2 Arsenal 2 (FA Cup 4) en route to Wembley.  Buchan and Brain scored the goals in front of a crowd of 18,000.  A reminder that even Chapman teams could struggle to beat lower league opposition.

29 January 1930 Arsenal beat Birmingham 1-0 away in FA Cup heading for their first ever major trophy.  Baker scored with 47,521 in the crowd.

29 January 1955: The last senior game for Arthur Milton (v Wolverhampton).  He played county cricket for Gloucestershire and six test matches for England. (See here in passing).  

29 January 1964: John Kay born.  He played 13 games for Arsenal and won the Football Combination with the reserves before finding success with Sunderland.

29 January 1972: Sheffield Utd 0 Arsenal 5.  George (2), Graham, Simpson and Kennedy got the goals, as part of a 12 match unbeaten run that had started after a 5-1 defeat to Wolverhampton.

29 January 1977: Arsenal 3 Coventry 1, (FA Cup).  Last game for Peter Storey, one of the uncompromising hard men of the game.  Macdonald (2) and Stapleton got the goals.

29 January 1988: Lee Dixon signed from Stoke for £400,000.  He was part of the famous George Graham back four, winning two league titles with Graham and playing in two Double sides under Arsène Wenger.

29 January 1992: Ray Parlour’s first game: Liverpool 2 Arsenal 0;  he soon became an Arsenal stalwart and favourite.  Arsène Wenger once said he could never understand a word he said but clearly admired his style of play.

29 January 1999: Kaba Diawara joined from Bordeaux.  He played 12 league games for Arsenal before moving on to Marseille.  Including loans he played for 17 different clubs in his career.

29 January 2005: Arsenal 2 Wolverhampton 0 (FA Cup 4, as another cup triumph is pursued.)  Vieira and Ljungberg scored with 37153 in attendance.

29 January 2006: Mark Howard loaned to Falkirk.  He played for two clubs (including Arsenal) and had two loan spells without playing a single league game.

29 January 2008: Arsenal beat Newcastle 3-0 to go top of the league, concluding a January of three wins and a draw, scoring 9 conceding 1.  Also Jens Lehmann said he would leave the club at the end of the season, partly because of his treatment by fans.  But he returned to the side on 2 February 2008, with Almunia first injured and then catching the flu.

29 January 2010: Jack Wilshere loaned to Bolton where he played 14 league games.  It was his only loan spell prior to the 2016/7 season with Bournemouth after a long run of injuries.

29 January 2014, Kyle Bartley was recalled by Swansea (to whom he was sold by Arsenal on 16 August 2012 for £1m), and was ultimately handed a new three-year contract with Swansea until June 2017.  He moved to WBA in 2018 and became a regular.

29 January 2019: Arsenal beat Cardiff City, in Cardiff’s first match since the death in suspicious circumstances of Emiliano Sala. The victory took Arsenal to 4th place in the League.

You might also enjoy

The 1919 Affair: How Arsenal were promoted to the first division – the only complete and detailed history of Arsenal’s election.

Day by Day the videos – An Arsenal video for (almost) every day of the year in order. 

Day by Day the stories a key moment in Arsenal and footballing history for each day of the year

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