On this day in 2004 Ferguson predicts AFC will win the league – but not unbeaten




Today’s headline anniversary headline comes from 2004

28 March 1887: Royal Arsenal ended Season 1 with an away defeat to 2nd Rifle Brigade.  During this short season the club won 7, drew 1 and lost 2.  Royal Arsenal scored 36 and conceded 8.

28 March 1896: Millwall 1 Arsenal 3.  This was the 18th game between the two great rivals either side of the Thames since February 1888, and Arsenal had not lost a single game.

28 March 1898: Rushden Town 2 Woolwich Arsenal 3 in the United League.  Primarily a Midland League team Rushden nevertheless were able to compete on an equal footing at this time with Arsenal.

28 March 1903: Last game for Duncan McNichol.  He had played 101 league games for Woolwich Arsenal, and scored one goal before moving on to Aberdeen in October where he became captain.

28 March 1910: Despite the low positions of both clubs Chelsea v Arsenal was watched by 40,000. Arsenal won 0-1 with McGibbon scoring in his first match. McGibbon scores in his first match.    The day the modern Arsenal was born.    The 3rd of 3 matches in 4 days.

28 March 1914: Birmingham 2 Arsenal 0.  Start of a four match run without a win which cost the club promotion in its first year back in the second division.  This match was also almost certainly the source for the picture of the away kit that was falsely used to “prove” that Arsenal wore blackcurrant in the first season at Highbury.

28 March 1928: Leonard Thompson made his Arsenal debut in a 2–0 defeat by Portsmouth.  It was his only game for Arsenal in the 1927/28 season and came as Jack Lambert moved from the inside left position that he had played in for the previous six games to inside right, which in turn was because Charlie Buchan moved from inside right to centre forward for one match.

28 March 1931:  Arsenal won 5-2 at Middlesbrough on their way to first title while Herbie Roberts won his only cap for England.  Lambert got a hattrick and Jack two.

28 March 1942: West Ham 0 Arsenal 4.  The second match in the group stage of the London War Cup,  Arsenal won five of their six group games, losing only to… WHU at home by 1-4.  Arsenal lost to Brentford in the semi-final, but did win the London League this year.

28 March 1964: Arsenal 1 Sheffield U 3.  The 7th game without a win.  Only 21,000 turned up to see Geoff Strong score his 26th and last goal of the season in 38 games.

28 March 1967: In a return to the approach of earlier times Arsenal played Liverpool twice over consecutive days (27/28th).  Both were draws.  George Graham scored the goal in this match – one of 11 goals in the season.

28 March 1970: Arsenal 2 Wolverhampton 2, four without defeat after a dreadful winter, in which the club went 10 without a win.  Graham got both goals.

28 March 1972: Arsenal 1 Southampton 0.  The start of nine unbeaten but the three successive defeats in March made the championship impossible.  Marinello’s winner was his one and only goal of the season.

28 March 1980: Everton 0 Arsenal 1 made it six wins and two draws in the last eight.  Gatting scored the winner and like Marinello eight years earlier to the day it was his only goal of the season.

28 March 1981: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0.  The start of an eight match run to the end of the season in which Arsenal won seven.  Alan Sunderland scored.

28 March 1986: Rhys Wilmot made his first team debut.  He went on to make a total of eight appearances for Arsenal over a nine year period, during which time he made over 70 appearances for clubs that he went to on loan.

28 March 1987: Arsenal 0 Everton 1.  This was the sixth (and thankfully last) consecutive league match in which Arsenal failed to score – the longest run in the club’s league history.

28 March 1998: Arsenal 1 Sheffield W 0.  Manninger was given the Carling Player of the month award and then promptly dropped – as Seaman returned from injury.  Arsenal second after 29th league game of the 2nd Double season.    The second double: part 1part 2part 3.

28 March 2004: Arsenal 1 Man U 1.  Ferguson announced that he was sure Arsenal would win the league but later added that Arsenal would not do it unbeaten, referring back to his experience at Rangers where the unbeaten side lost the last match of the season.   This was the first draw after nine successive wins in the 30th league game of the unbeaten season

28 March 2006: Arsenal 2 Juventus 0.  Champions League quarter final. Pires rather surprisingly tackled Vieira and as a result of the subsequent move Arsenal scored.  Pires later admitted he had never tackled Vieira before, even in training.

28 March 2013: Arsenal announced that Diaby has been injured in training and would be out for nine months.  On 28 July 2015 Diaby moved to Marseille but sadly a further injury on 27 November 2015 put him out of action once more.


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