Arsenal 7 – 0 Everton
Live from North London, Highbury
March 11, 2005
Arsenal: Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Senderos, Cole, Pires (Fabregas 64), Vieira (Flamini 45), Edu, Reyes, Bergkamp, Van Persie (Henry 45). Subs Not Used: Almunia, Toure.
Booked: Flamini, Campbell.
Goals: Van Persie 8, Pires 12, Vieira 37, Pires 50, Edu 70 pen, Bergkamp 77, Flamini 85.
Everton: Wright, Hibbert, Weir, Yobo, Pistone, Carsley, McFadden, Watson, Arteta (Ferguson 75), Kilbane, Beattie (Bent 45). Subs Not Used: Stubbs, Plessis, Turner.
The Premiership title was already decided. Arsenal, who were the undefeated Champions in the previous season had to settle for a second place this time around. But, that didn’t stop them from a demolishing act against Everton at Highbury in the penultimate season at their favorite ground.
Dennis Bergkamp rose to the occasion as his vision found players everywhere high up the pitch, there was no stopping the Dutch Master! His virtuoso performance inspired Arsenal to a famous victory on that day, which was incidentally the last game for Brazilian midfielder, Edu.
In the initial few minutes, Dennis had already assisted Robert Pires and his compatriot Robin van Persie to give Arsenal a 2-0 lead. The third one for Patrick was even more sublime as the Frenchman cleverly chipped the ball over the keeper to make it 3-0 to Arsenal. In the second half, Robert Pires earned a brace for himself as Thierry Henry forced a penalty for the Gunners. It was, none other than Edu taking the last spot kick in the famous Red and White. He simply wouldn’t miss. The Highbury crowd erupted in irrepressible emotion as the Brazilian scored and stood there to experience the electric atmosphere for that one last time.
Bergkamp, fittingly, had to score one himself, as he brought down a long ball in exquisite fashion and calmly finished it to give Arsenal a 6-0 scoreline. It wasn’t over with that, as Jose Antonio Reyes squared it off for Mat Flamini to finish home at 7-0. It was total football from the Gunners, swift counter-attacks, long through balls, adept interchanging passes and deft first touches all the time. It was a pleasure to the eyes, Arsenal had reserved their best for the last.
One man who played for Everton that day was Mikel Arteta, who incidentally dons the Arsenal colors nowadays. With a trip to Goodison in a few hours from now, can Arsenal inspire themselves from this all-star performance, we shall see!