Champions Once More! Arsenal On This Day, 11th May 2002

Although the title had been secured with a thoroughly well-deserved win at Old Trafford, the party happened at Highbury on the final Sunday of the season. Everton were once more cast in the role of party poopers, once more they ceded albeit considerably more meekly than in 1998.

Four goals without reply was a fair reflection of matters and an absolutely fitting conclusion to the season. Arsène Wenger had been ridiculed for suggesting that Arsenal could remain unbeaten for a season. This was the practice run, undefeated on their travels and unbeaten in the league from the final whistle of a Graham Poll-inspired Newcastle United win at Highbury.

As with the double of 1997-98, it took a dramatic home capitulation to inspire astonishing consistency. Of the final sixty-three points available, Arsenal took fifty-seven by winning eighteen and drawing just three. They won their final twelve games of the season, relentlessly pursuing the title, keeping nine clean sheets in those fixtures.

Yet for all of this, they did not move top of the table until after a 3 – 0 victory over Charlton Athletic. It was the only time of the season when Arsenal remained at the top for more than one match; it was the only time of the season when that record mattered.

The double would be completed in Cardiff a week later.

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