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Premiership MD 8: Arsenal v. Charlton

Will3172010-04-29 09:23:42 +0000 #1
Arsenal face Charlton at home tomorrow (Saturday), aiming to keep the unbeaten run going and retain their top position clearly. We'll be without a key player or two but it's still a match I would expect us to win by at least one clear goal - 2-1 I say, hopefully with Jeffers not scoring for Charlton!

BBC Sport - 01.10.04

Arsenal v. Charlton Athletic



Highbury

Saturday, 2 October

Kick-off: 1500 BST

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Arsenal will rest Ashley Cole, Robert Pires and Edu against Charlton following the midweek trip to Norway.

Cole has a slight knee strain and will be replaced by Gael Clichy while Sol Campbell looks likely to start his third game in a week.

Charlton striker Francis Jeffers is expected to recover from a neck injury.

Midfielder Matt Holland and front man Shaun Bartlett are both back in training after ankle injuries and look set to rejoin the squad.

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Arsenal (from): Lehmann, Almunia, Taylor, Lauren, Hoyte, Campbell, Cole, Clichy, Toure, Cygan, Senderos, Vieira, Edu, Fabregas, Flamini, Reyes, Ljungberg, Pennant, Bergkamp, Henry, van Persie.

Charlton (from): Kiely, Young, Hreidarsson, Konchesky, Perry, Fortune, El Karkouri, Hughes, Murphy, Kishishev, Lisbie, Johansson, Andersen, Fish, Euell, Stuart, Holland, Rommedahl, Jeffers, Bartlett.

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BIG-MATCH FACTS

ARSENAL against Charlton at Highbury is the Gunners' 4,000th official League match. If they can avoid defeat they will not only extend their unbeaten record in London derbies since November 2001 to 27 (18 wins, eight draws so far), and stretch their record home Premiership run without defeat to 24, but also be just two matches short of an incredible half century in their unprecedented sequence of undefeated League games.

Arsenal's 1-1 Champions League draw in Rosenborg on Wednesday night lacked the conviction of their Premiership performances. But victory for Arsene Wenger's side here could take them five points clear at the top of the table, if Everton fail to beat Spurs. Chelsea are not playing until Sunday. Maximum points would also keep pace with Newcastle's record start to a Premiership season. The Magpies collected 22 points from the first eight games in the 1994/95 season.

The Gunners are on target for a third successive home victory over Charlton. But in this corresponding fixture last February they escaped with all three points after Jonatan Johanson was denied a last-minute equaliser when hitting the post. Robert Pires had struck his 50th Gunners goal and Thierry Henry added another in the first four minutes, but Claus Jensen's superb free kick with 30 minutes to go set up a nail-biting climax.

CHARLTON ATHLETIC could not have a tougher fixture with which to try and register their first away League win of the season. Athletic were the last club to beat Arsenal in a London League derby (4-2 at the Valley on 4 November 2002), but since then they have taken just a point off them from five meetings. This is Charlton's first capital clash this season and they have a rather unusual defensive record to uphold. There have been three Premiership London derbies so far and not a home goal scored in any of them.

Alan Curbshley's side have conceded on average three goals per game from their three away League trips thus far. They took two heavy defeats initially, but held Birmingham to a 1-1 draw in their most recent game on the road. Since then they've knocked Grimsby out of the Carling Cup at Blundell Park and beaten Blackburn at home - therefore are seeking a third win on the spin in all competitions.

The Addicks' only Premiership win at Highbury and only maximum in ten League visits since 1956 was 2-4 on 2 November 2001 when Steve Brown, a Richard Wright own goal, Claus Jensen and Jason Euell got onto the scoresheet.

Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

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SEQUENCES/RECENT FORM

ARSENAL

Club stats

Fixtures

1st 19 points

Highest achievable by the end of Saturday:

TOP - six points clear

Cannot realistically fall from top spot

10 undefeated in all competitions this season (eight wins, two draws).

Won 34 and drawn 13 Premiership games since losing 2-3 to Leeds on 4 May 2003.

Last four Premiership goal tallies have been four, three, two and one.

Victory would give Arsenal 22 points. Their previous highest after the first eight games of a Premiership season was 20 in each of the last two seasons.

Won 18 and drawn 5 Premiership games at Highbury since losing 2-3 to Leeds on 4 May 2003.

Won more matches in the top League than any other club so far this season (six).

One of two clubs yet to be beaten in the Premiership. Chelsea is the other.

Only club to have scored in every Premiership match this season.

Dropped fewer points in the top tier than any other club (two).

Top scorers in the highest League. Their 22 goals from the first seven matches, is already more than Sunderland scored in their entire Premiership campaign the season before last.

Scored eight more goals than Newcastle - the second highest scorers in the top division.

Scored first in all seven League outings - therefore yet to concede the opening goal in a League contest.

Built the Premiership's longest winning sequence so far this season - five games.

At their most dangerous in the middle 15 minutes of the second half of Premiership games, when six of the 22 goals have been netted.

Gone 53 Premiership games since losing by more than a single goal (2-0, at Blackburn, March 2003).

Scored 446 goals and conceded 199 all-time in home Premier League matches.

CHARLTON ATHLETIC

Club stats

Fixtures

7th 11 points

Highest achievable by the end of Saturday: 4th

Lowest could fall: 9th

Chasing a 150th League victory since Alan Curbishley took sole charge in

June 1995.

Undefeated in four games in all competitions.

Drawn two and won two (Premiership and Carling Cup) since losing 0-4 at Manchester City on 28 August (PL).

Without an away League win this season.

Without an away League victory in six.

Drawn two and lost four League games on the road since beating Manchester United 0-2 at Old Trafford on 20 April.

Kept three clean sheets in five Premiership outings.

Conceded nine goals on their top flight travels. Only Blackburn have shipped more (ten), but they've played four games on the road, as opposed to Charlton's three.

Scored the opening goal in four of their seven League games.

Yet to net in the first 15 minutes of a Premiership game this season.

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KEY PLAYER NOTES/POTENTIAL MILESTONES

ARSENAL

Squad profiles

Jose Antonio REYES is the top scorer among Premiership players of club League and Cup goals this season (six).

REYES and clubmate Thierry HENRY top the Premiership scoring charts, with five, alongside Nicolas ANELKA of Man City.

Fredrik LJUNGBERG is a hat trick short of totalling 50 goals across the European leagues. The Swedish International has scored 37 Premiership goals for Arsenal, in addition to 10 top flight strikes for Halmstads BK in Sweden.

If selected in the 11, Pascal CYGAN will be making his 50th start for the North London giants.

If he plays, Sol CAMPBELL will be making his 150th appearance for Arsenal.

CHARLTON ATHLETIC

Squad profiles

If they participate, Francis JEFFERS and Jerome THOMAS will be facing their former club.

If he turns out, Mark FISH will be making his 100th Premiership appearance for Charlton.

If he participates, Kevin LISBIE will be making his 150th appearance for the Addicks.

If he plays, Simon ROYCE will be making his 200th English League appearance.

If selected in the 11, Luke YOUNG will be making his 100th start for Athletic.

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LAST SEASON'S CORRESPONDING GAME:

Arsenal 2-1 Charlton Athletic

28 February 2003 - Ref: Graham Barber

Arsenal scorers: Pires 2, Henry 4

Charlton scorer: Jensen 59

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HEAD TO HEAD TOTALS

League: Arsenal 26 wins, Charlton 9, Draws 11

Prem: Arsenal 6 wins, Charlton 2, Draws 2

HEAD TO HEAD at Arsenal

League: Arsenal 13 wins, Charlton 4, Draws 6

Prem: Arsenal 3 wins, Charlton 1, Draws 1


Will3172010-04-29 09:32:50 +0000 #2
A great win at home, going back to the glorious form of the opening matches of the season. This also proves that the team was not stirred by the row incident in midweek. This feast of great goals also took us to 26 goals in 8 Premiership games! So much for boring, boring Arsenal...



BBC Sport - 02.10.04 - 'Arsenal outclass Charlton'

Arsenal 4-0 Charlton



Arsenal extended their unbeaten run in the league to 48 games by thrashing shell-shocked Charlton at Highbury.

Dennis Bergkamp hit the post but he set up Freddie Ljungberg to put the Gunners ahead with a cool left-foot finish.

Thierry Henry doubled the lead with a remarkable finish, outrageously back-heeling the ball past Dean Kiely from eight yards with his back to goal.

Jose Reyes set up Henry for a sizzling third and Reyes made it 4-0 with a fierce drive after Henry's lay-off.

Charlton created the first opening, Danny Murphy being tackled on the edge of the box by Reyes and the ball squirming just wide of Jens Lehmann's right-hand post.

But Arsenal soon moved through the gears and Henry teed up Bergkamp to rifle a shot against the outside of the post from 22 yards.

After Charlton had failed to clear a cross the ball fell invitingly to Gael Clichy, but the young full-back could only volley high over the crossbar.

Bergkamp lined up another from 25 yards but Kiely moved across his goal comfortably to gather low to his right.

Charlton were hassling and harrying Arsenal and making life difficult for the hosts, but just after the half hour mark the Gunners took the lead.

Jason Euell carelessly gave the ball away to Henry and he fed Bergkamp, who crossed for Ljungberg to coolly guide past Kiely with his left foot.

Arsenal put the game beyond doubt three minutes into the second half and it came from a moment of pure genius from Henry.

The brilliant Frenchman received the ball on the corner of the six-yard box from Reyes and, with his back to goal and being tightly marked by Jon Fortune, he impudently back-heeled the ball past Kiely into the bottom corner.

The goal stunned Charlton and Arsenal began to run riot, Reyes seeing a shot blocked by Chris Perry and Henry slamming another shot just over.

Henry made it 3-0 after great approach play from Reyes, the Spaniard teeing up his team-mate to crash the ball in off the bar from 15 yards via Kiely's fingertips.

It got worse for the Addicks when Henry repaid the compliment, slipping the ball down the inside left channel and Reyes drilling low past Kiely into the far corner.

Reyes had a great chance to make it five when he jinked his way into the box and dummied past a defender, but he skied his right-foot effort with the goal gaping.

Henry received a well-deserved standing ovation when he left the pitch eight minutes from time after a striker's masterclass, replaced by Dutch forward Robin van Persie.

Captain Patrick Vieira almost got his name on the scoresheet in the dying moments but his close-range effort was wonderfully palmed away by Kiely.

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Arsenal: Lehmann, Lauren, Campbell, Toure, Clichy, Ljungberg (Pennant 49), Vieira, Fabregas (Flamini 82), Reyes, Bergkamp, Henry (Van Persie 82).

Subs Not Used: Cygan, Almunia.

Booked: Vieira, Ljungberg, Clichy.

Goals: Ljungberg 33, Henry 48, 69, Reyes 70.

Charlton: Kiely, Young, Perry, Fortune, Hreidarsson, Murphy, El Karkouri, Kishishev (Rommedahl 66), Stuart (Holland 74), Euell (Johansson 66), Lisbie.

Subs Not Used: Andersen, Hughes.

Booked: Stuart.

Att: 38,103.

Ref: M Dean (Wirral).

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