FourFourTwo's best 100 Premier League matches ever: 50-41
50. Arsenal 3-1 Man United, 25/11/2001
Two comical Fabien Barthez errors gave Arsenal the points at Highbury, as the Gunners moved clear of their fierce rivals on the way to capturing the 2001/02 league title. Against the run of play, Paul Scholes had fired past Stuart Taylor to give United the lead with his first league goal of the season. But after Freddie Ljungberg had equalised with a superb chip, Barthez seemed to lose his cool, with two late howlers from the Frenchman handing the Gunners a huge victory.
First, a scuffed clearance went straight to the feet of compatriot Thierry Henry, allowing the striker to put the hosts ahead. Then, just five minutes later, Barthez's nightmare continued when he failed to deal with Patrick Vieira’s through pass, leaving Henry with the easy task of rolling the ball into the empty net. JG
49. Arsenal 4-2 Liverpool, 09/04/2004
A Thierry Henry hat-trick, including a wonder goal labelled his ‘most important’ in an Arsenal shirt by the man himself, saw the Gunners emerge victorious in this pulsating Good Friday clash that proved to be a key moment in Arsenal's unbeaten season. The result saw Wenger’s men move seven points clear at the top of the Premiership table, but in a week where they were dumped out of both the FA Cup and Champions League, it could have all been so different.
Strikes from Sami Hyypia and Michael Owen had put Liverpool 2-1 up at the break, but after Robert Pires’ equaliser early in the second half, Henry struck back with a double to complete his hat-trick, the second a mazy dribble from the half-way line, taking the ball past several defenders and finishing neatly past Jerzy Dudek.
"Thierry Henry's second goal was amazing, but I think the whole team was amazing,” Arsene Wenger said after the game. JG
48. Tottenham 6-4 Reading, 29/12/2007
Brilliant Bulgarian Dimitar Berbatov bagged four goals for Spurs as they played out a topsy-turvy game with Reading. The moody marksman opened the scoring early on, before the Royals stunned White Hart Lane with goals from Kalifa Cisse and Ivar Ingimarsson either side of half time.
Reading then proceeded to miss a string of great chances before Berbatov smashed home the equaliser. Dave Kitson nodded his side back in front before Berbatov scored again with a neat volley on the turn. Not to be outdone, Kitson dinked the ball over Paul Robinson when through on goal, to put Reading 4-3 up.
But Steed Malbranque struck back for Spurs, with Jermain Defoe putting them ahead by turning in the rebound after Marcus Hahnemann had saved Robbie Keane’s penalty. Berbatov then lashed home his fourth to seal the game and rub salt in Reading’s wounds. “If you were impartial it would have been a magnificent game to watch,” said Royals boss Steve Coppell. He wasn’t wrong. RS
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