Arsenal win against Manchester City
February 1 , 2004
Arsenal 2 Manchester City 1
Arsenal returned to the top of the Premiership thanks to a wonder strike from Thierry Henry.
Michael Tarnat's own goal gave Arsenal a half-time lead but the Gunners could only breathe easy thanks to Henry's stunning strike on 83 minutes.
City pulled a goal back in injury time through Nicolas Anelka, who was sent off for an incident with Arsenal defender Ashley Cole.
Arsenal fans got their first glimpse of £17m record signing Jose Antonio Reyes who came on as a second half substitute.
Henry almost fired Arsenal ahead on nine minutes, but he struck the post from six yards out after slick interplay between Lauren and Freddie Ljungberg opened City up down the left flank.
There was plenty of trademark slick approach play from Arsenal but they lacked a cutting edge.
Henry weighted a perfect ball into the path of Robert Pires, but the Frenchman was unable to provide the finish.
Anelka's ill-starred spell at Higbury guaranteed plenty of boos but he reminded Arsenal fans of his talents on 21 minutes as he worked a shooting space to test Jens Lehmann.
Anelka was involved as Arsenal took the lead on 36 minutes.
Referee Alan Wiley waved away appeals for a foul on the French striker as Arsenal won possession.
The Gunners worked the ball with devastating speed to Henry on the left whose low cross was heading for Ljungberg and as Tarnat snaked out a leg he diverted the ball into his own net.
Torrential rain made conditions difficult and Lehmann took no chances as he punched away a swirling cross from Sun Jihai at the start of the second half.
Lehmann did even better to pounce on Sylvain Distin's powerful header which picked up pace off the rain-slicked surface.
Reyes was introduced to loud cheers on 69 minutes and showed his class with a drag back which left Dunne floundering.
The £17m man was denied a dream debut goal as England keeper David James spread himself superbly to block.
James kept his side alive with a brave block to deny Pires, but he had no chance as Arsenal doubled their lead on 83 minutes.
Again there was controversy as referee Wiley waved away City appeals for a foul on substitute Robbie Fowler.
Arsenal worked the ball upfield to Henry who curled a delicious shot around James from 23 yards.
There was still a sting to the game, as City pulled a goal back in injury time through Anelka's powerful strike.
Anelka's attempts to retrieve the ball from the back of the net sparked a melee, in which Lehmann and Ashley Cole got involved.
It ended with Anelka shown a red card for raising his hands, and Cole booked for holding on to the ball.