Top Ten: Arsenal Capitulations

Arsenal’s late collapse at Fulham last night left Football Burp feeling all nostalgic for other great Gunners capitulations of recent vintage. Here are ten of ‘em…

Top Ten Arsenal Capitulations
Arsenal... Defending a 2-0 lead (Image courtesy of wonker)

Blackburn Rovers 4-3 Arsenal, September 2011

The Gunners led twice through new boys Gervinho and Arteta, but a disastrous second half which included own goals apiece from Alex Song and Laurent Koscielny piled – nay, heaped – the pressure on Arsene Wenger.

Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal, August 2011

The perfect capitulation: one that lasts for ninety minutes. At least it persuaded Wenger to spend a bit.

Newcastle United 4-4 Arsenal, February 2011

A true classic of the genre. The Gunners led 4-0 after just 26 minutes and held that lead through to half-time, but a berserk second half saw Abou Diaby sent off and the home side gradually draw level. Arsenal fans still wake up screaming.

Arsenal 2-3 Tottenham Hotspur, November 2010

Goals from Samir Nasri and Marouane Chamakh saw Arsenal race into a 2-0 lead before the half-hour mark, but Younes Kaboul’s 85th-minute header capped a remarkable turnaround and a humiliating defeat for the Gunners on their own patch, at the hands of their bitter rivals, and other such marvellous clichés.

Wigan Athletic 3-2 Arsenal, April 2010

Another 2-0 up, 3-2 down jobby, Arsenal’s title bid ground to a halt (we’re on fire today) when three Latics strikes in the final ten minutes overturned earlier goals from Theo Walcott and fans’ favourite Mikael Silvestre.

West Ham United 2-2 Arsenal, October 2009

The Gunners led 2-0 at half-time through Robin van Persie and William Gallas goals, but Gianfranco Zola’s ultimately relegated Hammers snatched a point with strikes in the 74th and 80th minutes. (Can we have some more synonyms for ‘goal’, please?) Scott Parker was then sent off for the hosts but Arsenal failed to make their numerical advantage count, purple monkey dishwasher.

Manchester City 4-2 Arsenal, September 2009

You know, the one where Emmanuel Adebayor stamped on van Persie’s face and ran the length of the pitch celebrate in front of the travelling Arsenal fans (not in the same stroke, of course). What isn’t remembered quite so well is that van Persie’s 62nd-minute equaliser capped a spell of pressure that looked set to result in an away win, before three City goals between the 74th and 84th minutes put paid to that notion.

Aston Villa 2-2 Arsenal, December 2008

Martin O’Neill’s Villa high-flying side hit the woodwork three times before fans’ favourite Denilson put the Gunners ahead, Diaby doubling the lead in the 49th minute. Gareth Barry pulled one back from the penalty spot in the 65th minute before Zat Knight’s last-minute drive had Arsenal fans identifying a problem of sorts…

Arsenal 4-4 Tottenham Hotspur, October 2008

Wenger’s men were cruising when van Persie’s 69th-minute finish (aha!) put them 4-2 up, but two quick-fire Spurs goals at the death left the Emirates faithful purple-faced with rage. At this stage, the newly installed Harry Redknapp was still banging on about “two points from eight games” at a rate of approximately one mention every five-and-a-half seconds of recorded interview.

Arsenal 1-2 Hull City, September 2008

Two goals in four second-half minutes saw Phil Brown’s Hull City (ah, how we miss saying that – it rolls off the tongue like “Hitler’s Germany”) overturn Paul McShane’s own goal, as a nation turned to one another and said, “We’ve GOT to watch Match of the Day tonight!”