Even better than the Invincibles! The defining moments of Arsenal's record-breaking Premier League start

Bukayo Saka Arsenal 2022-23 HIC 16:9
Arsenal beat Man Utd on Sunday to reach 50 points after just 19 games - a feat not even managed by Arsene Wenger's 2003-04 title winners.

Arsenal made history with their thrilling 3-2 win against Manchester United on Sunday.

The victory, their 16th in the league this season, took the Gunners to 50 points at the halfway stage of the Premier League campaign – a feat no Arsenal side has ever previously achieved.

Even the Invincibles of 2003-04 couldn’t manage it, with Arsene Wenger’s iconic team amassing 45 points from their opening 19 games.

That’s the level Arsenal are setting at the moment under Mikel Arteta.

“Extraordinary,” said the Gunners boss when asked to sum up the first half of the season following Eddie Nketiah's late winner against United.

“It doesn’t get much better than that.”

So, how have Arsenal managed it? How have they ripped up the record books to set the pace in such impressive fashion?

Below, GOAL, takes a look at some of the key matches that have been the inspiration behind the north London club’s monumental start to the 2022-23 season...


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♬ original sound - GOAL

  1. Crystal Palace (a)

    Crystal Palace (a)

    The opening night of the Premier League season.

    All eyes were on Arsenal, who had opened the previous campaign with a morale-sapping defeat at Brentford 12 months earlier.

    Would history repeat itself in another tough looking London derby away from home? Not a chance.

    Arsenal sent out a real message with the way they played at Selhurst Park, particularly in the first half when they produced some exceptional attacking football with the type of high tempo play that has since gone on to become the norm.

    It was an impressive win which showcased plenty of what was to come. 

    From Gabriel Martinelli’s bright showing, to the excellent league debuts of Gabriel Jesus, Oleksandr Zinchenko and William Saliba. This was an early sign that Arsenal meant business.

  2. Fulham (h)

    Fulham (h)

    This was Arsenal’s fourth league game of the season and they went into it on the back of three successive wins.

    What was significant about it was it was the first game that saw them fall behind this season, with Alexander Mitrovic seizing on a Gabriel Magalhaes mistake to put Fulham in front nine minutes into the second half.

    Arsenal had a terrible record of coming from behind under Arteta the previous season, so this was a real test of their belief and team spirit.

    And it was one they passed in typically impressive style, with Martin Odegaard equalising and Gabriel making up for his earlier mistake by scoring the winner.

    The response of the Emirates crowd to going behind was also crucial and a sign of what was to come. 

    The support was unwavering and that unity with the fans has undoubtedly been a big diving force behind Arsenal’s charge so far this season, as many of the players have pointed out.

  3. Brentford (a)

    Brentford (a)

    The big thing about this game was it came immediately after Arsenal had been beaten for the first time in the league at Manchester United.

    Many wondered whether the defeat at Old Trafford, which ended a run of five straight wins, would take the wind out of the sails and lead to a poor run.

    And the fact Arsenal had to travel to Brentford, the scene of their humbling opening day defeat of the 2021-22 campaign, made it seem even more dangerous.

    So for Arteta’s side to come through it the way they didn’t, cruising to a 3-0 win, felt hugely significant.

  4. Tottenham (h)

    Tottenham (h)

    The first north London derby of the season is always a big occasion, but given the way things had panned out for Arsenal just a few months earlier when they missed out on the Champions League to their bitter rivals, this one felt even more important.

    It was the first game of the season against one of the big six as well, so there were plenty wondering how Arteta’s side would cope with the challenge.

    Could they send out a statement to their neighbours, or would they still be showing the knock-on effects of the way the previous season had ended?

    The answer was defiant, with Arsenal dominating Spurs and cruising to a 3-1 victory.

  5. Liverpool (h)

    Liverpool (h)

    If the win against Spurs felt big, this one was huge.

    Liverpool have been Arsenal’s nemesis for some time now – whether it be at Anfield or in north London.

    So, all the build-up to the game centred around whether Arteta’s side could finally get one over the Reds and show they were the real deal this season.

    It was a magnificent game, with Liverpool twice pegging back the hosts before Bukayo Saka sealed a thrilling 3-2 win from the penalty spot.

    Psychologically, this was a huge moment for Arsenal. 

    Liverpool may have gone into the game on the back of a poor start to the season, but everyone was well aware of the hoodoo they had held over Arsenal in recent years.

    To finally beat them, then, and in such a manner, was massive.

  6. Chelsea (a)
    Getty Images

    Chelsea (a)

    Arsenal went to Stamford Bridge with the wins against Tottenham and Liverpool already behind them.

    But the fact they had lost at Manchester United in their only other trip to the home of one of the big six up to that stage at the season, was impossible to ignore.

    You felt like they needed a big victory on their travels at one of the top teams and that’s what they got in west London.

    They dominated the game from start to finish and really should have won by more.

    The celebrations after the full-time whistle told their own story. In terms of generating belief, this was a key afternoon.

  7. West Ham (h)
    Getty Images

    West Ham (h)

    This was the first game back after the break for the World Cup.

    No-one really knew what to expect. Would this be the same Arsenal or would the break have killed their momentum? And how would they be able to cope without Gabriel Jesus following his injury?

    Those were all questions that were being asked and they were only magnified when West Ham took the lead and went into half-time 1-0 in front.

    Arsenal knew what the narrative would have been had they gone on to lose that game, so they needed a big response.

    And that’s what they got, scoring three times in the second half to win 3-1 and pick up where they had left off.

  8. Tottenham (a)

    Tottenham (a)

    After the horror show of Tottenham away last season, Arsenal went into this game with bad memories fresh in their heads.

    But the way they brushed those aside and showed they had learned the lessons from that north London derby defeat were significant.

    No Arsenal team had won in the league at Spurs since 2014, a run dating back nearly nine years.

    But they ended that run in style with a comfortable 2-0success at their local rivals.

    It was another away game at one of the top six ticked off and another afternoon that showed how far Arsenal had come in a short space of time.

  9. Manchester United (h)
    Getty Images

    Manchester United (h)

    Having beaten City in the Manchester derby a week earlier, United were suddenly being talked about as title contenders.

    Despite slipping up by drawing at Crystal Palace before their trip to the Emirates, Erik ten Hag’s side knew that a win would see them move within five points of Arsenal.

    Arteta’s side also had the added pressure ahead of kick-off of knowing City had reduced the gap at the top to just two points by beating Wolves earlier in the day.

    So there was a lot riding on the game and when United took an early lead there could have been justifiable cause for concern from the hosts.

    But they kept going and eventually came out on top in a titanic battle thanks to Eddie Nketiah’s last-minute winner.

    This was the win that took them to the 50-point mark at the halfway stage of the season. What a way to do it!