On this day: Arsenal field first all-foreign squad in English football
Arsenal was the first team in the Premiership to field all non English players against Crystal Palace on Monday, 14 February 2005 at Highbury during the 2004-2005 English Premier League season. Arsenal won the match 5-1.
Their team sheet included players from eight different countries, but not a single one from the United Kingdom. France had the most with six, followed by Spain with three, and the Netherlands with two . The other countries included Germany, Cameroon, Ivory Coast, Brazil, and Switzerland.
Full matchday squad:
1 Jens Lehmann (GERMANY)
22 Gael Clichy (FRANCE)
18 Pascal Cygan (FRANCE)
12 Bisan Lauren Etame Mayer (CAMEROON)
28 Abib Kolo Toure (COTE D'IVOIRE)
17 Eduardo Cesar Daud Gaspar Edu (BRAZIL)
7 Robert Pires (FRANCE)
4 Patrick Vieira (FRANCE)
10 Dennis Bergkamp (NETHERLANDS)
14 Thierry Henry (FRANCE)
9 Jose Antonio Reyes (SPAIN)
24 Manuel Almunia (SPAIN)
20 Philippe Senderos (SWITZERLAND)
15 Francesc Fabregas Soler (SPAIN)
16 Mathieu Flamini (FRANCE)
11 Robin Van Persie (NETHERLANDS)
It wasn't much of a contest, as the Gunners were up 3-0 at the break with goals from Bergkamp (32′), Reyes (35′), and Henry (39′). Vieira added a fourth (54′) before Crystal Palace finally got on the board when Andrew Johnson struck from the penalty spot (63′), then Henry scored again (77′) to seal the final 5-1 margin.