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On this day: Arsenal field first all-foreign squad in English football

14 February 2014 | Sports News

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.

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