Tuesday, September 25, 2012

25 September 2002 - Arsenal's Quick Silva

On 25 September 2002, midfielder Gilberto Silva scored a record goal to help Arsenal cruise past PSV in the Champions League group stage.

PSV hosted the Gunners in Eindhoven for the game, which was the second of the tournament for both teams. Arsenal took the opening kick-off and Silva immediately raced unmarked down the center of pitch, where he received a cross from teammate Thierry Henry, then knocked the ball into the net. The official time for the goal was 20.07 seconds, making it the fastest goal in European Cup/Champions League history up to that point, narrowly beating Alessandro del Piero's time of 20.12, set in a 1997 match for Juventus against Manchester United.

The day did not get any better for PSV. After Arsenal keeper saved their best chance of the day--a 22nd-minute shot from Mateja Kezman--the hosts went on to surrender three more goals to Freddie Ljungberg (66') and Henry (81', 90') and lost 0-4.

PSV did better in the return leg, holding Arsenal to a scoreless draw in London, but the result eliminated them from the competition. Arsenal advanced, but were knocked out in the second group stage.

Silva's record lasted until March 2007, when Bayern Munich's Roy Makaay scored against Real Madrid after only 10.12 seconds.

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