After a season of dominance, spending just six weeks off the top spot, Arsenal wobbled at the final hurdle before achieving the first unbeaten English top flight season in 115 years.
That near-misstep came against Leicester City in front of the Highbury crowd, who had seen 15 wins during their team's journey towards claiming the Premier League title with four games to spare. And for all the significance of that achievement, when Paul Dickov put the visitors ahead, there was a distinct murmur of worry around the old North London stands.
The Foxes were still ahead at the break, a feat only local rivals Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool had managed all season in the soon-to-be-closed ground, but golden boot-winner Thierry Henry levelled from the penalty spot with his 30th goal of the campaign. He was the first Arsenal player to reach that tally for over 50 years, since Roony Rooke helped them claim the title in 1947/48.
With the wind firmly in the hosts' sails now, it was apt that the captain scored the final goal of the season, just as Tony Adams had in Arsene Wenger's first league title with the club back in 1997/98. This time it was Patrick Vieira making their dream all but reality, rounding goalkeeper Ian Walker following a sublime through-ball by Dennis Bergkamp. That finish brought the Gunners' 26th win of a season in which they had scored 73 and conceded just 26. But the significant statistic was the history-making zero in the column marked 'losses'.
"As long as you believe, then it is possible. It's a fantastic moment. I always had that dream and to fulfil it is marvellous," manager Arsene Wenger said at the final whistle. Vieira echoed his fellow Frenchman saying: "Our intention from the start of the season was to go unbeaten, because you want to win. You never know how far you can go, but this is fantastic. This team will be remembered forever."
The title stands to-date as the last that Arsenal have lifted, but then-vice-chairman David Dein was effusive in his praise of Wenger, who had brought about a golden age in the club's history. “I call him the miracle-worker. During his time here we've set new standards for the club,” he said. "We've seen history made and I'd be surprised if it happens again. It's just been a privilege to watch Arsenal this season."
Preston North End are the only other side to have managed an unbeaten season, back in 1888/89, but that represented an altogether different prospect back then. It was, after all, the inaugural instalment of The Football League – the birth of the modern structure of league football in England today – featuring just 12 teams.
The Lilywhites won it at a canter, scoring 74 goals in just 22 games, becoming the first team to be crowned 'the Invincibles' by fans and the media. Today, though, it is widely accepted that the Arsenal side of 2003/04 are the true heirs to that particular throne.