When Brian Clough's Nottingham Forest set a record of 42 matches without defeat back in 1978, it was a streak that many expected no English club to ever overcome.
Their remarkable achievement started 11 years ago today with the visit of Southampton to Highbury. These two sides were due to meet in the FA Cup final 10 days later and as a result, both managers made alterations to their respective starting lineups in a bid to avoid injuries.
It meant that among the changes, Gunners youngster Jermaine Pennant, who had joined the North Londoners from Notts County for £2m, was handed his full Premier League debut. It would prove to be a memorable outing for the winger.
Within the opening 23 minutes he had found the net on two occasions, as had French international Robert Pires as the hosts set about putting the disappointment of losing the title to Man United behind them.
Then, in the 26th minute, Pennant completed his hat-trick following a swift counter-attack. Thierry Henry was the main creator, threading a pass through for the teenager to fire a low shot out of Paul Jones's reach.
In the 47th minute, like Pennant, Pires rounded off his trio of goals with the best effort of the evening. Having seen Jones off his line, the winger chipped the visiting goalkeeper with a curling shot from 30 yards out.
The home team continued to dominate proceedings thereafter, but they were unable to add to their six-goal tally. It would turn out that Arsenal would now not be defeated in the Premier League until October 2004.
ARSENAL: Taylor; Toure, Luzhny (Tavlaridis), Stepanovs, Garry; Pennant (Hoyte), Parlour, Van Bronckhorst, Pires (Bergkamp); Kanu, Henry
SOUTHAMPTON: Jones; Telfer, Williams, M Svensson, Bridge; Fernandes (Baird), Prutton, A Svensson (Oakley), Higginbotham, Tessem; K Davies (Beattie)