Arsenal’s Biggest Wins and Defeats: An Analysis

Cartoon of Steve in t shirt and trousers

Arsenal have been an ever-present in the top flight of English football for over a century now.

During that time they have had their fair share of big wins and a few large defeats along the way.

But what are Arsenal’s biggest wins and their biggest defeats?

That is what we are taking a look at today…

What is Arsenal’s Biggest Win and Biggest Defeat?

Arsenal’s biggest win and biggest defeat came in the space of four years against the same team! On 12 December 1896 Arsenal lost 8-0 against Loughborough Town in the Second Division of the Football League. They avenged this four years later on 12 March 1900 with a 12-0 win over Loughborough! Arsenal also beat Ashford United 12-0 in the FA Cup on 14 October 1893.

The Wins

What Is Arsenal’s Biggest Win?

Arsenal have twice won 12-0, but both instances are so far back it was when the club was known by one of its previous names, Woolwich Arsenal.

The first came on 14 October 1893 in the First Qualifying round of the FA Cup.

The 12-0 victory came in Arsenal’s one and only meeting with Ashford United, a small Kent-based club.

Both James Henderson and Arthur Elliott grabbed hat-tricks for Arsenal, with Charles Booth and Joseph Frederick Heath notching braces. The other two goals were scored by Joseph Powell and Gavin Crawford.

Arsenal’s other 12-0 victory came just seven years later when they beat Loughborough Town 12-0 on 12 March 1900 at Arsenal’s Manor Ground in Plumstead.

This time the win came in the Second Division and saw Arsenal gain revenge for a result Loughborough had inflicted on them four years earlier (see below for more details).

Oddly enough Arsenal had travelled to Loughborough just nine days earlier for the first league meeting between the two teams that season and scrapped their way to a 3-2 win.

The home game was to be much different though. Ralph Gaudie scored a hat-trick, John Dick, James Tennant, Alexander Main and Ernest Herbert Cottrell all scored twice and John William Anderson got one goal.

Loughborough Town finished bottom of the Second Division that season, winning just one game and gaining only eight points from their 34 games.

They also lost all 17 of their away games, scoring six goals and conceding 74!

A little over three months after their 12-0 hammering by Arsenal, Loughborough Town FC was officially declared defunct.

On 5 December 1904 Arsenal actually more than doubled their record win, beating a Parisian touring team 26-1 in a friendly game.

The game was described as “a very amusing and attractive pantomime” by the Kentish Independent newspaper.

What Is Arsenal’s Biggest Win Against Tottenham?

Back in the 1934/35 season Arsenal racked up 11 goals and conceded just one in their two league games against their North London rivals.

On 20 October 1934 they beat Tottenham 5-1 in front of 70,000 supporters at Highbury.

Then less than six months later on 6 March 1935, the Gunners recorded their biggest-ever win over Spurs, thrashing them 6-0 at White Hart Lane.

Legendary forward Ted Drake scored five goals across the two games.

Arsenal also beat Spurs 5-0, again at White Hart Lane, on 23 December 1978.

What Is Arsenal’s Biggest Win Against Liverpool?

The 1934/35 season also saw Arsenal record their biggest-ever win against Liverpool.

In the club’s first home game of the season on 1 September 1934, they thrashed the Reds 8-1 with both Ted Drake and Ray Bowden scoring hat-tricks.

These results shouldn’t come as a surprise, Arsenal won the League that year and scored 115 goals.

That same season they also scored 8 against Leicester and Middlesbrough, 7 against Wolves, 6 against Tottenham and 5 against Birmingham, Chelsea, Tottenham, Preston North End and Leicester.

What Is Arsenal’s Biggest Win Against Chelsea?

Arsenal’s biggest win over Chelsea also came in the 1930s.

On 29 November 1930 Arsenal beat Chelsea 5-1 at Stamford Bridge, with David Jack scoring a hat-trick.

Jack had many prolific seasons for Arsenal but the 1930/31 season was to be his best, he scored 34 goals in 39 games. He wasn’t even Arsenal’s top scorer that season though, fellow forward Jack Lambert scored 39 goals!

This isn’t surprising as the 1930/31 season was Arsenal’s best ever in terms of goalscoring. They scored 127 league goals on their way to the title.

This included 9 goals in a game once, 7 goals in a game twice, six goals in a game once, 5 goals in a game five times and 4 goals in a game eight times.

What Is Arsenal’s Biggest Win Against Manchester United?

Arsenal’s biggest victory over Manchester United came in which decade? Yes you guessed it, the 1930s!

On 30 January 1937 they won 5-0 in an FA Cup Fourth Round tie at Highbury. They also beat Burnley 7-1 in the Fifth Round before being knocked out by West Bromwich Albion in the Quarter-Finals.

Arsenal also beat United 6-2 in the First Division on 1 February 1947, with Ronnie Rooke scoring a hat-trick.

Rooke scored 33 league goals in the 1947-48 season, and he remains at the time of writing Arsenal’s all-time record holder for the most goals in a post-war season.

Other Notable Arsenal Wins

There have been a number of other notable wins in Arsenal’s history, including:

  • Biggest win at Highbury: 11-1 vs Darwen. 9 January 1932.
  • Biggest league win at Highbury: 9-1 vs Grimsby. 27 January 1931.
  • Biggest league away win: 7-1 vs Aston Villa. 14 December 1935.
  • Biggest win in the Premier League: 7-0 vs Everton on 11 May 2005 and vs Middlesbrough, 14 January 2006.
  • Biggest win in European competitions: 7-0 vs Standard Liege in the UEFA Cup. 3 November 1993.

The Defeats

What Is Arsenal’s Biggest Defeat?

Arsenal’s biggest defeat came against an unexpected opponent. In fact it is the same opponent Arsenal recorded their biggest win against, Loughborough Town!

It was way back on 12 December 1896 when Arsenal were in the Second Division of the Football League.

The Gunners lost 8-0 against Loughborough who finished 13th that season, Arsenal themselves finished 10th.

Arsenal actually had two games that day! The club’s reserves took on Leyton in the FA Cup, winning 5-0.

What Is Arsenal’s Biggest Defeat Against Tottenham?

Arsenal have twice lost to Tottenham 5-0, both times at White Hart Lane.

The first came on 25 December 1911, while the second came on 4 April 1983.

What Is Arsenal’s Biggest Defeat Against Liverpool?

Arsenal have also twice lost to Liverpool 5-0.

The first was the very first meeting between the two sides on 28 October 1893 at Arsenal’s Plumstead Manor Ground

The second came at Anfield on 18 April 1964 the season Liverpool won their 5th title.

What Is Arsenal’s Biggest Defeat Against Chelsea?

The 22 March 2014 marked Arsène Wenger’s 1,000th game in charge of Arsenal, but unfortunately it didn’t go to plan.

Arsenal lost 6-0 to Chelsea, the club’s record defeat against the Blues and the joint heaviest defeat suffered by Wenger at Arsenal.

What Is Arsenal’s Biggest Defeat Against Manchester United?

The defeat against Chelsea matched the margin of Arsenal’s worst defeat against Manchester United when they lost 8-2 on 28 August 2011.

The game saw Wayne Rooney grab a hat trick, and also Carl Jenkinson get sent off.

Other Notable Arsenal Defeats

Other notable defeats in Arsenal’s history include:

  • Biggest home defeat: 0-6 vs Derby County. 28 January 1999.
  • Biggest home defeat at Highbury: 0-5 vs Huddersfield Town on 14 February 1925 and vs Chelsea on 11 November 1999.
  • Biggest home defeat at the Emirates: 1-5 vs Bayern Munich. 7 March 2017.
  • Biggest defeat in the top division: 0-7 vs Blackburn on 2 October 1909, vs West Brom on 14 October 1922, vs Newcastle United on 3 October 1925, vs West Ham United on 7 March 1927.

Final Thoughts

INFOGRAPHIC Answering the Question What is Arsenals Biggest Win and Defeat
Click infographic to enlarge.

Strangely both Arsenal’s biggest win and biggest defeat came against the same team, and not a team you would expect!

They beat Loughborough Town 12-0 on 12 March 1900 to avenge an 8-0 defeat against the same opponent on 12 December 1896.

They also beat Ashford United 12-0 in an FA Cup match on 14 October 1893.

The Gunners have also suffered a few 7-0 defeats in their long history, but the 8-0 reverse against Loughborough is still the club’s record loss.

*All details correct as of March 2023.

Spread the love

Leave a Comment