It was looking like a lost course as all hopes seem lost with barely 15 minutes left on the clock in the traditionally tense London derby between city rivals Chelsea and Arsenal.
The Blues were already two goals up and were already thinking they had recorded another famous win over their city rivals.
Then the tables turned around as foremost Nigerian forward, Kanu Nwankwo, did what was largely unimaginable for many, scoring three quick-fire goals that helped Arsenal to a 3-2 win over Chelsea.
Every other year, this masterclass has always been celebrated with some even agreeing that it is one of the most remarkable hat tricks ever scored in the Premier League.
Kanu rattled in goals in the 75th, 83rd and 90th minutes to seal victory.
It was a day many Arsenal fans would never forget as their £4.15 million signing in February had suddenly become a legend of some sort barely seven months after.
While relieving that great moment with the UK tabloid, the Sun, Kanu admitted he never expected such great feat.
The Nigerian said: “Chelsea hadn’t lost a game at the Bridge that season and we knew that.
“We knew it was going to be difficult for us with the strength of their team.
“The game didn’t start very well for Arsenal. They scored a first goal and at that point I was like ‘Poo, what’s going on here?’ We went in at half-time and every player was like ‘This is not us, what is going on?’ ”
Kanu said: “Arsene said go out and enjoy yourselves.
“He didn’t get angry. That’s a part of him that people don’t really appreciate. I don’t think I’ve seen him put a lot of pressure on players.
“Some coaches are (not) like that; they keep shouting, but he didn’t do that.”
Arsenal fell further behind when Petrescu scored but then the great comeback began.
Kanu said: “I got the first goal. I knew the surface was slippery and when I saw that space I had to do what I had to do.
“When you use the toe to hit the ball, it moves faster than when you side-foot it. So I had a chance and I did it.
“For the second goal, there was a cross on the ground and I took it with a good first touch. Thierry Henry was really helpful because he blocked off Marcel Desailly so he couldn’t reach me.
“I had to shoot from that range and even the keeper was not expecting it.
“When it went to 2-2, I was like ‘Phew, OK’ and the Arsenal fans were up for it then.
“They were shouting but nobody was expecting us to win — 2-2 was OK, a draw at Stamford Bridge? We can go home with that.
“But then there was a loose pass from Suker which was meant for me but he didn’t put it where I wanted it.
“I had to chase the ball and then the defender wanted to kick it out so I had to block it off.”
At this point Kanu revealed a spot of mind games from his Nigerian team-mate Celestine Babayaro, who was playing for Chelsea, popped into his head. Kanu said: “Before the game, as we were in the tunnel, my friend Babayaro told me ‘We know your style, we know what you’re going to do, I’ve told all the players and the keeper what you do when you want to do the fake shot’.
“I was like ‘OK, that’s cool’. So when the keeper came out, I believed he would remember what Babayaro told him.
“So I dummied him but then there was no one to pass the ball to, even if I wanted to, because of where I was. I decided to go for it.
“It was difficult to hit it from that angle to the top corner but good players have to find a way.”
The former Nigeria captain showed he was not a flash in the pan, finishing the season well with seven goals in 17 games.
He was later on crowned the African Player of the Year at the end of that remarkable season.
Support PREMIUM TIMES' journalism of integrity and credibility
TEXT AD: To advertise here . Call Willie +2347088095401...