Arsenal’s whole season is on the line in Prague. The Gunners have to win or draw 2-2 or higher to advance to the semi-Final after only managing a 1-1 draw at the Emirates, largely due to our failure to take our chances.
With fans not in stadiums, opinions will vary if home or away advantage even exists at the moment.
To get us in the mood though, let’s look at the Gunners record when not winning their first leg at home. I will only be covering my life time. I was born at a time all English sides were banned from Europe due to hooligans.
So we start this article from 1991- current day.
March 1995 – Cup Winners Cup QF
Arsenal 1-1 Auxerre
Defending their trophy, our hopes of retaining took a knock when we drew 1-1 at Highbury, Auxerre equalising three minutes after an Ian Wright penalty.
With our famous back 5 though we were made of stern stuff. You could trust us to go anywhere and see out a 1-0 win, and so we did. Can’t say the same about the modern version, can we?
September 1996 UEFA Cup 1st Round
Arsenal 2-3 B. Monchengladbach
A tough draw considering other options. At one point 2-0 and 3-1 down at Highbury, so very much second best in both games, losing 3-2 twice.
A run in Europe was unlikely though with the club in a holding pattern. Stewart Houston was caretaker boss for the 1st leg, Pat Rice for the 2nd, while we awaited the arrival of a certain Arsene Wenger
March 2008 CL last 16
Arsenal 0-0 AC Milan
Not a bad result due to our offensive potential. Many felt we lacked the experience to win in the San Siro and at the time Fabregas’s strike and our 2-0 win was seen as a break out moment. This group of players deserved to win something
April 2008 CL QF
Arsenal 1-1 Liverpool
Perhaps a tie which summed up where we were at, a young squad needing some leaders to get them over the line, We were bottling the title race having surrendered a 5-point lead at Christmas and had just been knocked out of the FA Cup.
The first leg saw the famous moment of Bendtner blocking Hleb’s goal bound shot. Even so when Walcott ran the length of the pitch at Anfield to assist Adebayor, we were going through. Seconds later we conceded a penalty (never a pen!).
April 2010 CL QF
Arsenal 2-2 Barcelona
At 2-0 down this was a spirited comeback but the truth was Barcelona’s dominance at time was scary. We did for a moment lead in the Nou Camp but then a certain Messi struck FOUR times.
Feb 2013 CL last 16
Arsenal 1-3 Bayern Munich
Arsene Wenger’s first ever home defeat in a first leg sees us outclassed by the eventual Champions. In a sign of things to come though, with the pressure off in the second leg we stage a brave fight back but go out on away goals.
Feb 2014 CL last 16
Arsenal 0-2 Bayern
Almost identical to 12 months previous although might have been different had Ozil scored his pen. Szczesny got sent off after 37 mins
We again threaten a comeback in Germany but it’s too late.
March 2015 CL last 16
Arsenal 1-3 Monaco
After Barcelona and Bayern Munich in previous years, we get on paper a kind draw but end up under-estimating Monaco. Even so Giroud has enough chances to at least draw the game.
We win 2-0 in France. Another 5 minutes we would have won the tie.
Feb 2016 CL last 16
Arsenal 0-2 Barcelona
We do well to hang on for 70 mins when Messi scores but that’s all we are doing, hanging on.
Then we lose the second leg 3-1.
April 2018 Europa Semi Final
Arsenal 1-1 Atletico Madrid
Arsene Wenger announced this was his final European game at the Emirates, creating an incredible atmosphere. We played a team that was down to 10 men for almost the entire 90 mins. We made one awful mistake at the back and suddenly we had to score in Madrid.
So in my life time, when we have failed to win a first leg in Europe, we ….
Have advanced twice
Been knocked out 8 times
Truthfully when I started this article, I didn’t think our record would be that bad.
So I have managed to make myself even more nervous for Thursday. Saying that, Slavia Prague are not Barcelona or Bayern Munich.
I maintain that if we score; we will be okay.
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