Way back when we were in the CL!
Unfortunately, as we know, it’s been a while since we have been present in the Champions League, but what game would you go back to and re-live it all over again if you could?
Well for me when I sit and reminisce about some of the amazing matches that we have played in, my answer would be an easier one than for any of the other competitions. Although the FA Cup final against Chelsea in 2017 also sits level at the top for me if we are talking about all the games I’ve seen.
But no matter what has happened in the Champions League and no matter how close we got it would always be a game I was privileged and lucky enough to attend.
So, if I could go back and re-live one night in the Champions League, it would be all the way back to February 2011, when we faced Barcelona at the Emirates in the first leg of the last-16 clash!
We were losing 1-0 for 78 minutes after David Villa got Barca’s only goal of the game on the 26th minute and looked set to get the win for his side. Yet Robin Van Persie had other ideas and equalised with 12 minutes left to play, and then our little Russian magician Andrei Arshavin got the winner five minutes later, with seven minutes left to play.
It was a winner that made the Emirates erupt even louder than it did when they got the equaliser and a celebration that would be remembered forever.
But it was a night that Arsenal played Barcelona at their own game at times, passing and controlling the game well, and any time Barcelona players got the ball three or more Arsenal players surrounded them and won the ball back. It was even a bit of a quiet night in North London for Lionel Messi, but it was a night that to date, has been the best in my Emirates Stadium history so far!
And funnily enough none of the players who were in the Arsenal team back then are at the club anymore. But that win and the way the team and the fans collectively worked hard and celebrated both goals, will forever live in my heart and my memory. It was a game I was proud to attend, and I still smile at the win and feel the goosebumps now.
Although we have never won the competition, sometimes it’s the non-trophy winning games that can give you such a feeling.
However, if I could go back to one moment and change it, it would be the “almost” moment, against the same opponents, but in the final of the competition back in 2006. That night will always hurt but if I could go back and change it, I would of course change the result as I’d be mad not to! We can dream, can’t we?
There is no denying that we have had some amazing Champions League nights though.
And who knows, if the team keeps going in this form and we get back into the Champions League then we may yet get to live some more of those sorts of nights!
Here’s hoping hey Gooners?
Here are the highlights from that special night, when Jack Wilshere was hailed as a superstar of the future…