Arsenal's 5 Greatest Nights in the Champions League
Arsenal are back to UEFA Champions League action this week, with a tricky last-16 tie against last year's beaten finalists Bayern Munich. With the German side rampant domestically and the Gunners crashing out of the FA Cup to Championship side Blackburn at the weekend, Arsenal go into the tie as underdogs.
However, if you're looking to bet now, hold that thought. The north London side have had some memorable nights in the Champions League since the tournament started, and if you're betting online on the game, make sure you take into account their potential to go on a giant-killing spree not unlike their previous exploits in the Big Cup.
Arsenal 2, Barcelona 1 (2010-11)
One of the most memorable matches at the Emirates in recent years was the 2-1 victory over Barcelona in the last-16 first leg in February 2011. Trailing 1-0 at the break due to David Villa's opener, Arsene Wenger's men staged a remarkable comeback, with swift and precise counterattacking turning the game on its head.
Goals from Robin van Persie and Andrei Arshavin claimed a memorable victory; however, Barcelona ended up winning the second leg and eventually the tournament.
Arsenal 5, Inter 1 (2003-04)
This result announced Arsenal as a real contender for major European honours in a scintillating display at the San Siro in the 2003-04 group stages. Wenger's men needed a result after a slow start to the campaign and made a sweeping statement with four unanswered second-half goals.
After Christian Vieri and Thierry Henry had exchanged goals in the first 45, Fredrik Ljungberg, Edu, Robert Pires and Henry once more were all on target to leave the home crowd stunned. Arsenal went on to win the group, whilst Inter were eliminated.
Arsenal 2, AC Milan 0 (2007-08)
Another famous win at the San Siro, this time in 2007-08 against AC Milan. After a 0-0 draw in England in the first leg of the cagey last-16 tie, Arsenal outplayed their Italian hosts, with late goals from Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor securing a hard-fought victory against the odds. The result meant that the Gunners became the first English side to ever beat AC Milan at the San Siro.
Arsenal 4, Bayer Leverkusen 1 (2001-02)
With Michael Ballack, Lucio and Dimitar Berbatov in their ranks, the Bayer Leverkusen side of the early 2000s was an ominous opponent. The BayArena side made it to the final of the 2001-02 competition but not before being well and truly humbled by Arsenal in the group stages. Robert Pires, Thierry Henry, Patrick Vieira and Dennis Bergkamp were all on target for the North London hosts, before the Germans pulled back a late consolation in a 4-1 thrashing.
Arsenal 1, Real Madrid 0 (2005-06)
The 2005-06 campaign was the closest that Arsenal have come to winning the Champions League, with the English side beaten in the final by Barcelona. A fantastic run to the final saw the Gunners beat Ajax, Juventus and Villarreal on the way to the Barcelona game.
However, a 1-0 aggregate victory over Real Madrid stands out during the campaign, with Thierry Henry scoring a superb solo effort to secure a valuable win at the Santiago Bernabeu at the last-16 stage. Despite the Spaniards boasting players such as Roberto Carlos, Raul, Zinedine Zidane, Ronaldo and David Beckham, the Gunners neutralised Madrid in an excellent tie.
Honourable mentions must go to the 5-0 away win over Porto in 2009-10 and the 5-1 home victory over Shakhtar Donetsk in 2010-11. The Gunners may well be up against it when they face Bayern this week, but if the past is anything to go by, it shouldn't be a shock if the Gunners defy the odds and claim victory.
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