5 of the best Arsenal Champions League playoff performances
Arsenal are 4/6 to win their Champions League playoff-round qualifying fixture at Besiktas, and considering they’ve managed home and away victories at this stage six times over the last decade, these fine odds look sure to land.
Here are a few of the best memories Gooners have taken from Augusts past during their run.
Aaron Ramsey starts a six-week scoring blitz away to Fenerbahce last term
The increasingly-impressive Welshman is 7/4 to strike in Turkey, as he did away to Besiktas’ Istanbul neighbours last season.
Ramsey squeezed one in between Kieran Gibbs and Olivier Giroud in a 3-0 win at the Sukru Saracoglu, with the midfielder going on to bag eight more for club and country before September’s end.
The 23-year-old has notched in each of his competitive appearances so far this term, against Manchester City in the Community Shield and Crystal Palace in the Premier League.
The Gunners edge past Udinese in 2011/12
After a nervy 1-0 win against a decent Zebrette side in north London, Arsenal went behind at the Stadio Friuli to an Antonio Di Natale strike after 39 minutes.
Robin van Persie came to the rescue in the second half before Theo Walcott, who bagged the only goal at the Emirates, made it 3-1 on aggregate.
Eduardo wins and scores ‘that’ penalty at home to Celtic five years ago
Arsene Wenger’s men were well on their way to qualifying for the Champions League group stage before the Croatian’s controversial 28th-minute penalty.
A 2-0 win at Parkhead ensured that the return leg meant little, but Wenger still felt the need to remove the striker with 20 minutes to go after Eduardo flopped under what appeared to be no contact from Hoops keeper Artur Boruc.
Steve McClaren and Twente find themselves on the wrong side of a 6-0 aggregate thrashing in 2008/09
The former England coach was to have better days with the Eredivisie club, with whom he won the Dutch top flight the following season.
Unfortunately for McClaren, his new side found Arsenal far too hot to handle, particularly in north London.
Already 2-0 up from the first leg, Wenger’s men ran in four without reply courtesy of Samir Nasri, Nicklas Bendtner, Walcott and William Gallas, who also began proceedings with the opener in Holland.
The new guard put on a show in Zagreb just three months after 2005/06 Champions League final misery
A side shorn of Thierry Henry, Freddie Ljungberg, Jens Lehmann, Ashley Cole, Robert Pires and Sol Campbell bounced back from their miserable 2-1 loss against Barcelona in Paris.
Cesc Fabregas, who featured in the Champions League final, and Robin van Persie, who did not, made it 3-0 to the Arsenal away to Dinamo Zagreb, with a 2-1 win at home two weeks later the icing on the qualification cake.