It was a case of one goal too far for Arsenal for the second year running on Wednesday night as they went out of the Champions League on away goals.
Arsene Wenger’s men put in one of the most impressive away performances seen by a Premier League club in Europe to in beating Bayern Munich 2-0 at the Allianz Arena.
One more goal would have seen the Gunners go through but they couldn’t get it and the Bundesliga leaders’ 3-1 win at Emirates Stadium three weeks ago meant they progressed on away goals.
Like the 3-0 win over AC Milan last year following a 4-0 pasting in the first leg, Arsenal regained some semblance of pride with a terrific attempt at mission impossible – another glorious failure, if you believe in that sort of thing.
This match got GMF thinking about other brilliant away performances in Europe by Premier League teams and we came up with five of the best.
Here they are:
Real Madrid 0-1 Liverpool, 2009
Rafael Benitez constructed a classic European away performance to defeat his former club and make Liverpool only the second English side to win in Los Blancos’ stadium.
The Spanish coach set up his team to frustrate the star-studded La Liga side, and frustrate them they did - though they also looked very dangerous on the counter-attack. 0-0 away is a good result in the first leg of a knockout tie, but the Merseysiders went one better with about eight minutes left when Yossi Benayoun headed in Fabio Aurelio’s free-kick.
It ended up a comfortable win for the Reds and set them up for an even more dominant display in the return leg at Anfield, where they thrashed Madrid 4-0 to progress.
Juventus 2-3 Manchester United, 1999
The 1999 final in Camp Nou is seen as one of the most exciting and dramatic to have taken place, United’s two stoppage time goals snatching the trophy from the hands of Bayern Munich, but the tie that took them there was just as thrilling.
After a 1-1 draw at Old Trafford in the first leg, Sir Alex Ferguson’s men were staring elimination in the face when they went 2-0 down within the first 11 minutes.
However, Roy Keane’s header midway through the first half sparked another famous comeback, with Dwight Yorke equalising ten minutes later and Andy Cole finishing off the tie late on, sending United on the road to history.
Real Madrid 0-1 Arsenal, 2006
This was a performance of staggering proportions by Arsene Wenger’s young side, becoming the first English club to win in the Santiago Bernabeu. The north Londoners soundly beat the European giants, during their famous ‘Galacticos’ era, and could even have warranted a greater winning margin.
Thierry Henry clinched it just after half time with a sublime solo effort, gliding past most of the Madrid defence before slotting into the far corner, setting the Gunners on their way to a first Champions League final appearance.
Barcelona 2-2 Chelsea, 2012
This was the outcome that was never supposed to have happened when the holders were drawn against Roberto di Matteo’s struggling side. But a mix of fortune, resilience and a few flashes of brilliance saw the Blues pull off what was thought to be almost impossible.
Didier Drogba’s breakaway goal and Barça’s profligacy gave the Londoners a slim lead after the first leg, but this was snuffed out by Segio Busquets and then Andres Iniesta doubled the lead just before half time; with Chelsea also down to ten men following John Terry’s sending off, elimination seemed certain.
The shock started in first half injury time when Frank Lampard picked out Ramires, whose chipped finish was a moment of glorious improvisation. Lionel Messi missed a penalty just after half time as Pep Guardiola’s side pushed for a winner, but Fernando Torres finished them off in the last minute after breaking clear to complete an unbelievable and truly remarkable aggregate victory.
AC Milan 0-1 Tottenham Hotspur, 2011
Harry Redknapp’s side entertained many spectators during their maiden Champions League campaign in the 2010-11 season, and a surprisingly extended journey in the competition reached its pinnacle at San Siro against AC Milan.
In truth, Spurs were slightly fortunate to come away with a win on the night, but their defensive resilience for much of the game was outstanding – the fact that they weren’t exactly famed for their defending only enhanced this.
What the White Hart Lane side were really good at was attacking and Aaron Lennon set-off to start blistering counter-attack with ten minutes to go, which was finished by Peter Crouch and the north London side securing a fantastic victory.
What have been your favourite away performances by Premier League clubs in Europe? Leave a comment below to let us know...
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