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Arsenal's five best performances in the Champions League

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Arsenal’s stunning 3-0 victory over Olympiakos in the Champions League no doubt ranks as one of Arsene Wenger’s best evenings in the competition.

With his side in danger of being knocked out of the tournament, Olivier Giroud stepped up to fire the Gunners through to the knockout stages for the 16th season in a row.

Failure to win in Greece would have ruined the Frenchman’s unblemished record, and ensured they join Manchester United in the Europa League as well.

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Here, GiveMeSport will rank five other of Wenger’s greatest nights in the competition.

1) Real Madrid 0-1 Arsenal

Thierry Henry’s wonderful individual goal gave Arsenal a famous 1-0 win over Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu in a season where the Gunners reached the final in Paris.

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The Frenchman survived tackles from Ronaldo, Guti and Sergio Ramos to slip the ball past Iker Casillas in the Madrid goal.

It was proof of a player at the peak of his powers and his winner also earned him a standing ovation from those packed inside the stadium.

And it was also the first time an English team had triumphed at the Bernabeu, though Liverpool were able to emulate the feat two years later.

2) AC Milan 0-2 Arsenal

Arsenal travelled to the San Siro in March 2008 to face defending champions, AC Milan.

Yet despite the Italians boasting the likes of Paulo Maldini, Andrea Pirlo and Kaka, the Gunners upset the odds to reach the last eight of the competition.

They had to play a waiting game, but Cesc Fabregas’ stunning long-range strike broke the deadlock with six minutes to go before Emmanuel Adebayor doubled the lead in injury time.

Wenger’s men were deserved winners, yet their hopes of reaching a second final in three years were quashed by Liverpool in the following round.

3) Arsenal 2-1 Barcelona

Barcelona strolled into town at the peak of their powers with Pep Guardiola’s men eager to regain the Champions League trophy lost to Inter Milan the previous season.

David Villa gave them an early lead and despite Lionel Messi misfiring, the Catalan giants appeared to be strolling to victory.

But Robin van Persie blasted an equaliser before Andrey Arshavin side-footed home the winner with just seven minutes left on the clock.

However, despite his subpar performance at the Emirates, Messi returned to haunt them by scoring twice in a 3-1 victory in the second leg.

4) Inter Milan 1-5 Arsenal

Arsenal rocked up to the San Siro in November 2003 and inflicted Inter Milan’s biggest ever home defeat across all competitions.

Henry was in inspired form, scoring twice in a performance that prompted many to label him as the best striker in world football.

Freddie Ljungberg, Edu and Robert Pires also scored with Christian Vieri netting for Inter at the other end.

However, it was to prove a false dawn as Wenger’s side were eliminated from the tournament at the second Group Stage round under the old European format.

5) Villarreal 0-0 Arsenal

Goalless, uninspiring but ultimately successful, Arsenal’s stalemate against Villarreal in 2006 saw them through to the final of the competition for the first time in their history.

In a rare performance of defensive resilience, Jens Lehmann saved a last-gasp penalty from Juan Roman Riquelme to set up a clash with Barcelona in Paris.

Diego Forlan and Guillermo Franco spurned great chances to score, but the Yellow Submarines were overcome by a 1-0 defeat in the first leg.

Kolo Toure was the goalscorer on that occasion, but the Ivorian and his teammates were beaten 2-1 by Barca three weeks later.

Can you think of any better European nights for Arsenal? Give YOUR opinion in the comment box below!

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Topics:
AC Milan
Arsenal
Thierry Henry
Football
Real Madrid
Barcelona
UEFA Champions League

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