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Jens Lehmann.

Jens Lehmann has revealed what he did after being sent off v Barca in 2006 CL final

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Arsenal have never been crowned champions of Europe in the club's history, but they came ever so close in 2006.

Arsene Wenger's side were almost perfect in the Champions League that season.

After picking up 16 points from a possible 18 in the group stages, Wenger's men then followed that up with triumphs over Real Madrid, Juventus and Villarreal.

On route to the final, Arsenal only conceded two goals; and managed to keep clean sheets throughout the knock-out rounds.

The only team stopping them from Champions League glory was Barcelona, and given their impressive results throughout the competition, Arsenal had a huge chance of winning their first European title.

BUT DISASTER STRUCK IN THE 18TH MINUTE

Unfortunately for Arsenal, the final did not go as planned.

The English side started off the stronger team, with Thierry Henry going close on two occasions, but it all started to unravel in the 18th minute.

Jens Lehmann, who had only conceded two goals in the competition going into the final, rushed off his line to close down Samuel Eto'o, but was given a red card when he brought him down.

Amazingly, Sol Campbell put the north London outfit ahead, but Barcelona eventually triumphed against the ten men courtesy of goals from Eto'o and Belletti.

Given the circumstances, Arsenal could take pride of how they performed with ten men, but were left wondering what could have been had their German goalkeeper not been sent off so early on.

THE SENDING OFF: SKIP TO 1:21

JENS LEHMANN REFLECTS ON HIS SENDING OFF

In his new autobiography 'The Madness is on the Pitch', Lehmann reveals what he did in the immediate aftermath to the incident, whilst he also recalls an encounter with Sir Alex Ferguson in the stands.

Lehmann wrote: "Four minutes past nine, the infamous moment had come: Ronaldinho played his pass, Eto’o began to run, Lehmann grasped, [referee Terje] Hauge blew his whistle.

"Following the dismissal, I slunk into the dressing room to put on a clean shirt. What was I to do now? For a few minutes, I sat around, irresolute, before climbing up the steps to the stands.

"I bumped into Sir Alex Ferguson, who stared at me wide-eyed, as if he had seen Lucifer himself. ‘Bad luck,’ I said with a shrug, continuing on my way.

Arsenal's German goalkeeper Jens Lehmann

"When I had eventually found a seat, I was joined by Lasse and Mats [his children], who had been sitting with my wife and brother. I pulled them onto my lap and finally began to tear up.

"There is no apt description nor any solace for this moment, in which all aims, hopes and ambition of the previous months disappear in a black hole of disappointment.

"I suspected I would never again be part of a Champions League final but did not let the thought get to me at all."

Truly heartbreaking.

Eleven years on, and Arsenal have not come close to winning the Champions League. Oh what could have been.

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Topics:
Barcelona
Thierry Henry
Jens Lehmann
Arsene Wenger
Football

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