Just a week from now, Arsenal will be welcoming Barcelona to the Emirates Stadium.
The best club side in the world are on a record unbeaten run as they look to defend the treble they claimed last season, and we are standing in their way. Tuesday marks seven days before the clash, and five years to the day since Arsenal beat the Spanish giants on their last visit to London.
Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger has told Arsenal.com that he wants this current crop of players to remember and take heart from that victory, as he looks to mastermind another win against the best team in the world
“We suffered in the first half and in the second half we slowly came back into the game and became very dangerous,” sais Wenger, thinking back to 2011. “That should help us in our [upcoming] game against Barcelona. If we have uncomfortable moments then we should have in our minds that we can still win even if it is difficult.”
In both 2010 and 2011, Barcelona came to London but failed to win. A 2-2 draw in 2010 saw Arsenal cling on during one of the best spells of football ever seen, only to go 2-0 down after the break. Theo Walcott was heavily involved in a comeback, and started a year later when Robin van Persie and Andrey Arshavin scored to seal a famous win from 1-0 down.
“It was really special [to win in 2011],” Wenger added. “What I also remember as well is that it reminded me of how football is really as a team because you can deliver something exceptional.”
Laurent Koscielny and Theo Walcott are the only players who played in 2011 who are likely to feature next week, but that doesn’t matter too much. We have lost some quality but brought in the likes of Mesut Özil and Alexis Sánchez. In some areas we have even upgraded: Emmanuel Eboué and Johan Djourou made up half of our defence five years back.
This current crop has also beaten a Pep Guardiola side, winning 2-0 at the Emirates Stadium back in October. What’re the chances of another famous win in the Champions League next week?
There will be times the game feels like it will never end with Barcelona piling immense pressure on us, but 2011 is proof that we can cope with that if we defend well before responding with our very own moments of class.