OTD Toure sends Arsenal to Champions League final

On 19 April 2006, Arsenal faced Villarreal at Highbury in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.

Arsenal had already beaten Real Madrid and Juventus during the knock-out stages of the Champions League that season. The final was in reaching distance.

Kolo Toure scored the tie’s only goal in the 41st minute – the last under Highbury’s floodlights before the move to the Emirates.

Little did Toure know at the time that his goal would send Arsenal through to the final. Another highlight of the game occurred when a squirrel got onto the pitch, leading to comments from the Arsenal fans that the small animal had more Champions League experience than Spurs.

After failing to score at Highbury, Villarreal drew with the Gunners 0-0 at Estadio El Madrigal in front of 22,000 fans.

Arsenal faced Barcelona in the final in Paris. The controversial clash ended 2-1 to the Catalan giants.

Elsewhere that season, the Gunners finished fourth in the Premier League; were knocked out of the FA Cup semi-final by Bolton, and League Cup by Wigan.

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