On this day in 1954, Arsenal became the first English league side to play in Russia.
Embed from Getty Images
Arsenal flew out of Northolt Airport on 3 October using two planes to carry their 16 players and seven officials. Their destination was Moscow in Soviet Russia the year after Stalin’s death at a time when the Iron Curtain was still pulled tight across the continent.
Their flight was delayed by bad weather when they reached Minsk, holding them up for the night which no doubt played a part in how the game would later pan out.
Facing Russia’s top team, Dynamo Moscow, Arsenal, who had won the old Division One title in 1953, lost 5-0.
You can read an excellent report of the whole episode on In Bed With Maradona.