It’s probably the only way Arsenal will be somewhat relevant in the Champions League for a while, but after Manchester City’s 2-1 win over Borussia Dortmund, the Gunners retain their cleansheet record for another year.

Valencia, SPAIN:  Arsenal's Gilberto (L) and manager Arsene Wenger are seen at a press conference at the Madrigal stadium in Villarreal ahead of their Champions League semi-final second leg match against Villarreal, 24 April 2006. Arsenal enter the tie with a 1-0 win at home from the first leg. AFP PHOTO/CARL DE SOUZA.
Valencia, SPAIN: Arsenal’s Gilberto (L) and manager Arsene Wenger are seen at a press conference at the Madrigal stadium in Villarreal ahead of their Champions League semi-final second leg match against Villarreal, 24 April 2006. Arsenal enter the tie with a 1-0 win at home from the first leg. AFP PHOTO/CARL DE SOUZA.

Yes, it really has come to this.

No longer in the Champions League, and with little chance of returning in the near future if something drastic doesn’t change at the club, all we have now is the record of longest run of cleansheets in the competition, somewhat ironic given the absolute clown show Arsenal tend to make of defending on a regular basis.

The run, of course, took place on our way to the 2006 final where it all fell apart. 995 minutes without conceding a single goal until that point before Jens Lehmann saw red and Arsene Wenger saw his Champions League dream vanish.

That the defence contained players like Emannuel Eboue, Philippe Senderos and Mathieu Flamini at left-back makes it even more remarkable.

Happy 15th birthday, little record. Maybe we’ll meet you in the competition before you’re old enough to vote.

Don’t count on it, though.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.