In the 2003/2004 UEFA Champions League season, Arsenal, who looked down
and out, made one of the remarkable group stage comebacks in the history
of the competition.
Arsenal was drawn alongside Inter Milan, Dynamo Kyiv and Lokomotiv Moscow
in group B. Aside Inter Milan, Arsenal was expected to ease through the
group into the round of 16.
Everything started going wrong from the very first game against Inter
Milan. Playing at their former home ground, Highbury, the Nerazurris
defeated Arsenal 3-0 to the surprise of everyone.
Hoping to bounce back from the early setback, Arsenal travelled to Russia
to face Lokomotiv Moscow. And after 90 grueling minutes of football, both
teams shared the spoils after playing 0-0.
On match-day three, Arsenal lost 2-1 against Dynamo Kyiv in Ukraine. The
only way to stay in the competition was to win their remaining three
games, any slip up, and it will be curtains.
Arsenal took on Dynamo Kyiv in a must win match but got what they more
than they bargained as the visitors proved a hard nut to crack.
Ashley Cole emerged the savior of the day as he scored the only goal to
give Arsenal a 1-0 win and kick-start their revival.
Up next for Arsenal was a trip to the San Siro to face Inter Milan in a
must win game. But to the surprise of all, a Thierry Henry-inspired
Arsenal, ran riot against Inter Milan right there at the San Siro, winning
After the San Siro massacre, Arsenal welcomed Lokomotiv Moscow in their
last group game, and completed the revival mission by winning 2-0.
Fast-forward to 11 years later, Arsenal, grouped alongside European
heavyweight Bayern Munich, Olympiakos and Dinamo Zagreb in the 2016/ 2016
UEFA Champions League, were on the verge of crashing out completely from
Arsenal gave their fans the shock of their lives after they lost their
first two group games. First, they went down 2-1 away to Dinamo Zagreb,
before shockingly losing 3-2 at the Emirates to Olympiakos.
Not a few believed it was only a miracle that will see Arsenal qualify
from a relatively easy group. What was more disheartening was the fact
that they now had to get something from the dreaded Bayern Munich who were
Just like in 2003/2004, the Gunners began their revival by beating Bayern
2-0 at the Emirates. The return leg at the Allianz Arena, saw Bayern take
Arsenal apart, winning 5-1.
Still in with a shout, Arsenal hosted Dinamo Zagreb and won 3-0. Their
quest to qualify for the next round was given a huge boost following
Bayern's 4-0 win against Olympiakos.
It was down to the final game away to Olympiakos in Greece, a place that
have never been a good hunting ground for them.
And to be guaranteed of qualification, Arsenal needed to win by two clear
goals. Arsenal, just like 11 years ago, completed the great comeback by
thrashing Olympiakos 3-0, thanks to a hat-trick by the much-maligned.
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