What if Arsenal Won the 2006 Champions League Final?

What if Arsenal Won the 2006 Champions League Final?

by December 22, 2020 0 comments

There was a time where Arsenal was one of the best clubs in the English Premier League. The Gunners would finish in the top two in the EPL from 1997 to 2004. In addition, they’d top the EPL three times in that timeframe.

The Gunners would have some success in the early- to mid-2000s, winning three FA Cups. Furthermore, during the 2003-2004 EPL season, Arsenal became the first club to finish with an unbeaten record. Thierry Henry was the club’s best player during that period, finishing as the EPL’s top scorer four times.

However, as respectable as the Gunners’ success was during that time, they didn’t have the best luck in the Champions League. Arsenal was able to reach the final of the 2006 Champions League, eliminating Real Madrid and Juventus along the way. The Gunners were officially the first club based in London to reach the final. However, they ultimately lost the match to Barcelona.

But what if Arsenal had completed the job?

The Gunners would have become the fifth English club to hoist the title. Winning the title surely would have earned Arsenal a great deal of respect and praise. In addition, it would highlight the legacy of Henry, as well as Arsene Wenger, the team’s manager from 1996 to 2018.

Nevertheless, it did not happen.

In Henry’s case, he would win the title with Barcelona in 2009. It certainly would have been huge for him to win the title with his longtime club. However, it’s respectable enough that he was able to help take them there.

The game itself is truly a painful memory for the club and its fanbase. Arsenal went down one man in the 18th minute when goalkeeper Jens Lehmann was sent off for a bad foul. The ejection would force Wenger to make an early substitution to put in the reserve goalkeeper. Arsenal took a 1-0 lead, but Barcelona rallied late to win.

Winning the Champions League would have given Arsenal one of their biggest accomplishments, thus solidifying the biggest and most crowning moment of the club’s best golden generation. Quite frankly, it would have been a story to tell and remember for the ages.

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