inspire arsenal

5 Fantastic Fightbacks To Inspire Arsenal Against Barcelona

In the words of Arsene Wenger, 'Arsenal will hope to turn the impossible possible' when they face Champions League holders Barcelona at the Nou Camp on Wednesday.

The Gunners must overturn a 2-0 deficit from the first leg to stand a chance of advancing into the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010.

In this piece, Completesportsnigeria.com's JAMES AGBEREBI, takes a look at FIVE memorable and fantastic return leg clashes in history, which is bound to inspire Arsenal against Barcelona.

ARSENAL V JUVENTUS: 1980 UEFA CUP WINNERS CUP SEMI-FINAL

After brushing aside the likes of Fenerbahce, Magdeburg and IFK Gotenborg, Arsenal had their first real test when they were paired against Juventus in the semi-final of the 1980 European Cup Winners Cup.

The Old Lady, as Juventus are fondly called, had won 18 Serie A titles, six Coppa Italia and the 1977 UEFA Cup (Europa Cup).

Also in their ranks were future World Cup winners- Dino Zoff, Claudio Gentile and Marco Tardelli.

The first leg took place at Highbury and ended 1-1. Tardelli gave Juventus the lead in the 33rd minute before an own goal by Roberto Bettega ended the tie all square.

Already written off before the return leg, Arsenal shocked their illustrious opponents by pipping them 1-0. The only goal came off Paul Vaessen who struck in the 88th minute.

Arsenal progressed into the final of the Cup Winners Cup but lost on penalties to Valencia.

ARSENAL V AC MILAN: 2008 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, ROUND OF 16

Arsenal finished second behind Sevilla in Group H of the 2007-2008 UEFA Champions League and were drawn against champions AC Milan in the round of 16.

Flaunting players like Kaka (who was the FIFA World Player of the Year then), Clarence Seedorf, Andrea Pirlo, Filipo Inzaghi, Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Nesta and Gennaro Gatuso, Arsenal's chances were written off.

The first leg was played at the Emirates Stadium. And with scoring chances few and far between, the game ended goalless.

But at the San Siro, Arsenal achieved the ''impossible" by winning 2-0, with the goals coming off Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor.

Arsenal eventually crashed out in the quarter-finals to Liverpool, losing 5-3 on aggregate.

MANCHESTER UNITED V JUVENTUS: 1999 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, SEMI-FINAL

Juventus played in three straight finals of the UEFA Champions League between  1996, 1997 and 1998. But their run of semi-final successes was halted when they faced Manchester United in 1999.

Juventus were ahead by a goal in the first leg at Old Trafford and were heading for a vital away win. But Ryan Giggs equalised in the 91st minute to end the game 1-1.

In the return leg, Filipo Inzaghi scored two quick goals to give Juventus a 3-1 aggregate lead. But before the end of the first half, Roy Keane and Dwight Yorke scored to make it 2-2.

And with few minutes left in the game, United made sure of progressing into the final with a third goal by Andy Cole to end the game 4-3 in favour the United.

And in the final, Manchester United completed the treble following a dramatic 2-1 win against Bayern Munich.

JUVENTUS V BARCELONA: 2003 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, QUARTER-FINAL

One of the clashes in the quarter-finals of the 2003 UEFA Champions League was between Barcelona and Juventus.

In the first leg, Barcelona got a crucial 1-1 draw against Juventus and were confident of progressing into the semi-final in the return leg at the Nou Camp.

To their surprise, Juventus took a 53rd minute lead through Pavel Nedved. But in the 66th minute Xavi made it 1-1. Things got bad for Juventus following the sending off of Edgar David in the 79th minute.

But with six minutes remaining in extra-time, Marcelo Zalayeta scored for Juventus to send them into the last four.

Juventus went all the way to the final only to bow to AC Milan who won 3-2 on penalty shootout.

‎AC MILAN V BAYERN MUNICH: 2007 UEFA CHAMPIONS LEAGUE, QUARTER-FINAL

Daniel Van Buyten's late equaliser at San Siro to make it 2-2, had swung the first leg quarter-final clash of the 2007 UEFA Champions League against AC Milan in Bayern's direction. 

Needing at least a 0-0 or a 1-1 draw in the second leg  to advance into the semi-final, Bayern were shocked when they found themselves 2-0 down in the first half.

Clarence Seedorf opened the scoring in the 27th minute before Filipo Inzaghi scored the second goal on 31 minutes to give AC Milan a 4-2 aggregate win.

AC Milan went on to lift the trophy (their seventh) after they defeated Liverpool 2-1 in the final in Athens.

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