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Arsenal’s best ever Champions League goals

The Gunners have scored some screamers in Europe’s top competition...

Arsenal finally confirmed their return to Champions League football after a five-year absence after Brighton lost against Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night, ensuring that they could not finish above the Gunners.

Mikel Arteta’s side have swept most before them this season, and are in a fight with Manchester City for the Premier League title, though a 4-1 hammering at the Etihad has left them looking far more likely to finish runners up.

Now unable to finish any lower than fourth place, a feat that they could have achieved with wins either over West Ham or Southampton, they have ensured that they return to the Champions League next season.

Last in the competition in Arsene Wenger’s penultimate season in charge (2016-17), they were previous ever-presents in the competition under the great Frenchman, and have enjoyed some memorable moments, good and bad, in Europe’s top tournament.

We took a look at their 10 best-ever goals in the competition, with the Gunners hopeful of adding some special strikes to the list next season.

10. Dennis Bergkamp vs Bayer Leverkusen (2002)

It wouldn’t be a list of best Arsenal goals without the technical genius of Dennis Bergkamp on it.

The Dutchman was synonymous with skillful moments and proved it once more when he netted the last goal in a 4-1 thrashing of Bayer Leverkusen in 2002.

Picking the ball up 25 yards from goal, Bergkamp evaded a couple of tackles before producing a delightful chip to put the final nail in the Leverkusen coffin.

It was an otherwise forgettable campaign for the Gunners, who were knocked out in the second group stage of the competition as they lost out to Deportivo and Leverkusen themselves.

9. Thierry Henry vs Sparta Prague (2005-06)

From one great Arsenal striker to another, Thierry Henry managed one of Arsenal’s most memorable Champions League goals against Sparta Prague, equalling Ian Wright’s goalscoring record for the club in the process.

Bringing down a long ball with a glorious touch, Henry waited for the ball to bounce, before striking a glorious half volley with the outside of his right foot to find the far corner, and leave the Sparta goalkeeper with no chance.

8. Mohamed Elneny vs Barcelona (2015-16)

Mohamed Elneny doesn’t do normal goals.

The Egyptian has built a reputation of scoring screamers, and it was here that the reputation began.

With Arsenal trailing 1-0 at the Camp Nou and 3-0 on aggregate, they had squandered a host of chances against the Blaugrana before Elneny stepped onto a pass from Hector Bellerin.

All of 25 yards out, he fired the ball into the top corner and handed Arsenal a lifeline in the tie, though goals from Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez quickly snuffed out any hope they had.

7. Andrey Arshavin vs Barcelona (2010/11)

One of Arsenal’s greatest-ever Champions League goals came on one of their greatest-ever Champions League nights.

The Gunners fell behind to David Villa at the Emirates Stadium, but Robin Van Persie dragged them level in the first leg of the last 16 tie.

Then came the cherry on the cake, as a Samir Nasri cutback found the diminutive Russian on the edge of the Barcelona penalty area.

Running onto it, Arshavin curled the ball into the far corner, and handed the Gunners a narrow first leg lead.

6. Freddie Ljungberg vs Juventus (2001/02)

A goal that lives in people’s memory largely for the assist, Freddie Ljungberg finished off a beautiful move against Juventus.

Picking up the ball on the halfway line, the Swede ran 20 yards before feeding the ball to Dennis Bergkamp on his right. Bergkamp’s astonishing footwork and flick left Ljungberg with the simple task of lifting the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper for his second of the night, and ensure that the Gunners took all three points against the Italian giants.

5. Emmanuel Adebayor vs Villarreal (2008/09)

Adebayor is not a popular figure in north London as a result of his post-Arsenal career antics, but the Togo striker was capable of a stunning goal or two.

This one, in particular, stands out, chesting down a chipped pass from Cesc Fabregas before launching into a bicycle kick from 12 yards out which found the bottom corner.

In the days of away goals it was a vital strike, though the 4-1 win at the Emirates Stadium in the return leg left it looking somewhat less so.

4. Lukas Podolski vs Montpellier (2012/13)

From acrobatics to pure power and technique, Lukas Podolski boasted one of the best left foots in world football and proved it with this stunner against Montpellier in 2012.

With Arsenal needing to win to qualify for the knockout stages and 1-0 up, Poldi exchanged passes with Olivier Giroud before thumping home a vicious volley to ensure they took all three points from the tie.

3. Aaron Ramsey vs Galatasaray (2014/15)

A goal that regularly doesn’t get the credit it perhaps deserves, Aaron Ramsey’s strike against Galatasaray was nothing short of spectacular.

With an Arsenal corner failing to beat the first man, Ramsey latched onto the dropping ball from all of 35 yards out, firing in a ferocious volley on his weaker foot that flew like an arrow into the top corner.

2. Mesut Ozil vs Ludogorets (2016/17)

2-0 down against a side that very few had heard of before the Champions League draw was made, Arsenal were set to continue their Champions League nightmare in Bulgaria.

Goals from Granit Xhaka and Olivier Giroud bought them level, but the show was stolen in the dying minutes by Mesut Ozil.

Latching onto a through ball from Mohamed Elneny, Ozil lifted the ball over the onrushing goalkeeper, who had left his area to close down the German.

With the goal seemingly at his mercy, he cut back onto his left foot, navigating two despairing sliding challenges before tapping into an empty net.

1. Thierry Henry vs Real Madrid (2005/06)

Here we go. Arsenal’s greatest-ever Champions League goal, scored by their greatest-ever player.

There was very little danger when Thierry Henry turned in the centre circle at the Bernabeu just after half time, faced by five Real Madrid players.

But Henry though differently. After evading a challenge from Guti, the Frenchman broke away from the chasing pack and carried the ball 30 yards before slotting it into the far corner for what proved to be the only goal of the game.

A 0-0 draw in the return leg saw the Gunners squeeze through at the expense of the Galacticos, and continue their run to the final.

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Ben Browning

Ben Browning

Football writer and analyst. Long-time writer of all things Arsenal and avid watcher of European football. Happy to discuss all things football over on Twitter.

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