The biggest teams in the World are expected to achieve big teams, never falter, never fail. However, its only human that teams and players do have off days and the unflavored side runs away with the honors. We look at 10 times Arsenal switched off and let a minnow take the game as such a trophy or match away from them.
10. Arsenal vs Wigan, 2006 League Cup Semifinal
Arsenal came back hard after trailing 1-0 from the first leg and Thierry Henry scored in the dying moments to send the match to extra time. However, Jason Roberts’ goal in extra time meant that Wigan were heading for their first major Final in the history of the club.
Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal wore the suit of a team disinterested in their playing style and not motivated enough to have the hunger of playing a Cup final.
9. Arsenal vs Milwall, 1995 FA Cup Third Round Replay
Arsenal and George Graham may have achieved a lot of things together, but their lack of creativity in play towards the end of Graham’s tenure at the top was exposed badly in the FA Cup 1995. Arsenal lost 2-0 to Championship side Milwall on a night when Milwall were not even playing their best football.
Milwall striker Alex Rae’s goal settled issues after Arsenal had forced a replay at Highbury having drawn out the first tie.
8. Luton Town vs Arsenal, 1988 League Cup Final
Holders Arsenal faced minnows Luton Town in the Final of the League Cup and things were expected to go according to the book, after all Arsenal had clinched the trophy 12 months back defeating Liverpool, only it didn’t quite according to plan. Arsenal conceeded early but came back strongly with goals from Alan Smith and Martin Hayes.
After Arsenal let a penalty chance go, thanks to Winterburn’s miss, Luton punished them severely with 2 goals in the last 10 minutes to make the scoreline 3-2. Luton were champions and Arsenal were left looking like fools.
7. Arsenal vs Blackburn Rovers, 2013 FA Cup 5th Round
On a damp cloudy day in London, Arsenal had hit the post through Rosicky and Gervinho had flashed wide off the post when Colin Kazim Richards’ late goal decided the game.
The defeat was sandwiched in between League Cup defeat to Bradford and a Champions League defeat to Bayern Munich. Things couldn’t have been worse for Arsene Wenger and Arsenal but they had only themselves to blame for it.
6. Arsenal vs Birmingham City, 2011 League Cup Final
This one must hurt Arsenal fans a lot. In the middle of a trophy drought from 2006 to 2013, Arsenal let the League Cup slip away to Birmingham City with Koscielny and Szczesny’s horrible mix-up gifting the minnows a win.
The gulf between the clubs were huge as Arsenal, chasing the Premier League title, had just overcome Barcelona coached by a certain Pep Guardiola and Birmingham were fighting relegation in the League.
5. Bradford vs Arsenal, 2013 League Cup Quarterfinal
Arsenal captain Thomas Vermaleen missed a penalty on the night and record signing Gervinho missed a sitter at League Two side Bradford humbled the mighty gunners on penalties after the game finished level.
The fact that Arsene Wenger had anticipated an upset and put out a strong side comprising of Cazorla, Wilshere, Ramsey, Podolski and Merterseker on the pitch was proof that the respect and fear was existent. Yet, Arsenal came up short.
4. York City vs Arsenal, 1985 FA Cup 4th Round
Arsenal fans would have wished this match never happened. However, despite being on the verge of being called off, the referee went ahead with the game on a snow-clad pitch.
The game turned out to be mundane and boring and despite the fact that Arsenal had the creativity and guile in the likes of Viv Anderson, Kenny Sampson and Charlie Nicolas, they ended up scoring none and conceding a penalty as Third tier side York City went through.
3. Wrexham vs Arsenal, 1992 FA Cup 3rd Round
Arsenal fell to fourth division opposition Wrexham in the FA Cup, a team whose 6 players were aged 20 or under. Arsenal were fielding a strong side comprising of David Seaman, Tony Adams, O’Leary, Nigel Winterburn, Dixon, Roecastle and of course Alan Smith as the striker.
The game went to have a tight finish locked at 1-1 before Steve Watkin scored the winner late. The match is also remembered for Micky Thomas’ magnificent free kick but that’s all to take back from the game.
2. Rennes vs Arsenal, 2018-19 Europa League Round of 16
Arsenal’s first season under Spanish manager and Europa League expert Unai Emery took them to the Final of the competition to Baku, but not before a massive scare against Rennes in France. In the Round of 16 game between the two sides, Arsenal were thrashed 3-1, handed a red card to their defender Sokratis and humbled by a mile. The French mid-table side scored two late goals to put Arsenal on the brink of eliminations but the Gunners responded in London, winning 4-1 comfortably to make their way into the Quarterfinals of the tournament.
1. BATE vs Arsenal, 2018-19 Europa League Round of 32
Unai Emery’s Arsenal travelled to Belarus on a Thursday night hoping to have a clean night and easy victory. However, what happened what stunning as a half-time header from BATE striker Stanislaw Dragun dumped Arsenal to a 1-0 loss.
Petr Cech started in goal and Xhaka was brought in to reinvigorate the side but Alexandre Lacazzete’s red card meant Arsenal played with 10 men through the last quarter of the game. They however came back strongly to win 3-0 at the Emirates in a week’s time to erase the woes of that night in Belarus.