22 long years are finally coming to and end, and while there have been some incredible high’s in Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal career, but there have also been some crushing lows. Here are five of the worst results in the Frenchman’s time in charge of the North London giants.
Tottenham 5-1 Arsenal (6-2 aggregate), League Cup, 2008
There is nobody that Arsenal fans hate losing against more that their North London rivals Tottenham. Especially when it’s a scoreline like this.
The teams came into this League Cup semi-final having drawn 1-1 in the first leg, and despite the first leg being a close affair, Spurs ran riot.
Jermaine Jenas, Robbie Keane, Aaron Lennon and Steed Malbranque all got on the scoresheet with Nickolas Bendtner also scoring an own goal. Emmanuel Adebayor got one back for Arsenal, but Tottenham were already up by four at that point.
What made this all the more embarrassing for Arsenal was that at this time they were the most dominate side in North London at the time, and this was Tottenham’s first victory over them in nine years. Spurs would then go on to beat Chelsea in the final.
A truly horrible day for Arsene Wenger’s side.
Bayern Munich 5-1 Arsenal (10-2 aggregate), Champions League, 2017
Either leg in this last 16 knockout tie could make this list, but we’ll go with the first one as the tie was already over by the start of the second game.
Bayern ripped Arsenal apart in this game. It actually looked alright for Arsenal for a while as at the end of the first half it was still 1-1, with an an away goal always being a positive. However the beginning of the end started when Laurent Koscielny went off injured early in the second half. Thiago Alcantara scored twice before Thomas Muller put the icing on the cake with a goal in the 88th minute.
The two legs against Bayern actually ended up being the last Champions League games Arsene Wenger would manage at Arsenal. A sour way to leave a competition that he was better at qualifying for then succeeding in.
Arsenal 1-2 Birmingham, League Cup, 2011
Before their 2014 FA Cup win, Arsenal were constantly mocked by opposition fans for not winning a major trophy since 2005. In 2011 they seemed destined to end that trophyless run as they entered Wembley stadium as clear favourites against a Birmingham side that would get relegated from the Premier League just a few months later.
A silverware drought ended that day, but it wasn’t Arsenal’s as Birmingham won their first major trophy since 1963. There were warning signs that this game wasn’t going to go Arsenal’s way when the Blues struck first with a Nikola Zigic header.
However, when a great Robin van Persie volley drew the Gunners level it seemed like they were back on track.
However with Ben Foster had having game of his life in goal to keep Arsenal out, a miscommunication between Laurent Koscielny and Wojciech Szczesny gave a huge opportunity to Obafemi Martins, who slid the ball into the net and ultimately gave Birmingham the win.
Underperformance in a big game, losing to inferior competition and a defensive mistake costing them. It wasn’t just the story of this game, but pretty much of all Wenger’s teams in the second half of his tenure.
Chelsea 6-0 Arsenal, Premier League, 2014
This was supposed to be Arsene Wenger’s day. It was his 1,000th game in charge of the Gunners, and against a big rival nonetheless. However, it ended up being one of the worst days of his Arsenal career as they were hammered by Wenger’s arch rival Jose Mourinho and his Chelsea team.
The game is best remembered for the referee mistakenly sending Kieran Gibbs off even though it was Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain who handled the ball. Arsenal had pretty much lost before the red card anyway as, Samuel Eto’o and Andre Schurrle had both scored early goals for the Blues. Eden Hazard then scored a penalty as a result of the handball incident before Oscar netted twice and Mohamed Salah came on to score the sixth.
Embarrassing is the perfect way to describe this game for Arsene Wenger on what was supposed to be a monumental day for the Frenchman.
Manchester United 8-2 Arsenal, Premier League, 2011
‘I’d 8-2 be an Arsenal fan.’ These were the comments online from opposition fans to ridicule Arsenal after this Premier League game. It also led to Arsene Wenger quickly signing five players in two days to try an save a season that had only just started.
Arsenal came into this game with a few injury problems leading to an inexperienced bench and a shuffled defence. Wenger must have been hoping the more experienced players could carry the rest through the match – but they couldn’t.
Instead, the Gunners were completely humiliated by a rampant Manchester United. After Danny Welbeck, Ashley Young and Wayne Rooney put United ahead, Theo Walcott got one back for the London club on the stroke of half time. This made Arsenal fans believe that a comeback was possible, but how wrong they were as Manchester United scored another three before Robin van Persie managed to get one for the Gunners. Rooney then completed his hat-trick and Young got his second for good measure.
This game was a far cry from the title deciding battles these clubs went through with each other in the early 2000s. Showing the huge gap that had appeared between these two great rivals.
Wenger has some great memories to look back on from his time at Arsenal this defeat is certainly not one of them.
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