EXCLUSIVE: Arsenal Invincible Sol Campbell remembers 2006 UEFA Champions League final
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
Ahead of the Europa League final, Arsenal legend Sol Campbell spoke exclsively to Islington Gazette sports reporter Dan Mountney as he relived the 2006 UEFA Champions League final – the last time the Gunners played in a European final.
Arsenal had reached the final without losing a game, beating the likes of Real Madrid and Juventus on route to Paris, with Campbell key as the Gunners set a new competition record by keeping 10 consecutive clean sheets.
However, they were up against a superb Barcelona side, and Arsene Wenger's men got off to the worst possible start when Jens Lehmann was sent off with just 18 minutes gone after he brought down Samuel Eto'o outside the box.
But, the Gunners kept battling away in their first ever Champions League final, and they were rewarded in the 37th minute when Campbell powered a header past Barca goalkeeper Victor Valdes from a Thierry Henry free-kick.
"That moment is exhilarating. So many things are going through your mind," recalled Campbell.
You may also want to watch:
It was all to end in heartache for the Gunners though, as a quick-fire double from Eto'o and Brazilian full-back Juliano Belletti won the final for the Blaugrana.
Campbell believes that even with 10-men, Arsenal could have won the final had they taken their chances, and confessed that he feels his goal wasn't 'really worth it'.
- 1 Harassment trial: MP Claudia Webbe 'threatened to send naked photos of victim to her kids'
- 2 Two rescued from fire in Islington maisonette block
- 3 Police cordon in place after Essex Road pub 'assault'
- 4 Petrol station forecourts closed in Islington amid warning: 'Drafting in the army will not end fuel crisis'
- 5 Petrol station forecourts closed and long queues in north London
- 6 How some Islington tenants are losing their homes in a matter of minutes
- 7 Aldi Local to open in Dalston next month
- 8 Finsbury Park man arrested on suspicion of second north London murder
- 9 Thousands of care home staff yet to be vaccinated in London
- 10 Man killed in 'shooting' in north London
"For us, we missed the big chances on the day and that's key really," he said
"If we'd have stuck one of them away I don't think Barcelona would have come back from 2-0 down.
"For me, I'd rather not score the goal and win the game, but that's just me. If you score but don't win the game, it's not really worth it in my mind."