As shocking as Tuesday’s capitulation against Anderlecht might have been, not many of us will have been too surprised at the lads throwing away a three-goal lead given the club’s rich recent history of well and truly BOTTLING it from winning positions.
Here, The Gooner takes a look at the four most glorious Arsenal implosions in the Arsene Wenger era.
1 – Tottenham at home, Premier League 2008-09
It was by no means the first time that we surrendered a lead, but few occasions will have stung more than this day at the Emirates in September, 2008. We’re 4-2 up against Tottenham by the 89-minute mark in Harry Redknapp’s first official game in charge of Spurs.
We’re going through the motions, knocking it around nicely to the sound of ‘wahey’ from the home fans, but Gael Clichy cheaply concedes possession to Jermaine Jenas, who surges forward and curls a left-footed strike around Almunia to suddenly give Spurs a glimmer of hope.
Instead of holding on to what we’ve got, though, the players seem hungry for a fifth goal and a misplaced through ball from Cesc Fabregas gifts Tottenham possession at a crucial time. Heurelho Gomes’s kick-out reaches Luka Modric, who volleys against the post from outside the box before Aaron Lennon follows up the rebound to complete the comeback. 4-4 draw.
2 – Wigan away, Premier League 2009-10
It’s April, 2010 and Arsenal travel to the DW Stadium needing to beat Wigan to stay within three points of Chelsea in the race for the Premier League title.
It’s all going according to plan when Theo Walcott and Mikael Silvestre fire us into a two-goal lead by the 48-minute mark. However, three goals in the final 10 minutes from Ben Watson, Titus Bramble and Charles N’Zogbia saw the Latics stage a remarkable turnaround and end our title hopes once and for all. 3-2 Wigan.
3 – Tottenham at home, Premier League 2010-11
It had to happen sooner or later, but why like this? In November, 2010, Spurs turned up at the Emirates hoping to beat us at home for the first time in 17 long years – and that wait looked like being extended when first-half goals from Samir Nasri and Marouane Chamakh helped us into a 2-0 half-time lead.
But Gareth Bale and Rafael van der Vaart struck to make it 2-2 after the break, before Younes Kaboul headed an 85th-minute winner past Lukasz Fabianski to snatch the bragging rights in a classic North London derby. 3-2 Spurs.
4 – Newcastle away, Premier League 2010-11
A barnstorming start to the clash at St James’s Park saw Arsenal lead 4-0 after just 26 minutes, with Theo Walcott, Johan Djourou and Robin van Persie scoring twice to effectively seal the points, right? Wrong.
The Gooner is a massive fan of Abou Diaby, but the Frenchman’s dismissal on 50 minutes proved the catalyst for arguably the greatest comeback in Premier League history. Against 10 men, Newcastle sought to restore some pride and actually found themselves back in the game following two Joey Barton penalties and a Leon Best strike.
Cheick Tiote was then on hand to volley an 87th-minute equaliser past Wojciech Szczesny to seal what was an astonishing bottle-job from Arsenal. The Ivorian hasn’t scored for Newcastle since, nor have we taken a four-goal lead for granted since. 4-4 draw.
Let us know your favourite Arsenal bottle-jobs in the comments below.