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Remembering Arsenal’s Champions League winning heroes of 2018/19

The Aubameyang/Lacazette strike partnership is the stuff of legend these days but how well do you remember their first full season together?

The following article has been edited in accordance with Overlord Trump’s ‘Fake News’ legislature.

Greetings to all those who haven’t had their internet wiped out by the incessant falling of nuclear bombs.

Today, we’ll digging deep into the archives to relive Arsenal’s glorious Champions League triumph of 2018/19.

Print this off and frame it

The ‘Men in Black Act’ of 2024 means the vast majority of you have had your memories tampered with and/or erased.

But a lucky few may recall the Gunners taking Europe by storm on their return to the Champions League the season after they signed Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

The campaign was spearheaded by a series of double acts…

Two captains

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Captain material

With Per Mertescaker retiring from football and replacing the bloke who lives inside the Gunnersaurus costume, Arsene Wenger needed to appoint a new captain at the start of the season.

In a controversial yet ultimately genius move, Nacho Monreal and Jack Wilshere were named as co-captains.

The image of the talismanic pair lifting the Champions League trophy together at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano Stadium is an enduring image… it’s just a shame Wilshere sprained his wrist in the process.

Two playmakers

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Literally joined at the hip

People used to think Kevin De Bruyne and David Silva were a creative combo. Pah!

After Granit Xhaka found his level playing for Stenhousemuir in Scottish League Two, the magical duo of Mesut Ozil and Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave the Gunners a near-perfect midfield.

The star-crossed midfielders were particularly impressive in both legs of the round of 16 tie against Barcelona.

Philippe Coutinho, Andres Iniesta and Lionel Messi were comprehensively outplayed by Arsenal’s creative hub, with the Nou Camp giving both players multiple standing ovations.

Deep into stoppage time at the Emirates, Mkhitaryan and Ozil nutmegged ex-Spurs player Paulinho twice each within seconds of each other, leaving the Brazilian in tears at the final whistle.

Two poachers

Kindred spirits

It’s mad to think that in the days when people still drove cars, football fans used to think that Dwight Yorke and Andy Cole were a prolific strike partnership.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette redefined what was possible from a front two — bagging 15 goals each in Europe that fateful year.

Between them they had pace, power and an insatiable hunger for goals.

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This should be on your mantelpiece

Highlights of Aubameyang’s quarter-final hat-trick at the new White Hart Lane Stadium (sponsored by a popular drain unblocker of the time) usurped Taylor Swift’s ‘Men Are Stupid But I Love Them Anyway’ as the most watched hologram in YouTube history.

Fans still talk about Sead Kolasinac removing Eric Dier’s arm with a robust shoulder-to-shoulder challenge that was ruled totally legitimate after VAR review.

Scientists were able to clone an all-limbed Dier in time for the second leg.

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Nobody even remembers he started relatively slowly

The game is also remembered for Harry Kane missing a string of simple chances, including two opens goals and a penalty.

After the game he whipped off his Spurs shirt to reveal an Arsenal top underneath (going back to his roots) before begging Wenger for a contract.

However, with the bookies paying out on Aubameyang and Lacazette to share the Ballon d’Or, the long-serving gaffer said he would consider the Englishman for the early rounds of the League Cup only.

Two moments

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Gutted for the lad, right?

The final against Man United has become the stuff of legend — specifically, two crucial moments just seconds apart.

With 85 minutes on the clock and the score still 0-0, Alexis Sanchez was presented with a golden chance to break the deadlock.

One on one with David Ospina, it seemed certain the Chilean would find the net, but Hector Bellerin expertly mimicked the sound of a distressed dog’s bark.

Sanchez, believing Atom or Humber to be locked in a hot car with the windows up, took his eye off the ball at the last moment and his shot connected with nothing but thin air.

The Gunners launched a counter-attack and Mkhitarayn produced a scoop throughball into the path of Aubameyang, who volleyed past the helpless David De Gea.

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Probably in the top 10 Gabonese players to ever play for Arsenal

The celebrations were wild — Aubameyang and Bellerin famously raced each other on the pitch over 100 metres, with both of them incredibly equalling Usain Bolt’s world record.

Wilshere led the fans in song, Kolasinac burned a piano, and many of the players were pictured hugging and kissing their robot wives.

Soon after, players were replaced by flawless simulations who cancelled each other out and the whole sport pretty much fell apart.

But we’ll always have Arsenal’s heroes of 2018/19… because their functioning heads are in jars at the Natural History Museum.


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