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MSN WHO?

Arsenal’s front three the last time they played Atletico Madrid was pure joy

Ahh, the Emirates Cup. It's fair to say life was slightly different the last time Arsenal and Atletico Madrid met

What’s silver, has two wings and has spent five of the last nine years lurking in north London?

Yep, spot on, the Emirates Cup.

The tournament provides Arsenal a chance to win a bit of silverware and show off their shiny new wonderkids before the crushing realities of a domestic campaign kick in.


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This counts as a proper trophy, right?

Rex Features
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This counts as a proper trophy, right?

The Emirates Cup also hosted the last meeting between Arsenal and Atletico Madrid.

The pair meet in the Europa League semi-final with much changed squads, which goes without saying as it would be quite strange if Mikael Silvestre was still getting a run-out.

But back in 2009 Diego Simeone was managing San Lorenzo, Diego Costa was returning from a loan spell at Valladolid and Jack Wilshere only had one Premier League game to his name for Arsenal.

Do you want some fish with those chips?

AFP
6
Do you want some fish with those chips?

The Emirates Cup was bathed in glorious sunshine when the two sides met on 1 August.

To set the scene of quite how much has changed since, Rangers had beaten PSG 1-0 in the earlier kick off.

Atletico were no mugs.

Sergio Aguero, Diego Forlan and Jose Antonio Reyes all started for Abel Resino’s side, with a young David De Gea having to make do with a place on the bench.

Wonder who won that battle

EPA
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Wonder who won that battle

Arsene Wenger had some proud tradition to continue, having won exactly 50% of Emirates Cup silverware on offer since the start of football.

So who did he choose to lead the line?

On the right Wenger went for Emmanuel Eboue- very much a right-back.

On the left he plumped for Nicklas Bendtner, a 6ft 4in target man who was very much right footed.

Robin van Persie was the only recognised striker in the trio which meant Eduardo and Andrey Arshavin both started on the bench.

MSN who?

6
MSN who?

Tomas Rosicky made a return to first-team action after 19 months out injured, a theme that would be all too familiar during his time at Arsenal.

For those of you scoffing at Wenger’s selection, scoff no more.

Arsenal won 2-1, although both Arshavin’s goals were scored when Van Persie, Bendtner and Eboue were off the pitch.

Textbook finish

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Textbook finish

But unfortunately for the #WengerIn brigade, Arsenal’s Emirates Cup heroics weren’t replicated when the season got underway.

Wenger’s side spent the first two weeks of the season in first place but that was about as good as it got.

Even Cesc Fabregas’ best season in an Arsenal shirt was only enough to secure a third place finish in the league.

Both Chelsea and Man United did the double over Arsenal with Spurs, Wigan and Blackburn adding insult to injury in the final five games of the campaign.

The sadness in his eyes

PA:Press Association
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The sadness in his eyes

Atletico didn’t fare much better in La Liga, stumbling to ninth in the table.

An early exit from the Champions League did have some benefits though, as it allowed them to see off Fulham and pick up the very first Europa League trophy.

As for Bendnter, Eboue and Van Persie, they didn’t quite kick on to the same heights as MSN and BBC.

Shocking.


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