Football Sport

Arsenal’s final 16 jinx continues

Written by Ben Blaschke

The draw for the Champions League’s Round of 16 left the three remaining English clubs with mixed feelings – but it was a case of déjà vu for perennially jinxed Arsenal.

The London club again drew one of European football’s giants in Bayern Munich, which will certainly bring back some bad memories. The German champions have knocked Arsenal out at this stage in two of the past four seasons.

Arsenal haven’t progressed any further than the Round of 16 for the past six seasons. Part of the reason for this has been the level of their opponents. They have drawn Barcelona and Bayern Munich twice each and on each occasion the Gunners were humiliated by one of the best clubs in the world. Last season, Barcelona scored five goals across the two legs, condemning their fate in a 5-1 final result.

The closest they came to progressing to the quarter-finals was in 2014/15 when they lost 3-1 at home and won 2-0 away to lose the tie on the away goals rule. Arsène Wenger at least saw the funny side of their final 16 jinx.

“Look, the last six years we have not come past the last 16,” he said. “They said that God made the world in seven days and this is the seventh day for us! So we have to get a special day.”

Manchester City on the other hand are a great chance of progressing after their final 16 draw. They play Monaco in February while the last English candidate, Leicester City, has drawn Sevilla.

The full draw is:

Manchester City v Monaco
Real Madrid v Napoli
Benfica v Dortmund
Bayern Munich v Arsenal
Porto v Juventus
Leverkusen v Atletico Madrid
Paris Saint Germain v Barcelona
Sevilla v Leicester City