On 17th May 2006, Arsenal lost 2-1 to Barcelona in their first Champions League Final played at the Stade de France, according to Arsenal.com. The match started in dramatic fashion when keeper Jens Lehmann was sent off in the 18th minute after bringing down Samuel Eto’o outside the box. In a tactical move, Arsene Wenger substituted Robert Pires with Manuel Almunia, consequently forcing the Gunners to play with 10 men for 72 minutes.
His side drew first blood right before the interval however, when Sol Campbell nodded home a free-kick to give the ‘underdogs’ the lead. Arsenal looked on course to do the impossible midway through the second half, until the 74th minute when Eto’o struck home from an acute angle to level the score, as reported on the Official club website.
Brazilian international Juliano Belleti then broke the hearts of Gooners when the substitute scored the winner for the Camp Nou outfit 9 minutes before the final whistle.
It was by far the biggest game the Gunners have ever played, as they haven’t featured in a European Cup Final since.