By Richard Clarke

Whatever happens tonight, it will be an historic occasion for Arsenal.

Not only is it the last European tie at Highbury but it is also the Club's first Semi-Final in the Continent's top competition. Arsenal have had 10 campaigns in the European Cup/Champions League (1971-72, 1991-92 and the past eight seasons) but have never reached the last four. That will change tonight when Villarreal visit Highbury in the first leg of this year's Semi-Final.

On the eve of the game, Arsenal manager Arsène Wenger tried to explain the success this term.

"Maybe we have got so far because of the confidence we have accumulated over the years and the fact our defensive record is better than before," he said. "Maybe we were under less pressure than in the past because nobody expected it of us this year.

"Before we were always among the favourites to win it and maybe we never really got there because of that."

18/1 - Henry to score first and Arsenal to win 2-0 - plus win a trip to Villarreal


Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source Richard Clarke 19 Apr 2006