As Arsenal prepare for their Champions League second leg in Turin, Arsenal.com reporter Mo Khan talks to a man who knows a thing or two about facing the Old Lady in Italy.
Midfielder David Price started the second leg of the Gunners' European Cup Winners' Cup Semi Final second-leg in 1980. His replacement in the second half, 19-year-old Paul Vaessen, scored the only goal of the game to carry Arsenal through 2-1 on aggregate.
The current Juventus team boasts a number of world-class stars, but the Bianconeri's class of 1980 included a number of Italian internationals who went on to win the World Cup just two years later. So what was it like facing Juventus in Italy? How did the team prepare for the game? We asked David Price to share his memories.
David, what was running through your mind before that game in Turin?
"Going out there we knew we had to score a goal and not concede. Terry Neill and Don Howe told us what they wanted us to do tactically. We got there an hour before kick-off, went out onto the pitch, had a look around and then had our team talk. With Juventus having half the Italian national side in their team then, we knew we were up against it."
When did the importance of the occasion first hit you?
"We flew out there the day before the game and we had a training session in the morning before having a bit of lunch. Some of the lads then had couple of hours sleep before the 30-minute drive from the hotel to the stadium - that's when the magnitude and importance of the occasion first hit us."
How daunting was it stepping out in front of those all those Italian fans?
"To the Italians, football is like a religion - it's their Bible if you like. Their fans were very loud and making a lot of noise but of course we'd played at Wembley before so we knew what we were coming into, playing Juventus out in Italy. But although the atmosphere was very apparent, once you're out on that pitch, the crowd is not really there any more."
Tell us about the game itself. What can you remember of the 90 minutes?
"Our backs were against the wall at times but I'll always remember Pat Rice saying: 'If we fight as a group, we'll win.' The Italians had a lot of the ball but we stuck at it as best we could. It did look like it was going to go into extra time until Paul Vaessen jumped above everybody and scored the goal - what a time to score - and in Turin. The Italian players just could not come back any more. I think they gave their all but knew there was no way they were going to come back into it."
What was it like in the dressing room after the game? It must have been lively.
"The result we got out there was a terrific one - no British team had gone there and done that before. We were jubilant. Knowing the players we had just beaten, we were absolutely over the moon. We knew that we would now be in two finals - the Cup Winners' Cup Final and the FA Cup Final against West Ham. The atmosphere in the dressing room was brilliant but everybody just looked at one another and said 'have we really won?'"
I understand the two teams swapped shirts - but not out on the pitch.
"No, we asked Terry Neill if we could go into Juve's changing room to see if we could exchange shirts. When I went in there, I must admit I've never seen anything like it. Italian footballers were crying their hearts out because they could not believe they'd lost. I went over to Cabrini and shook his hand, gave him my shirt and I could see his eyes were red and welled up - he was going to, or had been crying."
What about the journey back to the hotel? What did the team do that evening?
"We were all singing all the way back to the hotel. We had a few drinks at the bar and I remember that night we were all sitting at a long table having a drink, eating some pasta and saying to one another; 'Crikey! We're in the Final now - that's two Finals.'"
What did the Arsenal manager, Terry Neill, say to you all after the game?
"Terry congratulated us but all he really said was 'We've won'. After so long, we've become the first team to beat Juve in Italy. He didn't have to say too much because we knew we had just beaten the Italians."
And finally David, how do you see Wednesday night's game going?
"I think they'll play exactly the way they did at Highbury because although they've got that two-goal cushion, if you start to change your tactics a little bit and Juventus score in the first 15 minutes then you've got a whole new ball game. The longer we keep them at bay, the more chances we'll create for ourselves, for Henry and the other attackers. With the way we're playing I'm going with a 2-1 Arsenal win."
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