Legends from two great clubs put on a show for the Corazon Classic Match 2018 - with Real Madrid just about coming out on top.
Luis Boa Morte scored for us but his neat finish was sandwiched by goals from Raul and Guti, and the home side held on despite some late pressure from our former stars.
Most importantly, The Real Madrid Foundation has raised a sizeable sum for good causes. And these teams will do it all again at Emirates Stadium in September for The Arsenal Foundation.
We kept a clean sheet the last time an Arsenal side visited the Bernabeu - Thierry Henry scoring the only goal in a famous Champions League win in 2006.
But it took Madrid only six minutes to find a way through this time, Luis Figo dazzling with his footwork and picking out Roberto Carlos for a cross that Raul headed beyond David Seaman.
That’s pretty much what most of the 68,274 were here to see - three absolute legends rolling back the years.
With Madrid bossing possession, our legends looked to play on the break and utilise the pace of Nicolas Anelka and Boa More in behind.
And that’s how we equalised. Robert Pires, captaining the side, played a perfect pass inside the full-back for Boa More to run onto. The angle got narrower but the Portuguese managed to clip the ball over Jerzy Dudek.
Guti decided to intervene. Another Madrid attack reached him on the edge of the box and he tiptoed past two challenges to prod past Seaman.
Sol Campbell was an early casualty of this game, limping off after four minutes, and Matthew Upson followed him after picking up a knock as he stretched to block a cross.
Suddenly our numbers looked a bit thin and at one point we only had four players to bring on.
But the likes of Ray Parlour and Nigel Winterburn knuckled down for longer shifts, with Winterburn - our oldest outfield player - putting in a titanic performance at left back against the majesty of Figo et al.
Julio Baptista swapped sides at half-time to ease the burden and we went close to a second equaliser when Emmanuel Eboue stormed through to draw a foul on the edge of the box. Boa More fizzed it goalwards but Contreras held on.
At the other end, Manuel Almunia brilliantly pushed away a free-kick from Raul and a volley from Clarence Seedorf, and Nicolas Anelka tested Contreras again as the chances flowed.
Pires walloped a first-time effort just over and had a free-kick headed off the line. That was as close as we got to snatching a draw - but the scoreline was secondary.
Our inaugural legends match against AC Milan Glorie in 2016 helped to raise £1 million to build football pitches around north London and internationally.
Copyright 2023 The Arsenal Football Club Limited. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.