French bliss

Arsenal host Monaco in the knockout stages of the Champions League on Wednesday evening.

We’ve looked back through the archives and selected some of our favourite goals against Ligue 1 opposition.

Which one is your favourite? You can submit your vote at the bottom of the page.

Jack Wilshere
Arsenal 2-0 Marseille
November 26, 2013
What a start - and what a finish! It took Jack Wilshere precisely 28 seconds to give Arsenal the lead in this Champions League group stage match against Marseille during the 2013/14 season.

Starting on the right side of Arsenal’s midfield, Wilshere took advantage of the visitors’ high defensive line to latch onto Bacary Sagna’s pass down the wing. The England midfielder charged towards the byline, feinted one way and then cut inside before curling the ball sumptuously beyond Steve Mandanda and into the top corner.

Wilshere, enjoying one of his best displays of the season, made sure of three points in the second half, calmly slotting home from Mesut Ozil’s inviting low centre.

The Gunners went on to progress from Group F after a nerve-shredding defeat at Napoli on matchday six - the Italian team incredibly eliminated from the tournament because of an inferior head-to-head record despite collecting 12 points, the same amount as Borussia Dortmund, who topped the group, and Arsenal. 


Jack Wilshere scores against Marseille

Jack Wilshere scores against Marseille


Lukas Podolski
Arsenal 2-0 Montpellier
November 21, 2012
Lukas Podolski could scarcely have ensured qualification to the last 16 of the 2012/13 Champions League in a more emphatic way.

With Arsenal leading 1-0 against Montpellier thanks to Jack Wilshere’s delicate dink, the German international secured three points with a stunning 63rd-minute volley. Playing a one-two with Olivier Giroud, Podolski ran on to the aerial return pass and powered a trademark volley into the roof of the net from just inside the area. Visiting goalkeeper Geoffrey Jourdren had no chance.

Arsenal finished second in the group, securing a last-16 meeting with Bayern Munich. Having lost the first leg 3-1 at Emirates Stadium - a game in which Podolski was again on target - Olivier Giroud and Laurent Koscielny scored at Allianz Arena to give the Gunners a highly-impressive 2-0 victory in the second leg. It wasn’t quite enough though, with Arsenal going out on away goals. 


Lukas Podolski celebrates his goal against Montpellier

Lukas Podolski celebrates his goal against Montpellier


Thierry Henry
Lens 1-2 Arsenal
April 20, 2000
This was classic Thierry Henry - scoring a vital goal at a crucial time in this Uefa Cup semi-final to set up Arsenal’s passage to a meeting with Galatasaray in Copenhagen.

Dennis Bergkamp’s early strike had secured a 1-0 victory in the first leg at Highbury, but this would be a very different test for Arsène Wenger’s men.

Henry, who had already scored six goals in the competition that season, had initially been well marshalled in the return match, often surrounded by defenders keen to snap into challenges whenever he received the ball.

But just before half-time Arsenal’s record goalscorer doubled the aggregate lead with a goal of top class. Receiving the ball with his back to goal on the left-hand side of the area, Henry held off his man, turned quickly and lashed a shot into the corner.

Pascal Nouma did equalise after the break but Kanu ensured Arsenal’s place in the final three minutes from time.


Thierry Henry on target in Lens

Thierry Henry on target in Lens


Dennis Bergkamp
Arsenal 1-1 Lyon
February 21, 2001
Dennis Bergkamp at his best - strong, composed, easy on the eye and making the difficult look oh so simple. Racing onto Robert Pires’ pass, the Iceman shrugged off a covering defender with ease, advanced into the box and calmly opened his body to send a shot right into the top corner.

Edmilson’s late equaliser initially prevented the goal from helping Arsenal to qualify from the second group stage of the Champions League - though they eventually did, the 1-0 victory in this reverse fixture ensuring Arsène Wenger’s men went through after both teams finished with eight points.

Arsenal were knocked out by Valencia on away goals in the quarter-finals. 


Dennis Bergkamp forces his way through on goal against Lyon

Dennis Bergkamp forces his way through on goal against Lyon


Nigel Winterburn
Arsenal 3-0 Nantes
November 25, 1999
Arsenal entered the Uefa Cup after finishing third in a tricky Champions League group, behind Barcelona and Fiorentina.

Their first opponents in the tournament were French side Nantes. who were comfortably beaten in the first leg of this third-round tie on a chilly November night at Highbury.

Marc Overmars’ penalty had put the hosts in command before Nigel Winterburn added a thunderous late second. Receiving the ball from Patrick Vieira just outside the left side of the penalty area, the full back took a touch to set himself before unleashing a powerful swerving effort that flew into the corner of the goal.

It was Winterburn’s first European goal - and one that commentator Martin Tyler described as “fabulous”.

Dennis Bergkamp added further gloss to the score and Arsenal drew the return match 3-3 before going on to reach the final of the competition, eventually losing to Galatasaray on penalties.


Nigel Winterburn after scoring his first European goal

Nigel Winterburn after scoring his first European goal


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