5 times European giants were humiliated in European club football
The Champions League (earlier known as the European Cup) has produced some of the most lopsided matchups in club football, where the world’s greatest players, coaches and teams go up against teams from the continent’s smaller teams.
We have seen numerous matchups when the lower ranked club has been on the receiving ends of drubbings. The Champions League is also home to some of the greatest upsets in footballing history, matches where the underdog completely outplayed the favourites and won more than just the match. This list is not about that though.
This is a list of some of those electrifying matchups, where Europe’s biggest didn’t just lose, but were humiliated. It’s a collection of 5 games which the losing side wouldn’t just want to get over, but would ideally want their very existence to be removed from the record books.
#5 Arsenal (5 – 1) Inter Milan - San Siro (Milan), 2003-04
This is one game Arsenal fans will never forget, and will never let you forget about it either. There was a lot in the air leading up to this game. Arsenal needed a result to keep their European hopes alive after Inter had already stunned the Gunners 3-0 in London.
Inter were also the previous season’s beaten semi-finalists and were looking to go deep in that season’s competition. Arsenal were always going to be the underdogs going into this match-up at the San Siro, but like the saying goes ‘adversity brings out the best in men’, and the lack of it, probably makes them slack. That’s exactly what happened in Milan in November 2003.
The Gunners opened the scoring through Henry in the 25th minute. It took 8 minutes and a deflection to bring Inter back to level terms and that’s how it stayed at the half. We don’t know what Wenger told his team at half-time, but whatever he did, surely had the desired impact.
Arsenal came out sharper and hungrier and the second half was all about them. Ljungberg put Arsenal in front in the 49th minute, and with three goals in the last 10-minutes of the regulation 90, Arsenal had produced one of their biggest European wins, that too on foreign soil.