England: Emirates Ready to Welcome Back Champions League Football

source: StadiumDB.com; author: StadiumDB.com

England: Emirates Ready to Welcome Back Champions League Football Arsenal have booked their place in next season’s UEFA Champions League after a stunning season in the Premier League. The Gunners are among England’s elite clubs, and the Emirates is one of Europe’s most spectacular arenas.


Arsenal Pushing Man City All the Way

At several points of the season, Arsenal looked to be heading for their first Premier League trophy since 2004. However, Manchester City’s relentless form, coupled with a minor blip from the Gunners, has put the champions in control of the title race. Looking at the latest Premier League title odds, City are priced at just 1/14 to retain their crown, while Arsenal are available at 8/1.

Whatever happens from now until the end of the 2022-23 campaign, the London side have had an exceptional season under the popular Mikel Arteta. Finishing in the top four was the priority, and the Gunners passed that test with flying colours.

Unfortunately for Arsenal, home and away losses to Man City could turn out to be pivotal in the race for the Premier League trophy. Still, Arteta’s men made sure of a top-two finish with a superb 2-0 win over Newcastle United at St James’ Park in early May.  

Gunners Back in Champions League

Before a ball was kicked this season, securing Champions League football for the 2023-24 campaign was the ultimate ambition. Arsenal missed out on the top four in agonising fashion the year before, with rivals Tottenham Hotspur pipping them to the post on the final day.

The Gunners are now back in UEFA’s elite club competition after six years away. The Emirates, which can hold over 60,000 people, is ready to host some of Europe’s biggest clubs again.

The facility is still very modern, but it had been almost 17 years since it opened, so it needed a facelift. Earlier this year, Arsenal presented designs for new murals that will adorn the stadium's facade. There will eventually be 8 of them.

Emirates Stadium© Hugh Rawson

One of them, which already graces the exterior of the stadium, is named Remember Who You Are, and it shows the iconic red and white, art-deco facade of Highbury’s East Stand and plays off the David Rocastle quote: Remember who you are, what you are, and who you represent. The late great footballer played for the Gunners for 7 seasons. 

In the glory days of Arsene Wenger, the London side went all the way to the final in 2006. It was their final year at the famous Highbury venue, and the Gunners said goodbye to their home in style.

The final Champions League match to be held at Highbury was a semi-final. They picked up a 1-0 win over Villarreal and drew 0-0 in Spain to go through with a 1-0 aggregate win. Arsenal went on to lose to Barcelona in the final in France.

There have been some tough times for the club since then. At the end of the 2020-21 season, Arsenal missed out on a place in Europe altogether for the first time in 25 years. They had a campaign to forget, finishing down in eighth.

The last Champions League game to be held at the Emirates was a 5-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in March 2017. The German giants also won the home leg 5-1, so Arsenal were beaten 10-2 on aggregate.

Arsenal are going places under Arteta, and the club is more than ready to welcome back Champions League football after years away from the competition. Before turning their attention to Europe, Arsenal still have a job to do in the Premier League this season. Will they enter the 2023-24 Champions League as Premier League champions?