While it’s somewhat unusual to look towards your Premier League rivals for a guiding light, that may be exactly what Arsenal need to do in order to summon the strength necessary to overcome Atletico Madrid tonight. They’ll head into their game in Spain tonight with the aggregate score being locked at 1-1, and with just 90 minutes separating them from a place in the UEFA Europa League final, they can’t afford any slip-ups.
It’s arguably the biggest game in the club’s recent history, with Arsene Wenger attempting to go out on a high after more than two decades in charge of the club. Beyond that, however, the aim is to win the trophy and get the Gunners back into the Champions League next season – but as we all know, it’s not going to be that easy.
But in terms of the title of this piece, there’s one team that always seems to pop up when comparisons to Arsenal are made: and that’s Liverpool. Both teams have been on the outskirts of the title race looking in for years, both have loyal fanbases, and both have an attacking style that makes them one of the more entertaining teams to watch in European football. Now, however, Arsenal will need to prove that they can replicate the same kind of feat that the Reds achieved last night.
For those who have been living under a rock, Jurgen Klopp’s side qualified for the UEFA Champions League final with a victory over Roma, and they’ll now travel to Kiev for a showdown with Spanish giants Real Madrid. Of course, some would argue the competitions are very different, but the premise is the same – defy the odds and achieve something that very few think you can pull off.
The Reds may be looking to their game against Real as a mammoth challenge, but in reality, Atletico are four points ahead of their city rivals in La Liga. Arsenal have it all to do and they know that they must score in tonight’s away leg, making it all the more nail-biting.
There are very few instances where the ‘make or break your season’ analogy legitimately comes into play, but this is one of them. They could either join Liverpool in raising the profile of English football to another level or suffer another season of Europa League football.
Can Arsenal get the job done?