Emmanuel Eboue was named in the Arsenal starting XI for the 2006 Champions League final clash with Spanish team Barcelona. The Ivorian defenderstarted as the right-back in what was the Gunners’ biggest game ever.


Ivorian footballer Emmanuel Eboue had been a part of the Arsenal defence that made history by going through ten Champions League games without conceding ahead of the Barcelona clash. In addition to Emmanuel Eboue, Mathieu Flamini, Philippe Senderos and KoloToure were members of the back four that proved to be too solid for teams thus giving Jens Lehmann in the Arsenal goal the necessary cover. Swiss player Senderosdeputised for the injured England man Sol Campbell at the heart of defence throughout the run, while Frenchman Flamini did the same thing for England left-back Ashley Cole on the left side of defence.

Arsene Wenger was the Arsenal manager that took the club to the 2006 Champions League final and he made the big decision of restoring the duo of Campbell and Cole into his starting line-up ahead of Senderos and Flamini after they recovered from respective injuries.

For the game that was held at the Stade de France in Saint-Denis, Arsenal talisman Thierry Henry had the first opportunity of the game inside the opening minutes, but the Frenchman could not beat Victor Valdes in the Barcelona goal. The scoreline was still goalless when Arsenal shot stopper Lehmann became the first player to receive a red card in the final of the competition for bringing down Brazilian playmaker Ronaldinho outside the box in the 18th minute.

Arsenal took the lead on 28 minutes despite the numerical disadvantage with the headed goal from Campbell via the free-kick wonby Emmanuel Eboue for the foul committed by Barcelona skipper CarlesPuyol. The goal from Campbell gave the Gunners an half-time lead.

Henry missed a good chance to give Arsenal a second goal and the miss came back to haunt him and Arsenal after Barcelona scored twice in four minutes to win the game and the Champions League trophy on offer.Cameroonian striker Samuel Eto’o restored parity on 76 minutes before Brazilian fullback JulianoBelletti scored the winning goal four minutes later.


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