Seaman Is Arsenal’s Hero In Genoa On This Day, 20th April 1995

20041995 Sampdoria 2 - 3Thursday night football might well be a derogatory term these days but on this night in Genoa, Arsenal did not care. They took a slender 3 – 2 advantage from the first leg a fortnight previous at Highbury.

It looked a tough proposition to progress to the final in Paris. Three seasons before, Sampdoria had lost the Champions Cup final at Wembley, Ronald Koeman’s sumptuous free kick giving Barcelona a well-deserved victory. The previous season, the Italians had finished third in Serie A but were slipping this time around. Even so, their team still contained familiar names to a nation being fed a regular diet of the Italian game on Channel 4.

Arsenal were still recovering from George Graham’s fall from grace and had won half of Stewart Houston’s fourteen games in charge, losing six of the remainder. But Arsenal never gave up despite Mancini’s early goal, not even when Bellucci struck twice in the final ten minutes to create what looked like a decisive lead. Stefan Schwarz’s low drive sent the tie into extra time and ultimately a penalty shootout. Paul Merson missed the chance to win with Arsenal’s fifth penalty – Dixon, Adams and Hartson had scored theirs – which left the everything down to Lombardo versus Seaman…

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