Can Arsenal bounce back?

The last 7 times Arsenal suffered European heartbreak – & how they responded

Arsenal have been dumped out of the Champions League by Bayern Munich after a gruelling two-legged affair, but how do the Gunners usually react to European heartbreak?

Being knocked out of Europe can sometimes derail a side in their domestic season, or it can have the reverse effect and spur them onto more silverware.

We’ve gone back through the years and have found the last seven times Arsenal were dumped out of the Champions League and Europa League to see how they responded each time.


Mikel Arteta’s side crashed out of the Europa League on penalties in the round of 16 after losing a battling tie with Sporting.

In the immediate aftermath of the game, Arsenal did respond well to the loss against Sporting. They won their next two Premier League matches by a combined score of 8-2 against Crystal Palace and Leeds.

However, it wasn’t long after that they stumbled in the Premier League and ended up handing the title to Man City. The Gunners failed to win four matches in a row and gave up their spot at the top of the league in the process.

TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every club to knock Arsenal out of the Champions League since 2000?


During Arteta’s first full season in charge, the club made it to the Europa League semi-finals, although they couldn’t find a way past Unai Emery’s Villarreal who eventually went on to win the whole thing.

In terms of the immediate aftermath, Arsenal seemingly managed to get the European heartbreak out of their system in a fairly swift fashion.

The Gunners ended the season well by winning all four of their remaining matches, although that was only good enough for an eighth-place finish.


Arsenal were a bit of a mess during this season, they sacked Emery in December as the club seemed way off the pace, having only won four of their opening 13 league matches.

Arteta took charge in December and was in the hot seat during their Europa League exit to Olympiacos in the round of 32. The tie ended level on aggregate, but the Greek side progressed thanks to away goals.

The Gunners did win their next two games after crashing out of Europe and they also managed to get their hands on some silverware by going all the way and winning the FA Cup.

“It’s such a special day. Hopefully we made a lot of people happy,” Arteta told BBC after winning the FA Cup.

“The players worked extremely hard. Thank you to all our staff and the people upstairs who made the decision to give me this incredible opportunity to manage a club that I have in my heart.”


Arsenal went agonisingly close to winning the Europa League in 2018-19, but Chelsea were able to stop them in their tracks. Emery guided the Gunners to the final, only for Chelsea to beat them 4-1 in Baku.

The result seemed to overshadow Emery for the remainder of his time in north London as things quickly went south during the following season which led to his dismissal.

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TRY A QUIZ: Can you name every club to knock Arsenal out of the Champions League since 2000?


During Arsene Wenger’s final season at the club, Arsenal managed to make the semi-finals of the Europa League but failed to get past a resolute Atletico Madrid side who won 2-1 on aggregate.

It’s a shame that Wenger never got the fairytale ending that he perhaps deserved in north London. Following their exit from Europe, Arsenal did manage to win two of their remaining three matches, but that was only good enough for sixth place.


Prior to this season, the 2016-17 campaign was the last time that Arsenal competed in the Champions League. The Gunners made it through their group with relative ease but ended up being demolished by Bayern Munich in the round of 16.

After losing both legs by a 5-1 margin, Arsenal managed to immediately bounce back by beating Lincoln City 5-0 in the FA Cup.

While European success alluded Arsenal during the 2016-17 campaign, they at least got their hands on some silverware by going all the way and winning the FA Cup.


Against Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, Arsenal never stood a chance against Barcelona, did they? The Gunners exited the competition in the round of 16, losing 5-1 to Barcelona on aggregate.

Despite the disappointment surrounding their Champions League exit, Wenger’s side went unbeaten in their final nine league matches and managed to leapfrog Tottenham in the process to finish second.