How a Leeds United European glory night offers Arsenal hope

After a 3-1 defeat at the Emirates, Arsene Wenger’s team need to score three times at Stade Louis II, but one English side has done that before - Leeds.

Down but not out just yet, Arsenal have a mountain to climb if they are to progress to the last-eight of the Champions League this season.

The north London side must score at least three times in the return leg of their last-16 encounter, which is taking place at Monaco’s famous Stade Louis II home, and the omens do not look good.

A total of six British sides have met the principality club in European competition over the years, with five of those teams failing to win away from home against the Ligue 1 outfit.

Four of those six also failed to score at the Stade Louis II, but if there is one encounter that can offer Arsenal fans a small sliver of hope it comes from the 1995/96 UEFA Cup and involves Leeds United.

The two teams met in the first round of the competition that year, with Monaco boasting an impressive array of stars and future world-beaters that are worthy of recalling.

Burgeoning global superstars like Lilian Thuram and Thierry Henry were both present and correct while Belgian midfield supremo Enzo Scifo operated as the team’s no.10, with future Barcelona striker Sonny Anderson up front alongside Arsenal Premier League winner Christopher Wreh.

Marseille European Cup winner Basile Boli and Fulham cult hero Sylvain Legwinski were also included in a side that were much-fancied to see off Leeds.

The Whites, to their credit, had a solid side themselves with stalwarts like Tony Dorigo, Gary Kelly and David Wetherall keeping things tight at the back while Gary Speed and Carlton Palmer battled away in the midfield alongside the ever-creative Gary McAllister.

But despite Leeds boasting what was, at the time, a team regarded as capable of challenging for top honours in the Premier League, few could have predicted what would unfold in France and the impact a certain Tony Yeboah would have.

Coming off the back of a debut season in which he scored 13 goals in 20 appearances, the Ghanaian was about to enjoy his best-ever season at Elland Road.

In a campaign where he would go on to score breathtaking goals against Wimbledon and Liverpool in the Premier League, the striker’s European exploits often get overlooked.

Straight from kick-off Yeboah was in his element, scoring after three minutes and adding a further two in the second half to leave hosts Monaco stunned.

The principality club went on to win the return fixture in Yorkshire 1-0 but the result remains the best enjoyed by a British side at the Stade Louis II in Monaco’s history.

Manchester United would go on to draw 0-0 at the ground in the 1997-98 Champions League, but no one would better Leeds’ result.

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