Champions League is back at Arsenal!
There were days when a Champions League group stage opener against PSV would have been taken for granted. There were days when the group stage was taken for granted entirely!
Sometimes though, you don't know what you've got until it's gone. A six-year absence from Europe's top tier competition made its return to north London even sweeter.
The weather was sodden. For about five hours before kick off north London had been submerged in a deluge that had been days in the making. There was nothing nature could throw at the Emirates Stadium crowd to dampen spirits, though.
Walking in, each fan got a spring in their step as the navy blue advertising boards and starry ball came into view on the centre circle. These small things take on such a significance when they have been gone for so long.
The greatest moment of all though came just seconds before kick off. Something about big European nights means that seats at the Emirates are full long before the game begins. You always find a way to get off work on time when Arsenal are playing a huge one in the Champions League!
With that of course comes the great music that has been absent from the Emirates for far too long. Make no mistake: the Europa League theme song is a banger; but the falsetto on the Champions League just hits different. Arsenal fans greeted to tune with an enormous cheer and those capable shouting through their smiles sang along gleefully to the final «champyaaahhhhnnnnsss» of the famous song.
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