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Looking Back

Scholl's fortunate slip in London

Brilliant free-kicks were practically his trademark. When Mehmet Scholl stepped up to take a set-piece, it would strike fear into many a goalkeeper. He scored countless goals for FC Bayern this way, and he didn’t care whether it looked elegant.

It was 5th December 2000 in the second group phase of the Champions League when this photo was taken. FCB were playing away at Arsenal in the second round of fixtures and it wasn’t going well. Thierry Henry had given the Gunners the lead after just four minutes with Nwankwo Kanu making it 2-0 in the 55th minute. Seconds later, Michael Tarnat pulled a goal back for the visitors and then in the 66th minute, Scholl was standing over a free-kick.

25 meters from goal, Bayern’s number seven ran up and as he struck the ball, his foot slipped on the wet surface. This didn’t affect the curve on the strike, though, as the ball sailed over the wall and into the corner of the net. The goalkeeper, Alexander Manninger, could only stand and watch as Scholl equalised, and the game finished 2-2.

This was the first time that Bayern and Arsenal met but it’s a fixture that has become a classic in recent years. On Tuesday, the 12th instalment will take place. The importance that Scholl’s wonder goal had at the time is well known. Bayern moved to the top of the group ahead of Olympique Lyon, Spartak Moscow and Arsenal. They stayed there, progressed to the quarter-finals and ultimately reached the final in Milan, where they beat Valencia 6-5 in a penalty shoot-out to secure their first Champions League crown in 25 years.

In this ‘Looking Back’ series, fcbayern.com will be presenting regular snapshots from the photo archives for fans to enjoy.