Arsenal fans claim Barcelona have always been corrupt after old footage re-emerges amidst Barcelona’s refereeing scandal

Arsenal fans have been quick to react to the news that Barcelona are currently under investigation for paying referees from 2001-2018.

Arsenal reached their only Champions League final in 2006, where they faced off against Barcelona in Paris for European football’s holy grail.

The match though, was hinged on one crucial decision according to several Arsenal fans, which changed the course of the game and gave the Blaugrana an advantage.

Arsenal goalkeeper Jens Lehmann took down Samuel Eto’o as the Cameroonian was through on goal in the 18th minute, and despite the fact that Ludovic Giuly scored from the loose ball, the referee brought the play back to send the German keeper off and keep the score at 0-0.

Before the end of the first half, Sol Campbell still managed to give Arsenal the lead, but it wasn’t enough as Barcelona came back in the second half in win 2-1 as substitute Henrik Larsson provided two assists to bring the Champions League back to Spain.

The match has come into question as Barcelona are currently under investigation for paying referees to get decisions and results in their favour over the course of 17 years.

If true, it could put the legitimacy of a lot of their most successful years in question.

Barcelona were triumphant over Arsenal in the 2006 Champions League final. (Alamy)

Gunners fans firmly believe that the referee’s decision to send off Lehmann and disallow the goal changed the game, as Barcelona’s 11 men eventually outworked and bested Arsenal’s 10 men over the course of the game.

An Arsenal fan account posted the red card incident on Twitter, where several Arsenal fans voiced their frustration at the incident.

The post had the video of Lehmann taking Eto’o down with the caption: “Remember when Ludovic Giuly scored but the referee cancelled the goal and sent off Jens Lehmann instead, in a Champions League Final? Barcelona have been corrupt for a very long time.”

In the replies, one fan claimed: “I was there for that game. We played brilliantly, but the last 20 mins with 10 men we had no chance. Would be sickening if we lost because of corruption”

Another said: “Exactly, How can you deny a goal scoring opportunity if they scored?”

One fan replied: “Was a painful night. We were up one nil until the last ten mins or so, not to mention Henry missed a full chance. Don’t get me started.”

The final is remembered for Thierry Henry missing a handful of chances he would usually be expected to finish, but for whatever reason he could not find a way past Victor Valdes.

It was the last and only time Arsenal reached a European Cup final, whereas Barcelona have won three more since then.

We will never know if things would have been different with 11 men on the pitch for both teams, but there is no doubt that to this day, Arsenal fans feel hard done by.

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