Watford’s players go to the Emirates stadium on Sunday with mixed memories as the Hornets chase a sixth FA Cup semi-final appearance. We look at how some of Quique Sanchez Flores’ players have fared on previous visits to the majestic home of the Gunners.
Jose Manuel Jurado
He was on the bench for the 2009 Emirates Cup tie. He replaced Jose Antonio Reyes on 69 minutes and saw Andrey Arshavin score twice in the last four minutes, either side of a goal from Pacheco, to give the Gunners a 2-1 win. Two months later, Quique Sanchez Flores replaced Abel Resino as head coach.
The Frenchman ran the gauntlet twice as a Tottenham Hotspur player at the home of their bitter north London rivals. Olivier Giroud ensured his first trip there, just four games into his Spurs career, ended in a 1-0 defeat in September 2013. He played the full 90 a year later as Spurs took the lead through Nacer Chadli only for Alex Oxlade Chamberlain to deny them a famous win.
The Brazilian was in goal on that memorable night in October 2008 when Spurs came from 3-1 and then 4-2 down to draw 4-4 under Harry Redknapp. Gomes shipped three unanswered goals the following season as Cesc Fabregas and Robin Van Persie ran riot on the pristine surface at the Emirates. He conceded another two in the next campaign but this time watched on as Spurs pulled off a thrilling win thanks to goals from Gareth Bale, Rafael Van der Vaart and Younes Kaboul.
The Switzerland midfielder was part of a West Ham side who failed to score in three appearances at the home of the side from the red half of north London. A rare goalless draw in 2009 was followed by a 2-0 defeat a year later and a 1-0 loss in October 2010. Scott Duxbury would have been in the directors’ box for the first one.
The Greece international failed to help end Olympiakos’ miserable European record in England, goals from Gervinho, Lukas Podolski and Aaron Ramsey sending them spinning to a tenth straight defeat on English soil.
The Uruguayan partnered Sanchez Flores’ former charge Raul Albiol at the heart of the Napoli defence for the Champions League tie in October 2013, but they failed to stop Mesut Ozil scoring his first Arsenal goal and Giroud getting the other in a 2-0 win.
The Romanian should start on Sunday and he’s the one Watford player who has definitely tasted victory at the Emirates, keeping a clean sheet in Manchester City’s Carling Cup win, secured by a goal from Sergio Aguero, in November 2011. He again kept Arsenal at bay in May last year as Sunderland dug out a goalless draw at the Emirates on the final day of the season. Pantilimon failed to make it three shut outs on the spin as Arsenal beat Sunderland 3-1 in December in what was his third last game for the Black Cats.
The Moroccan will tell anyone that listens that he was part of the Galatasaray side who lifted the 2013 Emirates Cup on the back of a 2-1 win over the Gunners, secured by two goals from Didier Drogba. Amrabat’s best bits from the game can be seen in the video below.
• Watford are hoping to take a record number of away fans for a game outside of a cup semi-final, cup final or play-off game to the Emirates on Sunday. Click HERE for ticket details: