If experience was all that counted in football, CSKA Moscow’s defence would be deemed world class.
The Russian team’s three centre-backs for their Europa League quarter-final against Arsenal had a combined age of 108, but one thing also stood out about them.
They had all started the last time the team visited the Emirates Stadium, almost 12 years ago in 2006.
Goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev and defenders Vasili Berezutski, Aleksei Berezutski and Sergei Ignashevich all appeared in the 0-0 draw at the Emirates Stadium in November 2006.
Back then both teams were competing in the Champions League group stage, while none of Arsenal’s starting XI that day are still playing at the club.
Some stat that. The CSKA Moscow goalkeeper and three defenders that start tonight are the same that started in there last visit to the Emirates Stadium back in November 2006! Nearly 12 years on.— Tad Swar (@tadswar) April 5, 2018
CSKA are playing the same defenders & GK that played in the 0-0 draw at Emirates in 2006, 12 years ago. Berezutski twins & Ignashevich.— TikiTakaConnor (@TikiTakaConnor) April 5, 2018
Unfortunately for the experienced defence, Arsenal’s creativity proved too much for them to handle in the first half, and they conceded four goals.
Father time has not been kind to Akinfeev, Ignashevich or the Berezutski twins. Part of the first side to leave the Emirates with a clean sheet, tonight they will be happy with single-figures. #AFC— Mark Mann-Bryans (@MarkyMBryans) April 5, 2018