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Sunday cannon fodder: clean sheets

Another day closer to Arsenal’s return to play, another factoid.

Wigan Athletic v Arsenal - Barclays Premier Reserve League Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

When we get up a week from Wednesday, just 10 days from now, it will be an Arsenal matchday for the first time in more than three months. The Gunners’ defense will be tested against Manchester City’s high-powered attack right out of the gate. So far this season, Arsenal have allowed 36 goals, 8th fewest in the league, and have kept 7 clean sheets, which ranks 11th. Today’s number looks back to the Arsenal defense 15 years ago.

Arsenal hold the record for consecutive Champions League clean sheets kept with 10.

The clean sheet streak came during the 2005-06 Champions League campaign and stretched from the fourth group stage match through the semifinals. The run was actually started by Manuel Almunia against Swiss side Thun because Jens Lehmann had been given the day off to rest a minor injury. Lehmann picked it up the next match and carried it for nine games, which is also a record (most consecutive by an individual keeper).

Strangely, I don’t really remember what happened in the final where the streak was broken. I do know that Lehmann’s personal shutout streak that Champions League campaign remained intact.