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SC Braga were on the receiving end of a 6-0 defeat when their debut UEFA Champions League campaign began away to Arsenal FC on 15 September. The return fixture provides the opportunity for the Portuguese team, who have revived their Group H challenge with two successive wins, to demonstrate they have learned from that chastening experience.
• It could scarcely have been a tougher introduction to the UEFA Champions League for Braga on Matchday 1 as Cesc Fàbregas scored twice, the first a penalty after only nine minutes, with Andrey Arshavin and Marouane Chamakh adding further goals before half-time. Substitute Carlos Vela struck two more late on as Arsenal launched their 13th UEFA Champions League campaign in spectacular fashion.
• That was the first of three successive wins for the Gunners, although their momentum was checked at FC Shakhtar Donetsk on Matchday 4. Braga began with two defeats, but home and away victories against bottom side FK Partizan have brought them right back into contention.
• While Matchday 1 was the first meeting between the clubs, Arsenal have faced Portuguese opposition on four previous occasions away from home and never been victorious. They have lost in Portugal in the last two UEFA Champions League campaigns, FC Porto beating them 2-1 in last season's round of 16 and 2-0 in the group stage a year earlier, and returned home with draws on two earlier occasions.
• Braga were successful when they last hosted opponents from England – beating Portsmouth FC 3-0 in the 2008/09 UEFA Cup group stage with Luis Aguiar and Alan scoring the first and third goals respectively.
• Braga's three earlier home games against English clubs all ended in defeat, however, Arsenal's north London neighbours Tottenham Hotspur FC winning 3-2 in the UEFA Cup round of 16 in March 2006 and 3-0 in the first round first leg of the same competition in 1984/85.
• Indeed that Portsmouth success is Braga's only win in nine previous matches against English teams, with seven defeats.
• Braga followed up their defeat at the Arsenal Stadium with a 3-0 home defeat by Shakhtar. Their wait for their first UEFA Champions League points ended on 19 October when a Lima free-kick and an added-time goal from Matheus earned a 2-0 win against Partizan, who were then beaten in Belgrade thanks to a fine Moisés header in the 35th minute.
• Arsenal had lost their previous three UEFA Champions League away games before the visit to Partizan on Matchday 2, when goals from Arshavin – who later missed a penalty – Chamakh and Sébastien Squillaci steered them to a 3-1 victory.
• The Gunners' scintillating home form continued with a 5-1 dismantling of Shakhtar on Matchday 3, although the roles were reversed two weeks later as the Gunners let slip a one-goal lead, their former striker Eduardo ending their perfect start and inflicting a 2-1 loss.
• Arsenal have not failed to progress beyond the initial group stage in the last ten seasons. In the last three years they have made it through to the quarter-finals or better.
• When, in 1921, Braga changed their team shirts from two large green and white vertical stripes, they took Arsenal's red-and-white colours as their inspiration. Since then they have been known as Minho's Arsenalistas (Arsenal from Minho).
• Hugo Viana was a late substitute as Newcastle United FC drew 0-0 at home to Arsenal on 11 April 2004. He also appeared in a 1-0 loss at Highbury the previous season.
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