Just like their men's side in the UEFA Champions League, Arsenal LFC are stalwarts in European women's club competition and this season will become the first to appear in ten quarter-finals – in only the 11th season since the inaugural 2001/02 edition.
In that campaign Arsenal fell in the UEFA Women's Cup last eight to Toulouse; ten years on they have made that stage again in the UEFA Women's Champions League. Only in 2003/04, when Fulham LFC represented England and made the last eight, have Arsenal not been involved at that stage. They have progressed to the semis four times and played in one final – their 2006/07 victory against Umeå IK.
Three veterans of that triumph, goalkeeper Emma Byrne and midfielders Jayne Ludlow and Ciara Grant, have taken part in all ten Arsenal campaigns, and indeed were involved in the 5-1 win against Rayo Vallecano de Madrid that took the Gunners into Thursday's draw. Byrne, indeed, was making a competition record 59th appearance and her fellow Irish international Grant and Wales captain Ludlow share the outfield best of 55 games – only former Umeå player Anna Paulson, on 51, has also passed the half century.
Arsenal manager Laura Harvey told UEFA.com: "Players are often oblivious to stuff like that but the biggest thing for me is that half the team in that room have been through a lot of those ten years. Jayne, Emma and Ciara have been through them all. To have gone through all those years of getting to the quarter-finals, they've set a standard now and if they don't get there they aren't happy about it. That's why we are where we are."
UEFA women's club competition records
(up to 2011/12 quarter-finals)
Most seasons: KÍ Klaksvík (FRO) 11
Most quarter-finals: Arsenal LFC (ENG) 10
Most semi-finals: Umeå IK (SWE) 7
Most finals: Umeå IK (SWE) 5
Most titles: 1. FFC Frankfurt (GER) 3
Most games played: Umeå IK (SWE) 67
Most wins: Umeå IK (SWE) 45
Most consecutive wins: Umeå IK (SWE) 14 (09/06/2003-14/09/2004)
Most goals: Umeå IK (SWE) 205
Biggest win: Arsenal Kharkiv (UKR) 20-0 AEK Kokkinochovion (CYP) 2005/06
Most appearances: Emma Byrne (Arsenal LFC) 59
Most goals: Hanna Ljungberg (Umeå IK) 39
Most goals in a game: Vira Dyatel (Zhilstroy 1-Kharkiv v FC Iveria 2007/08, Erika Vázquez (Athletic Club BFKEB v Birkirkara FC 2007/08) 7
Most wins: Anna Paulson (Umeå IK), Jennifer Zietz (1. FFC Turbine Potsdam) 34
Most titles: Louise Hansen, Katrin Kliehm, Birgit Prinz (all 1. FFC Frankfurt) 3
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