Arsenal v Vitoria SC – October 24th, 2019
Vitoria Sport Clube also know as Vitória de Guimarães, is based in Guimarães and play in the Estádio D. Afonso Henriques. The town of Guimaraes is celebrated as the birthplace of the Portuguese nation. When Afonso Henriques proclaimed himself King in 1130 he chose Guimaraes as his capital and the distinctive outline of his castle appears on the Portuguese coat of arms.
Vitoria SC was formed in 1922; its name seems to be a tribute to Vitória de Setúbal which at the time was a top contender for the Campeonato de Portugal, though these days Guimarães supporters downplay the connection. After seasons of toiling in the Braga FA leagues, the Vimaranenses were first promoted to the Primeira Liga in 1941, and two seasons later battled the Sadinos from Setúbal for the first time in the League. Surprise package Guimarães, against all odds, reached their first Taça de Portugal final in their debut season, but lost to Belenenses 2–0. Vitória’s furthest progress in a European tournament was in the1986–87 UEFA Cup, they were defeated 5–2 on aggregate in the quarter-finals by West German club Borussia Mönchengladbach.
In the early 2000s, Vitória struggled in some years to retain its status in the top Portuguese division, then named the Superliga. Those years were marked by the decline of the leadership of Pimenta Machado, former club president. Machado was accused on charges of embezzlement and found not guilty of such charges. Despite this, in 2004–05, the club secured an impressive fifth-place finish in the league and qualified for European competition via the UEFA Cup. The next season (2005–06), however, they were relegated to the Segunda Liga (where they last played in 1958) after finishing 17th in the Superliga, despite reaching the Taça de Portugal semi-final, having beaten Benfica in the quarter-finals. The club also failed to progress from their UEFA Cup group, as eventual winners Sevilla, Premier League outfit Bolton Wanderers and Russian team Zenit Saint Petersburg progressed.
In their first season back in the top-flight, they continued their winning form, achieving an impressive third-place finish in 2007–08, guaranteeing them a place in the third qualifying round of the 2008–09 UEFA Champions League. There they fell to Swiss side Basel due to a controversial goal being disallowed by the referee in the last minutes of the second leg match; Vitória dropped into the 2008–09 UEFA Cup first round as a result of their elimination. There they played Portsmouth of the Premier League over two legs, though Portsmouth progressed after winning 4–2 on aggregate.
In 2012–13, Vitória found themselves in financial problems, which caused them to lose many experienced players and bet on young players. However, they would go on to win their first Taça de Portugal title after previously losing five finals. Vitória beat rivals Braga en route to the final, where they recovered from 1–0 down against Benfica to win 2–1.
In September 2017 Vitória left their mark in UEFA Competitions, being the first team starting a game without a European player in the field.
This will be our first game against Vitoria SC so we have no previous history. Regardless of our woes in the Premier League there is no reason to believe that this will be nothing less than a resounding victory for Arsenal.
In Group F Arsenal has won both games played while Vitoria SC are pointless.
|Europa League Group F|
TotalArsenal’s preferred line-up (would like to see Ozil too…but we all know the situation):