Arsenal were targeted by ‘honeytrap of supermodels’ to tire them out for big tie

Arsenal were once schemed against by a Champions League opponent who sent a group of models to tire them out before their match.

While the Gunners are currently scrapping to end the season with a top-four Premier League finish, back in September 2003 they were regulars in Europe's elite competition and had just kickstarted what would become their Invincibles season.

Recognising that Arsene Wenger's side were at the height of their powers, Russian outfit Lokomotiv Moscow engineered what they must have thought would be a fool proof plan to put them off their game, as former Arsenal defender Pascal Cygan revealed in 2019.

"When we entered our hotel in Moscow there were ten Russian top models waiting for us," the Frenchman told La Voix du Nord. "They were seated in front of the bar.

"We were later told that they had been there to tire us out during the night before the match. We didn't lose, and as far as I remember none of our players was stupid enough to fall into the trap.

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"That was just as well, given the situation at that time. Stories about players' private lives used to appear regularly in the papers."

Having resisted any temptation they may or may not have faced, an Arsenal side featuring the likes of Martin Keown, Robert Pires and Thierry Henry secured a valuable group-stage point on their travels, with Cygan an unused substitute.

The reverse fixture at the Emirates ended in a two-nil win for the home side, but they only made it to the quarter-final stage of that year's Champions League where they were beat over two legs by Chelsea.

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