Having beaten Antwerp in the same competition in the previous year, Parma were aiming to become the first side to win consecutive finals; five sides had previously failed to do so after reaching the final for a consecutive year. The final was the first time that Parma had come up against English opposition. On the other hand, Arsenal had three times played out two-legged affairs with Italian clubs. The first meeting was in the 1970–71 Inter-Cities Fairs Cup, when they overcame Lazio by a margin of four goals to two, drawing the first leg in Rome and winning the second leg two nil at home. Arsenal had also faced Italians was in the 1979–80 European Cup Winners' Cup at the semi-final stage; Arsenal won 2–1 on aggregate. The most recent meeting was in the quarter-finals of this year's competition, where they overcame Torino by a solitary goal to nil over two legs.
It was the first time Parken Stadium had hosted the a major European competition's final and the first time any European competition's final had been held in Denmark. The stadium had opened only recently — in 1992 — and was the home of Copenhagen and the Danish national football team, taking two years to construct at the cost of 640 million Danish kroner. It was built on the site of the national team's previous home, Idrætsparken.
A crowd of 34,000 witnessed a tense, tactical battle. Parma’s Tomas Brolin hit the post early on but, in the 20th minute, Lorenzo Minotti miss-hit an overhead clearance and Alan Smith capitalised, beating Luca Bucci with a left-footed volley. Arsenal then invited pressure from Parma but, by shackling Gianfranco Zola and Faustino Asprilla, defended their lead and became the fourth London club to win the trophy.
Arsenal were without their leading goalscorer Ian Wright, who missed the final through suspension.1