Having taken his sons out of school to enjoy a hoped-for Roman Carnival, Hornby soon found it was anything but.
The first setback came when he celebrated one of the Arsenal penalties too enthusiastically, causing him to drop and smash his iPhone.
The second was when the Hornbys found themselves locked in the stadium for two hours after the game, while the police dealt with warring fans.
Luckily, the enforced extra time proved a blessing in disguise. Stumbling into the Rome night, the family managed to hitch a lift out of town in a chauffeur-driven limo in the company of the M&C Saatchi founding partner David Kershaw and the Channel 4 sales director Andy Barnes.
Now that's what you call a result.