MaCinJay’s Musings

another case of inverse vandalism

Checkmate: AC Milan 0 – Arsenal 2

with 4 comments

It hasn’t been an easy time for Arsenal supporters. Two indifferent performances in the Premier League have seen the team’s lead whittled down to just one point. The game against Birmingham City was overshadowed by the horrendous injury early in the match to striker Eduardo, as the result of the sort of lunging, studs-first challenge that is all too common in the English game. Martin Taylor, the offending player, was rightfully sent off but Arsenal contrived to draw the game 2-2 after a lapse in concentration from Gaël Clichy gifted Birmingham a penalty in the dying moments of the match. After that came another draw against Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium when Arsenal were lucky to score their only goal of the game deep in injury time.

So one would have expected a demoralised side to turn out against European Champions AC Milan at the San Siro.

Instead we were treated to a truly dominating performance from the Gunners, who completely outplayed their illustrious opponents – at one stage in the second half a stat was shown indicating that possession was 60-40 in Arsenal’s favour! Besides a spell early in the game when Milan caused problems for Arsenal’s defence with crosses from open play and set-pieces, and another in the second half when it looked like the Italian side were getting a foothold in the game, the Italians could do nothing but lay on a grim defence in the face of the Gunner’s irresistible passing game. As the match wore on it looked like that they had done enough to stymie the English side after weathering early threats from Adebayor (fingertip save by Kalac) and the sublime Fabregas (hit the crossbar), as well as a series of missed opportunities from the likes of Senderos and Walcott.

Then with seven minutes of normal time left Fabregas picked up the ball deep in Milan’s half, ghosted through their midfield and fired a long-range shot into the bottom-left corner of Kalac’s net. After that it was virtually game over, as Milan needed two goals to win the tie with time running out due to the away-goals rule. In fact it was Arsenal who scored again in injury time when Walcott made amends for his earlier profligacy by beating a tiring Milan defender to the ball and laying on a cross for Adebayor to score his first Champions League goal for the club – a fitting end to a great night of European football for Arsenal.

Hopefully this will be the fillip they need for their two-prong assault on the English Premier and Champions League titles!

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4 Responses

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  1. hi mac

    that was a great result but i guess you’re less pleased at the outcome of yesterday’s matches? looks like arsenal have hit their blip just at the wrong time, at least in the Premiership. my team – man u – look comfortable but still some way to go i suspect.
    pp

    http://www.pastapaulie.wordpress.com

    fpb

    March 24, 2008 at 9:25 am

  2. Hi Paulie

    Yes, the smart money now must be on Utd although as you say there will be a lot riding on the last few games.

    Hopefully the Arse can redeem themselves in the Champions League 1/4 Final tie against Liverpool, who will also have a lot to prove.

    Happy Easter

    macinjay

    March 24, 2008 at 10:16 am

  3. yep i fancy arsenal for the Champs league – i think last year’s achievement was a siting shot for this year’s campaign. surely liverpool have had their luck in this tournament now. i’ve a horrible feeling that roma might extract revenge for that 7-1 thrashing a couple of years ago by beating man u in the QFs. arsenal v chelsea final?
    pp

    fpb

    March 25, 2008 at 8:19 am

  4. I don’t underestimate Liverpool – the Champions League suits their style of play very nicely and they have a striker of exceptional ability in Torres, which is something that I think Arsenal perhaps lacks since Henry left. In any event it will be a fascinating tie.

    I also fancy Man U in this competition. I’ve never liked Ronaldo but he has proved irrepressible for other teams this season.

    macinjay

    March 27, 2008 at 3:38 pm


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