Losing 3-0 on the night, Milan made it through to the last eight 4-3 on aggregate thanks to their first leg 4-0 win at the San Siro two weeks ago. I have to admit, after Van Bommel’s early yellow card and Kosceilny’s 7th minute opener, i knew i was in for a long night.
In fact, i was literally on the edge of my seat for the entire game. There is no doubt that Milan were totally outclassed in the first half. Playing with urgency and belief, the Gunners created numerous chances that if converted, would have resulted in a totally different score line.
As for Milan, they never really looked in it. Defensive blunders, lethargy and lack of sharpness out front produced one of their worst performances this season. Zlatan Ibrahimovic probably created a new record for the most off sides in a single Champions League match, however, other than that the Swede alongside Mesbah, Robinho and Thiago Silva were some of Milan’s worst players on the night.
Whenever he was in a good position, Ibra held the ball too much resulting in a myriad of wasted opportunities and Robinho’s passing when he should have been shooting although did not cost Milan a last eight spot, it definitely raised a lot of questions about their ability to compete with some of the continent’s best.
Speaking after the match, Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was nothing but full of praise for his youngsters Oxlade-Chamberlain in particular.
“He [Oxlade-Chamberlain] was sick last night and we were not sure that he could play,” Wenger told Sky Sports.
“He had flu – in the end we decided to check him in the warm-up and I felt he was outstanding. Of course, to last 90 minutes at that level is difficult for him.”
Milan’s Van Bommel on the other hand admitted that his side were outclassed in the first half and that it was a relief when the final whistle was eventually blown.
“This game had everything. [But] I think it is our own fault, because we gave them the their confidence back. In the first half, Arsenal outclassed us with their powerplay. But I think we played a lot better in the second half.”
So the exit of Arsenal from the tournament means that they will have to wait another year to win some silverware. However, joining Milan in the last eight is Benfica who were 2-0 winners on the night and 4-3 aggregate over Zenit St. Petersburgh.
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