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UEFA Champions League
March 7, 2012
• Emirates Stadium, London
Referee: D. Skomina
• Attendance: 59973
L. Koscielny 7'
T. Rosický 26'
R. van Persie 43'
Milan win Aggregate 4 - 3
There we have it, folks. A valiant effort from Wenger's men for which they can be proud of, however 3-0 just wasn't enough on the night. Thanks for joining us!
FULL-TIME! Unlucky Arsenal! They went into the tie four down and looking to do what no-one has ever achieved before. Goals from Kosicelny, Rosicky and Van Persie gave the fans hope however they were left ruing a missed opportunity from the Dutchman in the end as they get knocked out 4-3 on aggregate.
90' + 3'
Szczesny hits it long, the ball is flicked onto Van Persie but the flag is up.
90' + 2'
Milan on the ball again as they knock it about the Arsenal half. Gunners' fans still in good voice though.
90' + 1'
Arsenal are getting pinned in their own half for these last few minutes but Song is on the break now, his pass is off-target though.
Park loses out on the left-wing and then concedes a free-kick. Three minutes of added time announced.
Milan are taking their time over a throw in and are also going to make a change to run down the clock. A nail-biting finish.
Sagna delivers from the right but Van Bommel clears for Milan. Arsenal come again.
Yellow CardAntonio Nocerino
Robinho pings a cross-field ball to Ibrahimovic who chests it before trying an ambitious left-footed volley but it goes way over.
Ibrahimovic takes it but it hits the wall and goes behind, a goal-kick is given after the referee judges it to have hit the Milan man in the wall however replays clearly show it did not.
Yellow CardZlatan Ibrahimovic
Free-kick to Milan in a dangerous area after Ibrahimovic tumbles just outside the Arsenal box.
Walcott becomes the second Arsenal player to go off due to injury and again receives a well deserved round of applause.
Rosicky nearly threads a perfect ball to Van Persie but Mexas slides in and intercepts.
Walcott currently limping for Arsenal, a replacement looks imminent.
Kosicelny stands up well to Ibrahimovic inside his own box and even wins a free-kick.
Gervinho runs at Mexas but the defender gets a good foot in before the ball hits the Arsenal man again, the Ivorian shows determination to knock it out for a throw instead of a goal-kick.
GREAT SAVE from Szczesny! Aquilani hits a cross toward the back post, Nocerino gets on the end of it and somehow the Arsenal keeper gets back to save the midfielder's attempt from inches out.
Szczesny saves from Ibrahimovic after the big man cuts in from the left to hit a low shot across the face of the goal. A good reaction save from the keeper with a crowd of players right in-front of him.
And that man, Chamakh, has now come on to replace Oxlade-Chamberlain who has been struggling for some time. He receives a firmly deserved standing ovation from the home-fans.
Our man at the ground, Wayne Veysey, reports: "Arsenal's fans are still roaring on their team here, although nails are being shredded as the clock ticks down. Van Persie's miss has sent a few more hearts fluttering but the key is that Arsenal are still carving out chances, if not with the same frequency as in the first period. There have been a few scars at the back but they are hanging on and dominating. One problem is the lack of weaponry on the bench. But on a barmy night like this, even someone like Marouane Chamakh might make himself a hero."
Walcott tries to come inside as he advances on the Milan box but runs into trouble, the Italian side break and Ibrahimovic is in but his touch lets him down and it runs out for a goal-kick.
Back underway and both players are back on the pitch and look ok.
Vermaelen is down clutching his stomach after colliding with Phillippe Mexas, Wenger will be hoping he can continue.
Stephan El Shaarawy
Walcott fires a powerful ball in from the right-flank but Abbiati punches clear.
El Shaarawy tests Szczesny with a decent effort from outside the box, the Arsenal keeper spills it first time around but collects eventually. The hosts are starting to get stretched at the back.
Robinho and Emmanuelson just get in eachothers way as the Brazilian weaves his way past a few men into the Arsenal box. The Gunners get it clear though.
Sagna crosses from the right towards Van Persie but Abbiati flies out to punch it clear.
Oxlade-Chamberlain looks for fellow former Southampton man with a delightful long ball towards Walcott, but the Englishman is flagged offside.
Oxlade-Chamberlain cuts in from the left-flank and hits a right-footed shot toward goal, but the ball rises over the bar.
Szczesny is a lucky boy! The keeper passes the ball straight to Ibrahimovic who then hits it with the Gunners man out of position, however the Milan striker's shot goes just wide. Let-off for the hosts.
More end-to-end stuff in north London as Gervinho gets back to disposes Robinho again, just. Then Van Persie breaks for Arsenal but can't quite find Walcott.
How have Arsenal not scored!?! Gervinho is played in by Rosicky but takes a while to get the ball out from his feet, his effort is deflected and Abbiati does very well to save with his feet, then, Van Persie follows up but the Milan keeper somehow keeps the second effort out too. You'd have put your house on the Gunners' striker to score there, from all of two yards out.
Yellow CardAlex Song
Urby Emmanuelson hits it way over the bar.
Song is booked for a clumsy tackle on Ibrahimovic, he'll need to be careful now as Milan are looking dangerous on the break. Free-kick in a good position for the Italians now...
Good work from Gervinho on the right-flank after Song headed clear for Arsenal, Rosicky then gets on the ball but miss-fires a cross-field ball straight out for a throw.
End to end stuff at the Emirates as Walcott races down the right and wins a corner after his cross is blocked, Van Persie's ball in is poor though and Abbiati gathers it with ease.
Ibrahimovic is the next man to be threaded through, but Szczesny is out quickly to block the shot. Great keeping.
Robinho looks to beat Thomas Vermaelen but the defender slides in with a brilliantly timed tackle, Arsenal counter but Walcott can't find Gervinho with the final ball.
Walcott receives the ball from Sagna's cross and takes a good touch as he gets to the touchline, however his clipped ball in goes behind for a goal-kick.
Song concedes a free-kick in a decent area on the right-hand-side deep in Arsenal's half, but the delivery comes to nothing. Oxlade-Chamberlain is now back on his feet and looks fine.
A big worry for Wenger is that Oxlade-Chamberlain is down at the moment, they will be hoping he's ok.
Ibrahimovic is almost in straight away but the offside flag is raised. Van Persie is then played in at the other end by Alex Song but, on this occasion, the other linesman has his flag up.
Milan get the second-half underway.
Arsenal's odds for qualification before the game were 33/1, they have now been cut to 5/6. I wonder if anyone is feeling smug as they look at their betting slip, a whole half to go yet, mind.
Some thoughts from Goal.com's Wayne Veysey during the break: "Emirates Stadium rises to its feet at the end of a captivating 45 minutes that has taken the home team three quarters of the way to dreamland. Many Arsenal fans consider the comeback against Spurs two weekends ago to be the most memorable game in Emirates' six-season history. It could just about to be beaten. They are one goal away from cancelling out Milan's 4-0 first-leg advantage after totally destroying the visitors in the opening period. Pace, passing, passion. The three p's they needed to create history have been in abundance. Milan have been ponderous, slow and desperate. If they don't up their game, they are heading out."
45' + 1'
HALF-TIME! What a 45 minutes of football we have been treated to by Arsenal! Four goals down going into the tie but efforts from Kosicelny, Rosicky and Van Persie have made progression a real possibility. Still, if Milan pull one back the Gunners will need another three so make sure you stay with us!!
Milan should have scored! El Shaarawy is free on the right-hand-side on the box but Szczesny does well to rush out and close the angle and the midfielder puts it wide.
Penalty GoalRobin van Persie
SCORED!!! Van Persie sends the keeper the wrong way by smashing it right. 3-0 to the Gunners! Amazing stuff at the Emirates!
PENALTY TO ARSENAL! Oxlade-Chamberlain is sandwiched by Antonio Nocerino and Mesbah as he charges forward at pace. Van Perise to take it...
Djamel Mesbah slips with the ball at the back for Milan but Van Persie can't get it under control, the Italians look shaky in defence to say the least.
Robinho breaks for Milan but Kosicelny shows pace to beat him to it and clear the danger.
Van Persie swings it in from the left but Silva hacks it away. Arsenal still camped in the Milan half.
Gervinho works back and makes a great tackle to deny Robinho from crossing, Gibbs then sweeps up and clears the danger.
Milan haven't had a look in yet as they look to get their foot on the bay by knocking around the back-four.
Oxlade-Chamberlain wins the ball in midfield much to the delight of the home supporters before finding Rosicky, but the midfielder can't find Van Persie with the final ball.
Our man Wayne Veysey at the Emirates: "We have ourselves a game. The scepticism surrounding this tie has dissipated after Arsenal go half-way towards their initial target of four goals. Emirates Stadium has been pumped since the start of the match and it is really rocking now. The key is that Arsenal are playing with pace annd verve and creating chances almost at will. If they can keep the back door shut, a historial comeback is a tantalising possibility."
The home fans in great voice now as Kosicelny confidently chests a cross from the left before clearing the danger.
GGGOOOOAAAAAALLLLL! Rosicky with the finish!!!! 2-0 to Arsenal!!! Walcott again looking dangerous on the right, he rolls a low cross into the box and Silva's attempted clearance is poor and falls to the Czech midfielder who then hits it low into the bottom corner. Fantastic game for the Gunner so far!
The hosts are looking comfortable on the ball as they enjoy a prolonged spell of possession in midfield.
Milan wasteful in possession at the moment as a long-ball bounces straight to Wojciech Szczesny.
Chamberlain's first ball in is good but gets headed behind, but the second delivery doesn't beat the first man.
SAVE from Abbiati!! Van Persie tries a left-footed curler from outside the box but the Milan keeper tips it behind.
Arsenal should have scored! Milan give the ball straight to Rosicky who shifts the ball on to Van Persie, the Dutchman knocks it back but it goes just behind his team-mate with the Italian's back-four at sixes and sevens. The midfielder then knocks it through to the Gunners forward but Abbiati rushes out and wins a free-kick as Van Persie slides into him.
Yellow CardKieran Gibbs
Gibbs heads away the delivery.
Third booking of the game after Kieran Gibbs brings down El Shaarawy just outside the box. Free-kick in a dangerous position on the far-side.
Yellow CardBacary Sagna
Walcott nearly in on goal but Thiago Silva makes a good last ditch tackle.
A perfect start for the Gunners then, and here's our man at the Emirates, Wayne Veysey, on the opening ten minutes: "Emirates Stadium is daring to dream after Laurent Koscielny's free header has begun the long climb back to parity with Milan. 'Arsenal are by far the greatest team' sing their encouraged supporters. Well, they will be if they pull this one out of the bag. No arguments."
SAVE from Abbiati! Walcott breaks down the right and slips in through to Van Persie who tries to beat the Milan keeper with a right-footed shot but he saves with his feet.
GGGGOOOAAAAAAAALLLLLLL! 1-0 to Arsenal! The comeback is on!! Laurent Kosicelny with a header. Oxlade-Chamberlain whipped in a dangerous corner from the far-side, the centre-back found a yard of space and nodded it past Abbiati.
Yellow CardMark van Bommel
Our man at the Emirates in Wayne Veysey, he reports: "After the pre-match lull, there is an upbeat atmosphere here. The sell-out crowd have responded to Arsene Wenger's attacking selection by getting behind the team with chants of 'We want five'."
Robinho gets himself in an advanced position in the Arsenal box but can't find Ibrahimovic with the ball across the box.
Walcott is nearly in behind after some good play from Van Persie and Tomas Rosicky, but the Englishman is ruled offside. Lively start.
The teams are out at the Emirates and kick-off is imminent.
Ominously for Arsenal, Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted a hat trick in Milan's last Serie A game against Palermo, if the Italian side score once tonight the Gunners will need to put six past Christian Abbiati.
Milan's Stephan El Shaarawy makes his Champions League debut tonight, while it's Van Persie's 200th start for Arsenal.
Arsenal have netted 12 times in their last two fixtures at the Emirates, five against Tottenham and seven against Blackburn.
However, Milan held a 4-1 lead against Deportivo La Coruna when heading into the the 2003/04 quarter-final second-leg but lost it 4-0 and were knocked out by the Spanish side.
And let's start with the most daunting statistic for the Gunners. has ever progressed from a two-legged tie after being four goals down from the first match.
Here are some key facts ahead tonight's clash at the Emirates…
Arsenal starting line-up: Szczesny, Sagna, Vermaelen, Kosicelny, Gibbs; Rosicky, Song, Oxlade-Chamberlain; Walcott, Van Persie, Gervinho Subs: Fabianski Park Djourou Jenkinson Chamakh Miquel Ozyakup. AC Milan starting line-up: Abbiati; Abate, Mexes, Silva, Mesbah; Nocerino, Van Bommel; Emanuelson, El Shaarawy, Robinho; Ibrahimovic. Subs: Amelia Roma Aquilani Zambrotta Bonera Ganz Yepes.
Wenger starts with four forwards; Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Theo Walcott, Gervinho and Robin van Persie, a goal each and Arsenal will be in with a good chance. Massimiliano Allegri also names an attacking formation for the visitors let's hope for another entertaining game. Team news in full to follow…
Hello and welcome to Goal.com's LIVE commentary of Arsenal's Champions League D-Day. Four goals down heading into the second-leg of this last-16 tie against AC Milan, can Arsene Wenger's men re-write history and progress to the next stage? Stay with us to find out.
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