7th March, 2012
Arsenal produced a spirited display at the Emirates Tuesday evening, but ultimately failed to qualify for the next round of the UEFA Champions League.
The Gunners flew out of the blocks and took the lead as early as the seventh minute when Laurent Koscielny headed in the impressive Oxlade-Chamberlain’s corner.
Theo Walcott’s attempted cross fell kindly to Tomas Rosicky, who also had a good game and he placed his shot past Abiatti.
The noise levels and the expectancy inside the Emirates was deafening at the stage.
The decibels increased when Oxlade-Chamberlain danced into the box but was felled by two Milan defenders and Robin van Persie blasted the resultant penalty into the roof of the net.
But the Gunners could not match their high tempo passing game in the second half and the Italians became comfortable. Van Persie however has a golden opportunity to level the scores on aggregate, but opted to chip the goalkeeper rather than shoot. Abiatti got up on time and saved.
Arsenal huffed and puffed but their legs were gone. And not even the introduction of Marouane Chamakh and Park made any difference. At the final whistle, Milan heaved a sigh of relief as they went through 4-3 on aggregate.
Benfica also defeated Zenit St Petersburg in the day’s other game to go through 4-3 on aggregate.