Zlatan Ibrahimovic inspired AC
Milan to a 4-0 demolition of Arsenal in the Champions League on
Wednesday, although the sorry performance of the visitors had as
much to do with the scoreline as the volatile Swede's
Ibrahimovic set up two goals for Robinho and won and
converted a penalty for the fourth to leave Milan almost certain
of ending their dismal recent record against English opposition.
Kevin-Prince Boateng had fired Milan ahead with a typically
emphatic effort in the 15th minute.
Arsenal, who had not previously lost by more than three
goals in the Champions League, never got to grips with the
nimble footwork of Ibrahimovic, Robinho and Boateng, who pulled
their defence all over the place.
The visitors were also at a loss as to how to penetrate the
Milan defence where Thiago ilva had an outstanding game. Antonio
Nocerino and Luca Antonini were also impressive for the Serie A
"We were never in the game, we were very poor offensively
and defensively, and it as shocking to see how were beaten
everywhere," Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told reporters.
"It was our worst performance in Europe by far, there was
not one moment we were really in the game.
"We had to chase the game, open up our game. It was always
the same for us, balls over the top, it's difficult to analyse.
It's better not to talk too much and to analyse with a cool
AC Milan's last three participations in the Champions League
have endedin the round of 16 with defeats against English clubs,
including Arsenal, but Wenger saw no change of that run
"We don't play in dream world... realistically we are out of
this competition," he said.
Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri praised his team's defence
and criticised the attack for not scoring more goals.
"We played well as a team, we did not give them any scoring
chances, we were very good in defence and especially good when
Arsenal had possession," he said.
"We could have scored more which is a pity in the Champions
League where you have two legs."
The match was played on a shocking pitch at San Siro where
both flanks resembled a ploughed field. Around one dozen
officials in green uniform spent the half-time interval trying to
replace divots and flatten the turf with hoes.
The Serie A champions began with a flourish as Boateng
back-heeled the ball to Clarence Seedorf and he shot into the
Seedorf limped off after 12 minutes and was replaced by Urby
Emanuelson but it made little difference and three minutes later
they were ahead.
Nocerino chipped the ball over the Arsenal defence and into
the path of Boateng, who chested the ball down and hammered a
dipping shot in off the underside of the crossbar.
Nocerino fired over the bar before Ibrahimovic broke down
the left, reached the by-line and dinked the ball back for
Robinho to head the second.
Milan could easily have a third goal before half-time as
Boateng broke clear but shot into the side-netting and Antonini
poked the ball wide after Ibrahimovic sent him clear.
But it only took four minutes of the second half for them to
score again as Ibrahimovic passed the ball behind Robinho but he
reacted quickly, got in position and shot into corner.
Arsenal had to wait until the 66th minute for a real chance
when Robin van Persie's shot on the turn was superbly turned
around the post by Christian Abbiati.
Milan were still dominant although their fourth goal came
from a highly dubious penalty as Ibrahimovic tumbled over,
beginning his fall before any contact had been made by Johan
The Swede fired home the resulting penalty to complete the
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