Europa League: Arsenal – Milan 3-1

By Walter Broeckx

Arsenal starting line up : Ospina, Bellerin, Mustafi, Koscielny, Monreal, Xhaka, Ramsey, Wilshere, Ozil, Mkhitaryan, Welbeck

Beach: Cech, Iwobi, Chambers, Maitland-Niles, Kolasinac, Elneny, Nketiah

Milan starting the best with a chance in the opening minute. A cross from the left finds an unmarked Milan player but he hits the side net. Arsenal trying to answer this after a corner but the header from Koscielny goes wide. He lands badly and seems to have injured his back a bit. Arsenal attacking most of the two teams but no real chances. A let off…. Koscielny goes down in pain holding his back. He comes off and Chambers comes in his place.  Both teams holding each other at arms length most of the time with no real goal scoring chances. 0-0 after 15 minutes.

Monreal with a good run on the left but a defender can clear in front of Welbeck who was waiting for the cross to head it in. Milan has a shot that is blocked and Mkhitaryan recovers the ball and sends Welbeck away with a defender to beat. He goes past him round the outside but his left footed shot is somehow saved by Donnaruma with his right knee. That should have been the opening goal. No score after 30 minutes but both team trying to go forward in what looks a good contest so far.

For once Arsenal don’t close down Milan quickly enough and Calhanogly gets the ball in some space. Xhaka tries to cover the ground to block him but he comes just late and the shot takes a dip and Ospina is beaten. 0-1 for Milan after 37 minutes.  Arsenal doubles their effort and the ball is played to Welbeck who goes down in the penalty area…. after some hesitation the ref gives a penalty! The 5th ref behind the goal making the call it seems. Milan unhappy and to be honest I can understand their frustrations. There was some slight contact with the arm but Welbeck surely made too much of it by going down. In real time it looked a real pull but in slow motion it was just a brush of the arm. Donnaruma gets a yellow card for dissent. Welbeck steps up to take the penalty …. and scores. GOAL 1-1 after 37 minutes. I must admit I enjoyed the equaliser but not as much as I would have liked to enjoy it.

Milan claim a penalty for a handball. The ball hit the arm from Chambers when a cross was diverted but the ball came from a close distance and the Swedish refs see no foul. Romagnoli goes in the book for dissent. And so goes Borini. A dangerous situation in the Arsenal penalty area sees Milan miss a few chances to score but the flag had gone up already so all the fuss was for nothing. Arsenal then attacking in the final minutes of the first half and a few shots are blocked. Wilshere then with a shot from outside the penalty area but Donnarumma blockes it and the rebound fall kindly in his arms after bouncing around a bit. Monreal gets a soft yellow card just before the ref blows his whistle to allow the players to have a break. We go in at half time with a 1-1 score. Arsenal leading 3-1 on aggregate. Milan needs to score at least 2 more goals.

Ramsey with the first dangerous shot but his shot is somewhat blocked so a comfortable save for Donnarumma. Özil to Mkhitaryan but the shot is saved for a corner. Mustafi with the header but the ball goes over. But Milan still very much believes in their chances and Suso has a shot from around the penalty spot that goes wide close from the goal post. And then Cutrone with a volley that also is close from the Arsenal goal. Still 1-1 after 60 minutes.

Suso is booked for a dive when he comes close to Mustafi. Kalinic who had just entered the field for Milan with a header but straight at Ospina. Lets stay away at the back Arsenal! After 69 minutes Elneny comes on for Mkhitaryan. My plea has been heard. Arsenal attacking more and Xhaka has a shot from distance…. that somehow goes in! GOAL!!!! 2-1 to the Arsenal after 71 minutes. Donnarumma seemed to have covered the shot but he made a mess of his save and the ball crept in at the far post. Well they all count. This puts us well in front with a 4-1 aggregate score and Milan now has to score 3 goals.

Arsenal controls the match and if for some better decisions could have countered Milan on a few occasions. After 79 minutes Kolasinac comes on for Özil. Wilshere with a run on the left flank deep in the Milan penalty area and he cuts his cross back to Ramsey who heads towards the goal from 5 meters out. Donnarumma with a great blocking save but the ball bounces up to Welbeck who can head the ball over the line from 3 meters out. GOAL!!!! 3-1 after 85 minutes. Job done. Arsenal lead 5-1 on aggregate.

Wilshere again with a shot from just outside the penalty area but it curls wide. The Swedish ref only adds 2 minutes extra time. With the balls being brought back quickly in the match there is less time needed to add when there have been no serious injuries.

Arsenal also wins the second leg with a 3-1 score line and we win 5-1 in total.

Arsenal are in the last 8 of the Europa League. Where we will meet one of the following teams:  Atletico Madrid, Sporting CP, Marseille, Leipzig, Lazio, CSKA Moskva and the surprising Salzburg who eliminated Borussia Dortmund!

The draw is tomorrow!


36 Replies to “Europa League: Arsenal – Milan 3-1”

  1. Great work , Walter, thanks. That penalty did seem to be so pathetic , but shows that our players don’t know how to do it . Or they don’t practice it at all ! Thank god for that!

    Those empty seats may be cause of Danny falling over , as a gust of wind must have been diverted and it hit him with full force ! A full stadium may probably have prevented it ! Well that’s my theory , anyway !

    Let the regular hot air specialists on here explain it !

  2. Good game and better atmosphere in the ground.

    The away crowd had a chant that sounded like Oospina Oospina which was appropriated by the crowd around me to Ospina Ospina after he made a good save. Job done without too much drama. Two good wins in two days. I’m a happy gunner!

  3. Walter,

    looking at the replay, I thought Wellbeck’s foot was hit and he lost his stride/balance.
    I think you can see his step not being right, his balance off.

    The on the other hand we’ve got so many penalties and yellow or reds against us on such ‘moves’ that, well, WTF.
    It does not always even out, but when it does a little bit compensate, who am i to complain ?

  4. Walter, so good to see one of your quick fire reports again! And on such a happy night for all true Gunners!

  5. In other words, welbeck dived to win the penalty. Can we get the untold tantrum now?

  6. I think Welbeck got clipped, very slightly and he made it obvious to the referee but could have stayed on his feet, but why just go down where he did otherwise?

    If he did dive and we won by the odd goal I would feel like the victory was a hollow one and certainly wouldn’t feel happy if this was reoccurring.
    Wenger is looking at the incident tomorrow and will give his view, perhaps so he can get the wording politically correct.

  7. Well done! Soft penalty. For sure. But ill take it. A bit disrespectful that it happens towards Ac Milan but thats out of my control. Then again its inconceivable that Mr Arsene Wenger would lose a football match to a team managed by Genaro Gatusso. No disrespect, but maybe try monopoly next time. Or checkers or connect4. Id still back Wenger though. Qualification achieved with a 5-1 agg against Ac Milan. Obviously were getting Athletico next :). Well played Danny. Hope Kos gets back fit and ready for combat. Thank you dickheads for staying away. Much much better crowd today and support. Ooooooo-spina, Oooooooooo-spina

  8. And credit to the crowd in block 96 north bank upper stand for the banner in support of Mr Arsene Wenger ! Come every week !!

  9. Just watching the highlights on ITV. Why on earth do TV companies expect fans to take them seriously when they can’t even be bothered to learn how to pronounce peoples names properly? Apparently we have a player named Messit Ertzil. These guys don’t even deserve minimum wage let alone “journalistic” respect.

  10. @ bull

    You’re absolutely full of it.

    Just because we get one decision that goes our way do you actually think that negates all the bad decisions? If you do, then please present some evidence instead of a completely unsubstantiated sarcastic comment.

    And no I’m not pleased by Wellbeck’s behaviour, I’m embarrassed and have no desire to see diving. What i want is an even playing field. Let’s see your analysis of the first 160 games of the season and we’ll take it from there…….

  11. Thanks for the report Walter!

    The AC Milan goalkeeper looks to have had a good game, and is a good goalkeeper. Apparently still a teenager. He should do well in the future. Best of luck to the young man!

    I think fine details might possibly show that Welbeck did or didn’t dive. Entirely too many players don’t try to stay in control when given the chance. If Welbeck actually does go down too easily, I still think he should be tagged for diving.

    I am hoping the Kosclielny is okay.

  12. Welbeck – bletch…contact…mayabe, a dive maybe…embellishment…absolutely…I’m just amazed that the ref bought it because if it was indeed a dive it wasn’t a very believable one.

  13. @GM, as for the 160games review. I and many others who managed to escape Tony’s clamp down on divergent views have pointed out, there’s nothing objective about interpretation of the on field events. It was an exercise in “giving a dog a bad name” so that untold can kill it. After reading that article and the analyses, I know who I’d rather employ refereeing in my league(if I had one) and it surely won’t be mr Walter.
    Please don’t give me that unsubstantiated claim that when the review was done by ref decisions by non arsenal refs, the bias was more, where’s the evidence of that?

  14. Let’s be honest Welbeck dived. I have watched the replay, and even though the Milan player’s hand hit him, he was neither pulled or pushed;certainly his hand didn’t bring welbexk down. It was a dive.I hope we get a good draw. Here is my rating, in descending order of toughness, of the other teams challenging Arsenal for the Europa cup:
    Athletico Madrid
    Olympic Marseille
    RB Leipzig
    Sporting CP
    CSKA Moscow

    I think I’ll be happy with any of the last 3.

  15. Look I can’t get worked up by whether Danny did or didn’t dive. I’m just remembering the post match interview where Hazard with a grin on his face more or less admitted he had dived. Our team is honest, but if Danny felt the touch on his arm and went down, it won’t be anything any number of players haven’t done against us, and that some of our English pundits haven’t repeatedly advised all players to do.

    We won by the very convincing score line of five nil. Let’s talk up the positive, and not this one incident, which the press will no doubt hypocritically bang on about.

  16. I think the ref had a good game, he wasn’t sure it was a penalty but the assistant seemed convinced. Maybe the assistant had seen ‘intent’ but missed the fairly nothing ‘contact’?
    The way I see it is that the replays shown always put our players in a bad light. Regardless of whether it’s a foul we’ve committed or free kick we’ve been awarded. There’s always some tampering of the replay evidence I sense, whether it’s the angles, speed or distance. There is a question of ‘ankle clipping’ but we are not given any detail of that. I recall watching all sorts of close up and carefully selected replays to validate a Kane penalty dive, or 6.
    In short, it’s a shameful dive that leaves a sick feeling, that’s how it looks and there’s no argument about it, but that’s how I see it’s designed to look. Job done!
    And thank you Warren Barton for your fine work last night on Fox, sticking up for us and standing in our defence, nice one.

  17. When ‘soft’ and non penalties were given against the Arsenal , the commentators would fall over themselves to justify it with inane comments like –

    – There was definite contact.

    – The player in vainly trying to avoid the onrushing defender , was off balance and fell on contact.

    -As there was contact , he had every right to go down.

    – I’ve seen them given.

    -He is not that kind of player . He’s not from the continent !

    -He may have just lost his footing.

    So what do you guys think? As for me –
    There was contact . He was trying to avoid the onrushing player and probably off balance too ; and he is DEFINITELY not that kind of player .
    Oh , and his manager DOES NOT condone that kind of behavior .
    And he was not picked to play for his country , unlike some other cheats we are familiar with !

  18. I saw how Danny strangely stopped before falling and then the way Nacho reacted, so I won’t – despite of that soft penalty – complain.

    Very glad for Danny and Granit with their goals.

  19. Oooh my GOD is in a very difficult stituation,lose you are softies win you are cheats seriously? How many penalities have The mighty Arsenal gotten this season compared to the top 7teams? Bravo to the Milan fans you could not tell who was losin or winnin imagine if it was us,oooh my booing would have been the norm. I saw some fanatics when we scored youcould see the real fans celebrating but those AAA you could see their faces ,ooh my not agsin they have scored again. Can you imagine and they call themselves suppoters,where are they now? Sewer rats back to the sewers.

  20. @Brickfields

    Actually, Welbeck has been selected for the English national team. Don’t forget he spent his formative years under Ferguson which means he is more prone to wrong-doings than any other player we have.

    Anyway, I agree with Walter’s comment. I feel sorry for Milan fans because if anyone should know how it feels to be cheated by the referees and divers, it’s us. On the other hand, I feel proud that most Arsenal fans on Twitter have condemned Welbeck’s dive which shows that values of Arsenal are indeed something different than the values of, say, Manchester United or Tottenham. Also, we scored one goal from non-existing penalty and four good ones while our opponents got just one.

    I’m very proud of how the team reacted and I’m glad to eat my humble pie as I didn’t believe we’d turn things around this time.

    Three more obstacles on our way to European trophy and Champions League football. Of the remaining teams, I just don’t want us to play against Atletico as their true quality is Champions League quarterfinals but due to some weird results in their group and their inexplicable inability to score enough goals against Qarabag, they were knocked out of CL. (If you recall our CL campaign from 2001-02 when we were in the group with Deportivo, Bayer and Juventus…)

    Lazio are strong side capable of scoring loads of goals on their day but I reckon we would knock them out. Ciro Immobile is one of the hottest strikers in Europe this season and Sergej Milinković-Savić is one of the best midfielders in Europe at the age of 22 but their defence is the worst of all top clubs in Italy and the main reason why they will struggle to get into Top 4 at the end of the season.

    Olympique Marseille would be another emotional tie for Arsene. Our record since Arsene’s arrival in France is brilliant so maybe, maybe it would be the best if we get to play Marseille either in QF or SF.

    CSKA Moscow are one of rare teams Arsene’s Arsenal have never beaten (two games – a draw and a defeat in Russia). I reckon we would be good enough to beat them this time though.

    Of two Red Bull sides (Leipzig and Salzburg), I’d prefer the Austrian one with a note they were dominant against Borussia Dortmund and deservedly knocked the Germans out. Our record against the non-Bayern Germans is pretty fine so if we get to play Leipzig, it won’t be the end of the world either.

    Sporting Lisbon – well, they finished third in their group with Juventus and Barcelona in CL. They struggled against Viktoria Plzen, arguably the weakest side in Ro16, and it took extra-times for them to beat the Czechs on aggregate. You never know with the Portuguese sides but Porto and Benfica went through some serious thrashings this season.

  21. I must admit the pundits confuse me.
    Probably because they are confused themselves.
    I wouldn’t mind a pound for every time I’ve heard a pundit ( Glen Hoddle immediately comes to mind) say when a player goes down when hardly touched to win a penalty ‘he felt contact so he’s entitled to go down’ followed a couple of minutes later to excuse a turned down penalty shout by saying the exact opposite ‘yes there was contact but not enough to give a penalty’.

  22. I would to applaud AC Milan for the way they played and act especially Gattuso, I wish him and his team all the best.

    I’m ashamed as an Arsenal supporter that Welbeck dived and hopefully no more diving from an Arsenal player. I rather the team lose honorably than win by cheating.

  23. It was a brilliant result and another brilliant display, but I really don’t like seeing so many people on here justifying Welbecks dive. Not only that, but in the second half there was also two extremely blatant dives by Monreal and Wilshire. The Monreal one being the worst, as he rolled on the floor for a while clutching his face in agony, whilst the replay showed that the high-boot didn’t even touch him in the slightest.

    Cheating is not okay, regardless of how many times we have had it happen against us. Thankfully we have got a manager who is a bit of an idealist when it comes to football, so hopefully he will condemn the actions of these players and we won’t see anything similar in the future.

  24. @Jammy, I agree with you, there’s no justification for diving.

    Anyway, let’s hope none of the Arsenal players get injured during the international break.

  25. I don’t think that there are any of us that condone diving , but after being almost always being the victims of it , we are mostly laughing at the experts as they get a good and proper dose of what they have dishing – double speak !

    Like the others, I too am suitable impressed with the exemplary conduct of the Milan manager and his players . I was always impressed with Gattuso as a hard but fair player and had hoped that would have joined us then.

  26. Chris

    Thanks for the link.

    Why cant all reporting be objective and insightful like that ? Didn’t even mention the ‘controversial’ penalty, which of course he had every right to do.

    Did you read the comments afterwards?

    Poster: Wilshere’s a prat.

    The responder posts a decent insightful defence of Wilshere followed by the question. Can you explain that ?

    Poster: No. He’s worse than a prat.

    Sums up beautifully the mind numbing stupidity of some people.

  27. Bull: you see a set and see a reason for it, which I know was not the reason for presenting it. So we utterly disagree on something that I have the facts on and you don’t. You simply don’t believe what I have been saying, so there is no basis for conversation. As you will know there are millions of other sites that have a view similar to yours and we are just about the only one that has this view so quite why you are taking up your time with us, I am not sure.
    Anyway I have given you time to express your view which you have done, so time to say farewell I think.

  28. The welbeck dive or slight contact was as good as the diving with ac Milan in the first leg second half we just tried to imitate them!

  29. Tearyeyed troll and Bull shite ….are you roomates in key stage 2? Bull….it is obvious you’ve never set foot on a football pitch to officiate or act as an assistant in a real match. Walter’s little toe has more football knowledge and skill in administering the laws than you have in your entire genealogical tree!As Tony and others have clearly said; go find an empty lot to play with yourselves in…we don’t need feeble-minded trolls on here, especially those as ignorant and immature as you two!

  30. Jammy, re Monreal, I thought so too, but if you look again, it is the knee that catches him.

  31. The American MLS is miles ahead of Europe in sanctioning divers. They understand that the credibility of their league (their product) is at stake.

    It is widely believed and mocked by people not so interested in football, in America, that all footballers are fakers and poofters that roll around on the pitch when bumped by an opponent and the league administrators believe it is critical to stamp this out.

    They are not constrained by the ideals of nineteenth century coal miners. In addition, they understand that they have to promote and protect the skilled players in the league and give harsh punishments to the more agricultural players on the pitch.

    The MLS is a second rate league but they have a clear idea of some things that have to be tidied up in football.

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