Daily Archives: February 16, 2012

The Gunners Outplayed, Outclassed and Out of the Champions League

Don’t you just love Arsenal Football Club?

This week, the club would make you have the sweetest dreams after a scintillating performance, the next week, the club would make you feel better off shooting your foot with a rifle.

As a fervent Arsenal fan, it’s fair to say that I’ve seen it all. The club has gone unbeaten, gone trophy-less, lost a game against a team that started with seven recognizable defenders, lost a match despite scoring five goals, managed to draw a game despite going four goals up and has won a couple of trophies.

Thomas Vermaelen whined about not playing in his favored center back position and Per Mertesacker’s unfortunate injury paved the way for the Belgian to strut his stuff. Kieran Gibbs returned to the first team after an eternity out.

Arsene Wenger wanted to use a conservative approach to the game so he decided to give Tomas Rosicky a chance ahead of the Ox.

Rosicky drew first blood with an effort that drifted wide. It’s also noteworthy that Rosicky has scored only one Champions League for Arsenal and that came on his debut against Hamburger SV six years ago.

The old hag Sir Clearance Seedorf pulled up short after releasing a rocket so he was replaced later on by Urby Emanuelson. AC Milan were gifted the match-opening goal when Wojciech Szczesny’s poor clearance found Antonio Nocerino whose chipped pass found KP Boateng and his volley was sumptuous to say the least.

Milan went two up when a simple pass from Emanuelson caught the defense on the back foot. Zlatan Ibracadabra waltzed into the box and crossed the ball to Robinho whose header placed it past Szczesny.

The wrinkles on Arsene Wenger’s face probably increased when Laurent Koscielny was replaced by Johan Djourou for what seemed like an injury. With Mertesacker out, Arsenal’s next center back in line for a starting place is…Seb Squillaci. 🙁

Wenger rightly brought on Thierry Henry for the ineffectual Theo Walcott and he certainly doesn’t play like a man that deserves a pay rise of £85,000 per week.

Rosicky lost the ball far up in the middle of the park and a Milan attack saw Zlatan tee up Robinho that drilled his effort past Szczesny. It’s also worth noting that Thomas Vermaelen slipped at the vital moment.

Feel free to blame the pitch all you want but 11 AC Milan footballers played on the same ground with Wenger’s men. It was no where near the harsh conditions at Petrovsky Stadium when Zenit hosted SL Benfica.

Despite being pretty putrid all match long, Arsenal produced a moment of intense quality when a cheeky Henry flick was volleyed goalwards by Robin van Persie. Up stepped Christian Abbiati to make a save from the top drawer. The screams he let out could be heard on the Moon.

Wenger tweaked his tactics a bit when he introduced the Ox for Kieran Gibbs but AC Milan put the game beyond doubt when another Rosicky error from midfield saw an attack that made Djourou want to swap jerseys with Ibra in the box.

Ibrahimovic got the goal his play deserved from 12 yards even though Szczesny guessed right. Van Persie still gave his all with a good header that was saved by Abbiati while Pato’s effort was palmed away by Szczesny.

At the end of the ref’s whistle, the final result showed that Arsene Wenger’s men where outplayed, outclassed and out of the Champions League.

To those that would want to give themselves some unrealistic hope, AC Milan crashed out of the Champions League in the 2003/04 season despite scoring four goals at home in the first leg.

The last time I checked, Deportivo scored one away goal.

Arsenal didn’t.


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