Arsenal recorded a 2-0 win at AC Milan on Thursday night in the first leg of the last 16 of the Europa League.
The first real attempt on goal arrived on eight minutes and it fell for the visitors. Armenian playmaker Henrikh Mkhitaryan hit an effort against the side netting after a good ball from Mesut Ozil.
The home side threatened two minutes later, as striker Cutrone poked into the side netting with an early effort. On 12 minutes, Calhanoglu was released through on goal, only for Arsenal goalkeeper David Ospina to appear to bring the Turkish star down in the penalty area. The midfielder stayed on his feet, though and the referee did not point to the spot.
The visitors took the lead on 15 minutes. Ozil picked out Mkhitaryan on the left side of the area, the former Manchester United star then produced a superb turn and fired a shot on goal that took a deflection off Leonardo Bonucci, and beat Donnarumma in the home goal.
The next threat on goal did arrive until the half-hour mark, as Bonaventura volleyed wide of goal after Ospina and Mustafi collided. On 38 minutes, midfielder Bonaventura curled an effort well wide of the far post.
On 42 minutes, Arsenal defender Calum Chambers hit the ball on the half-volley and forced Donnarumma into a fine save. The Milan ‘keeper was in action again a minute later, this time denying Danny Welbeck, who was in on goal.
In the second minute of stoppage-time, Mkhitaryan clipped the bar from a superb curled pass from Welbeck. The visitors did double their lead four minutes into stoppage-time. Ozil picked out Aaron Ramsey’s run superbly and the midfielder rounded Donnarumma before firing into the empty net.
Arsenal threatened on 49 minutes, as Franck Kessie sliced a clearance, which Donnarumma and Welbeck both went for. However, the stopper got a hand on the ball and it rebounded off the striker for a goal kick.
Ospina was in action at the other end two minutes later, getting down well to keep out a low effort from Bonaventura. The AC Milan midfielder was involved again on 52 minutes, as he fired an effort well over Ospina’s bar.
Bonaventura also saw an effort deflect wide of goal on 56 minutes, as the home side looked for a way back into the game. On 68 minutes, Ricardo Rodriguez dragged a shot wide of goal.
Suso also sliced a far post effort out for a throw-in, while Laurent Koscielny produced a good block to keep out a Kessie effort on target. With nine minutes left, Bonaventura saw another shot on goal deflect over the bar.
Two minutes later Ospina did well to race out of his goal to prevent Nikola Kalinic from getting on the end of Andre Silva’s through-ball. Three minutes into stoppage-time Granit Xhaka found himself with lots of space in front of him and decided to fire the ball into the stands to waste time.
In the end, Arsenal came away with a very surprising and creditable win. The Gunners will now be favourites to make the last eight of the competition.
Who was Arsenal’s man of the match against AC Milan?