Arsenal cruise into the Europa League last eight - My Arsenal Blog

My Arsenal Blog

Arsenal cruise into the Europa League last eight

Posted on March 15, 2018 by David Nugent

Arsenal recorded a 3-1 win over AC Milan on Thursday night in the Europa League last 16 second leg, to win the tie 5-1 on aggregate.

The visitors came close to enjoying a dream start within the first minute, but Andre Silva’s effort from Fabio Borini’s cross was off-target. On five minutes, the Gunners had their first sight of goal, as defender Laurent Koscielny headed over from Henrik Mkhitaryan’s corner kick.

The Gunners experienced an injury blow on 11 minutes, as Koscielny sustained an injury and Calum Chambers replaced the French international. Milan ‘keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was called into action on 26 minutes, as the youngster did well to keep out a near-post effort from Danny Welbeck.

AC Milan took the lead on 35 minutes. Ricardo Rodriguez found Hakan Calhanoglu a long way out and the Turkish international hit a superb swerving effort that flew past David Ospina.

Jack Wilshere saw an effort saved by the Milan goalkeeper. Arsenal won a penalty on 38 minutes, as Rodriguez was adjudged to have tugged Welbeck down in the area. Replays showed that it was a harsh decision. Welbeck dusted himself off and sent Donnarumma the wrong way with the spot-kick.

Ospina produced a decent reflex save from Andre Silva on 44 minutes. The referee’s assistant’s flag went up anyway for offside, so the goal wouldn’t have counted anyway.

In first-half stoppage-time, Mkhitaryan stooped to head a Welbeck cross just wide of the Milan goal. Donnarumma also produced a good save from a powerful long-range effort from Jack Wilshere.

The visitors had the first attempt on goal of the second half, as Franck Kessie saw a low shot from the edge of the area saved comfortably by Ospina. Aaron Ramsey also saw an effort deflected into the arms of Donnarumma from inside the Milan area.

The young Rossoneri ‘keeper was in action once again on 50 minutes, keeping out a Mkhitaryan effort. From the resulting corner kick, Shkodran Mustafi headed over the bar. Suso fired just wide of Ospina’s far post three minutes later.

Ramsey fired well over the bar from just inside the penalty area after good play from Mesut Ozil. The visitors had a golden opportunity on 59 minutes, as Patrick Cutrone volleyed just wide of Ospina’s far post, with the Colombian well beaten.

Ricardo Montolivo got an effort on goal from the edge of the area completed wrong on 65 minutes, with the midfielder’s effort flying over the bar. Milan substitute Nikola Kalinic headed straight at Ospina three minutes later.

Arsenal all-but sealed the tie on 71 minutes. Granit Xhaka hit a long-range effort that Donnarumma looked set to save comfortably, only for the youngster to divert the ball into his own net.

On 76 minutes, Silva saw a deflected header tipped over the bar by Ospina. The resulting corner saw Suso fire just wide of Ospina’s goal. The Gunners scored their third goal on 86 minutes, as Ramsey’s header was saved at close-range by Donnarumma, only for Welbeck to head home the rebound from a similar distance out.

Wilshere fired just wide of goal from the edge of the area with just two minutes left on the clock.

The effort was the last of the game, as the Gunners cruised into the last eight of the competition. The draw for the quarter-finals takes place on Friday at noon.

Who was Arsenal’s man of the match against AC Milan?

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