Arsenal woeful run was ended on Thursday evening as they picked up a well-deserved 2-0 win over AC Milan in the round of 16, first-leg at San Siro.
The North London club had come into the Europa fixtures against the Milan on the back of four successive defeats across all competitions, but this had brought doubts whether the Gunners could compete with the Rossoneri, who were on a 13-match win streak.
However, Arsene Wenger’s men passed the test with flying colours after goals Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey during the first period, assured the club of a healthy lead ahead of the home leg next week.
Three Things We Learned:
Arsenal showed an improved defensive display:
Arsenal had conceded 10 goals during their run of defeats before their Milan trip, but managed to avoid any jittery moments against Gennaro Gattuso’s side. The hosts were mostly restricted to shots from outside the box, whilst Laurent Koscielny showed a strong superb performance as he, for once, after his average showing in recent games. Alongside the Frenchman, it’s fair to say Calum Chambers was also impressive with his movement on the right side of the backline.
AC Milan lack depth in midfield:
As the home side, Milan tried to dominate the proceedings, but the Serie A side were particularly disappointing at the heart of the midfield. Lucas Biglia, to his credit, made some notable key interceptions, but Franck Kessie, who started to partner him, probably had a game to forget. The Ivory Coast international has been Milan’s prime contributor in the middle of flank this season, but his passing game was poor on the night. He handed the possessions over to Arsenal on numerous occasions during the second-half, and this slowed down Milan’s momentum that night.
Danny Welbeck’s woeful performance:
Danny Welbeck’s started for Arsenal with Alexandre Lacazette still injury sideline due to a serious knee surgery. The England international was a bit impressive for Arsenal during the first half with his link-up play, and Welbeck continued to offer a presence in a defensive point of view in the second period – where he assisted Maitland-Niles in a couple of situations who came in to replace injured Sead Kolasinac. However, there will be a sense of frustration among fans with Welbeck missing a whole handful of goalscoring opportunity.