Impeccable Arsenal send Europe a message of intent

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What a night. Well, morning for me so I’ll rephrase that; what a morning. Arsenal are through to the quarter-finals of the Champions League and deservedly so after an impeccable team performance saw Arsene Wenger’s side beat AC Milan 2-0 to become the first English side to beat the Italian club at the San Siro. Yet, it was not the result that made this victory so sweet for Arsenal but the manner in which it was achieved. Every single Arsenal player on the pitch performed to the level that was required to enable such a result while some simply played out of their skin, as the manager was quick to point out at the end of the match.

“Tonight it is very difficult to single one out. I believe the whole team defended well and attacked well, it was a complete team performance.”

Fabregas celebrates his wonderful goal with friends

And he’s absolutely right. Manuel Almunia did not put a foot wrong in goals; William Gallas and Philippe Senderos were completely dependable at the back; Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna defended superbly and still managed to get forward; Mathieu Flamini was all over Milan’s dangerman, Kaka, like a rash; Cesc Fabregas’ passing was extraordinary and his goal remarkable; Alexandr Hleb probed and prodded with token unpredictability; Abou Diaby made Massimo Oddo look laughable at times down the left while Emmanuel Eboue was just as difficult to contain on the right.

And then there was Emmanuel Adebayor. For a 4-5-1 to function effectively the ‘1’ has to be absolutely on top of his game and Adebayor was a monster last night. The likes of Alessandro Nesta and Paolo Maldini never quite worked out how to play him a fortnight ago at The Emirates and they looked even further from knowing at the end of this match. His touch, his creativity and most of all his seemingly endless reserves of energy meant that he was able to put in his best performance of the season in the game that mattered most. Absolutely sensational stuff.

I would love to write a paragraph about every single Arsenal player because they were all that good – even little Theo Walcott when he came off the bench to race past Kakha Kaladze and set up Adebayor with the second goal – but if I did that I would be here all night. This was a team performance and one which has sent as clear a message as could possibly be sent to the rest of Europe that Arsenal have the ability to not only win the Premiership, but win the Champions League as well. Even Carlo Ancelotti agreed with that sentiment after the match.

“They managed the ball better, put a lot of pressure on our midfield and did not allow us to play as we wanted. I think Arsenal have shown they have the qualities to reach the final of the Champions League.”

There is, of course, a long way to go both in this Champions League campaign and also in the Premiership, but this victory will do nothing but good for an Arsenal side that looked to be losing their way slightly over the past couple of weeks. In many ways this game was make or break and if Wenger’s side had failed at the San Siro then it could have had a substantial impact on the team’s morale and motivation going into the final stretch of the season. As it is, they did not, and as a result the players will be more confident of winning the Premiership and even the Champions League then they have been at any other time in the season.

Mathieu Flamini did a tremendous job on Kaka

When I walked into work following this game I was absolutely buzzing. It has not even come close to wearing off yet. I love this team so much and last night’s win was one of the best that I have ever witnessed in the ten or so years that I have been supporting this club. Forget the fact that Arsenal haven’t won anything yet, forget the fact that this is only the second round of the Champions League and forget the fact that this Milan side have struggled to play at their best this season; for Wenger’s side to go to the San Siro and so convincingly outplay the Champions of Europe is something that every Arsenal supporter around the world should cherish for some to come. Enjoy it.

Just one final point. To all those people who were worried about the impact of Arsenal finishing second in the group behind Sevilla tell me; which of the two sides still has a chancing of winning the Champions League?

Thank you Arsenal! Well done boys! Have a bloody good week everyone!

What do you think?

Have your say on Arsenal’s supreme performance against Milan by leaving a comment.


25 thoughts on “Impeccable Arsenal send Europe a message of intent

  1. Spot on mate.. cant agree more..

    Me too am having a mile long smile ever since the match got over. I couldn’t even sleep properly yesterday night after waking till 4am in d morning to watch the match(The match started at 1:15am here in India)..

    The boys did a wonderful job yesterday and I like all other gooners am very proud. Hope they continue this form into the final run of the season.

  2. It should be a massive boost. The closeness of the Premiership means there is no chance that the boys will get cocky but they have proved something to themselves and a lot of other sides that they can win silverware this season.

  3. Great post! The whole team deserved man of the match (Bar Eboue… sorry, I just don’t get him!)

    Its good to be a Gooner this morning!

    Roll on Wigan… its about time we dished out a Premiership hammering!

  4. Great article Fry.
    Last night I was too nervous to go to the pub to watch the game, so I sat at home fearing the worst but watching the best play out in front of me.
    At half time, there was one thought on my mind, regardless of what happens, regardless of whether we win nothing this season, I am so proud of that team.
    By full time my voice was gone from shouting at the TV and I have to say I had the hint of tears in my eyes.
    And what do I think now … well I pity the fans of other teams, we have been lucky enough to watch a wonderful thing develop, like a young child our team has fallen over a few times, but each day we see something new and see a stronger and better team develop. The future is bright, go on you Gunners.

  5. Yes great post! I absolutely enjoyed the game, like I’m sure any of you. And now Van Persie and Rosicky soon back nothing is impossible.

  6. Thanks Pedro, Alan and Toni. Haha Alan never show fear, always go to the pub and be proud. Who cares if we lose it’s all about support. I had tears too, but I get them even if we’re 4-0 against Fulham haha.

  7. Thank You. thats all i can say. Thank you Arsenal for making life as sweet as it is. Every week i look forward to that early rise (or ridiculous all nighter) on Saturday or Sunday or Monday or Wednesday or Thursday for matches played an innocuous times in the night. Since the Eduardo injury i have been visibly affected and being a mad soccer fan i also strap on the laces and play for my state under 17 side (New South Wales). As a left footed forward who looks to Eduardo in his finishing, Adebayor in his strength and manouever. Bendtner in his confidence and Theo in his pace; i was very agitated by the injury and to my own amazement i turned the TV off and went back to sleep (a first in my life-ever) with full knowledge that i simply could not celebrate if a win, cry for a draw or murder for a loss. As it happened it was the draw and after hearing how it happened my anger heightened. However (for me) this morning was one of the greatest moments of my life. My brother is at camp and i texted him saying only ‘2-0…we did it mate’ to the reply of ‘FUCK YEAH MOTHERFUCKER I FUCKING KNEW IT WOOOOOOOOOO’. Simply, Arsenal….Thank you.

  8. “last night’s win was one of the best that I have ever witnessed in the ten or so years…..”

    Believe me, it was one of the best I’ve ever witnessed in 60+ years.

  9. There will be sterner tests to come but if we play like we did last night we’ll be hard to beat.

  10. im still buzzzzing too especially when i see the picture uve posted its just fabulous…. im like having an adrenaline rush just thinking about the game! hahahaa

    off to school now… time to rub it in the faces of the hattters muhahhahaa!!

  11. Tnx Arsenal for making life so sweet. I haven’t gotten over the victory. I never will. All those fantastic play and fabulous players. We are unstoppable and we are going all the way. Arsenal fans in Nigeria are thrilled. The haters have shut up and for once many of them commende our play.

    We are gooners for life.
    We don’t give up.

  12. I had a dream Real beat Barca 5-1 and arsenal fans were very happy. Not to read into dreams, I hope those guys slug it out and one of them to meet us in the final/semi. I hope inter beat liverpool and become our next victims, but as Viera’s luck might befallen Henry, we will have to end Henry’s hopes for a Champion’s league winners medal this season. Pesky-little-ungrateful-to-your-former-captains Arsenal, shame on us(and loving it)

  13. great post! I am so glad that I never missed a minute of that game. Milan had World player of the year Kaka’, the brightest new player to come out of brazil Pato and other greats like Nesta, Maldini and Inzaghi. But even they couldn’t stop the on-going thrust of the gunners. Experience vs. youth and youth came out on top without a doubt. First english team to beat AC at the San Siro, last time arsenal were the first english team to beat sum1 at their ground (Real Madrid) we got to the final. We defo sent out a message to Europe. The player that stood out for me last night was Fabregas! (Actually 3 did – fabregas, flamini and adebayor) the whole team played brilliant and one thing – Eboue cannot shoot! But Fabregas was sublime, hit the crossbar, dominate midfield and Kaka’! great passes, and super goal. It was a historic night. It goes with other nights like : Inter 1 – 5 Arsenal and Real Madrid 0 – 1 Arsenal. WEll DONE! Gunners, bring on wigan, if we can beat Milan at the San Siro, then their is not a lot of team who we cannot beat.

  14. Tom – The draw for the next round will be next Friday. The reason it’s so far away is because Milan and Inter both had to play at the San Siro and they couldn’t have them a day apart because of the quality of the pitch. So Liverpool will play Inter next week and the draw will be the Friday after it.

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