Arsenal produced a marvelous second leg display to beat AC Milan 3-0 at the Emirates Stadium but ultimately crashed out of the UEFA Champions League after a 4-3 aggregate defeat.
They do say that the only thing predictable in football is its unpredictability. AC Milan would know a lot about that having been involved in some of Europe’s most plot-twisting, ‘did I just see that?’ matches in the last decade.
Liverpool in 2005, Deportivo La Coruna in 2004, Real Madrid in 2009 are just a few of the bouts the seven-time champions have played their part in.
To that list almost can now be added Arsenal in 2012 after the Gunners produced a heroic second leg display to ultimately win the match 3-0 and thus almost overturning a 4-0 first-leg humiliation.
At times it was gripping stuff as viewers the continent over were left hooked to their screens wondering whether or not Arsene Wenger’s men were going to produce the greatest sporting comeback since…well make your own comparison.
Let In The Stands help refresh your memories on a chances-fuelled, edge-of-your-seat night in North London with our fabulous picture special.
Laurent Koscienly got the crowd buzzing early on when he headed home a corner as early as the seventh minute as Arsenal flew out of the blocks.
The ever-improving Thomas Rosicky then double the lead in the 25th minute after he shot beyond Abbiati following Thiago Silva’s poor clearance.
Suddenly a ‘miracle’ seemed likely!
Unbelievable! Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain wins a penalty which Gunners captain Robin Van Persie smashes home gleefully for 3-0.
The half-time whistle sounds with Arsene Wenger’s men needing just two more goals to progress to the quarter-finals.
The tempo of the game begins to drop in the second half – suiting AC Milan who create a few great chances of their own as Van Perise misses a sitter by shooting straight at Abbiati.
The final whistle eventually blows with the match ending 3-0 to the hosts but Milan advancing 4-3 on aggregate following their 4-0 first-leg win at the San Siro a fortnight earlier.
That long wait for a maiden UEFA Champions League crown continues for Arsenal.