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AC Milan 0-2 Arsenal: Gunners return to winning ways - FCNaija

Europa League By: Linus Onyeze | 08/03/2018

Arsenal put a halt to a four-game losing streak and they beat AC Milan 2-0 at the San Siro Stadium in a Europa League clash on Thursday night.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave the Gunners the lead in the 15th minute before Aaron Ramsey sealed the win with a strike in first-half stoppage time.

Ten years after becoming the first English team to beat AC Milan in the San Siro, Arsenal repeated the trick with a performance packed full of heart and desire.

The result - secured after first-half goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey - gives Arsenal a big advantage heading into next week's second leg and will be a huge fillip to Arsene Wenger and his players.


So much had been said, so much had been questioned about the team in the build-up to this game - a do-or-die clash against opponents unbeaten in 13 beforehand.

After weathering an early storm from the hosts - a 15-minute period in which they went close through Giacome Bonaventura and had a penalty appeal waved away - Arsenal soon had their answer.

Henrikh Mkhitaryan won this competition last season, and he made another big contribution here as he gave Wenger's men the lead with a goal that silenced the San Siro.

Mesut Ozil deserves huge credit for his role in the goal as he found his team-mate with a gorgeous, eye-of-the-needle pass. Mkhitaryan, collecting it to the left of the area, cut back inside and rifled his shot high into the roof of the net.

It was his seventh goal in his past 12 Europa League matches and he looked a constant threat in attack, playing a key role in the next big chance that fell to Calum Chambers, whose firm left-footed effort was saved by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

Arsenal had a flurry of chances just before the interval, with Danny Welbeck seeing a shot saved and Mkhitaryan curling one against the bar - but finally made it two on the stroke of the whistle.

Ozil - playing a part in his 100th goal in Arsenal colours - was at its heart again, slipping a lovely ball through to Ramsey, who kept his composure to round Donnarumma and slot the ball into the empty net.

The Gunners started the second half with just the same intensity and nearly had their reward with a third as Welbeck raced on to a mis-hit backpass, but the ball struck Donnarumma before rebounding against the striker and squirming just wide.

The visitors were well on top, but Milan reminded them of their threat seconds later when the ball was played into Bonaventura eight yards out, but he put his shot over the bar.

Armed with two away goals, Arsenal can look forward to the second leg against Milan at Emirates Stadium next Thursday with confidence.

The Gunners last hosted the Rossoneri back in 2012, when they beat them 3-0 in north London - but the result was not enough to take them through in the tie as they lost 4-3 on aggregate.