Daily Archives: February 16, 2012

Milan 4-0 Arsenal: Milan make their strength count and win comfortably

“Milan thrashed Arsenal in an amazingly dominant performance. Max Allegri went for the usual diamond in midfield. Clarence Seedorf started on the left but went off injured quickly, and was replaced by Urby Emanuelson. Philippe Mexes started at centre-back, rather than Alessandro Nesta. Arsene Wenger picked two natural full-backs, with Kieran Gibbs fit enough to start, but not fit enough to complete the game. Tomas Rosicky was a surprising choice on the left of midfield.” Zonal Marking

Arsenal’s Champions League hopes shattered as Robinho scores twice for AC Milan
“Good players have not been properly replaced. Mikel Arteta for Cesc Fabregas? Not good enough. Wenger’s failure to invest properly last summer finally caught up with his team on Wednesday night. This was men against boys, heavyweights battering lightweights, a ruthless Serie A side ripping apart naive, nervous visitors from the Premier League. Arsenal were outpaced, out-thought and out-fought. There was no leadership, no energy, no boldness.” Telegraph – Henry Winter

Zlatan Ibrahimovic inspires Milan to the perfect game
“If there was a football equivalent of a “perfect game” then AC Milan might have executed it. Unlike baseball though, it’d be qualitative because Milan didn’t overwhelmingly dominate in any of the main statistics – except shots – but their game-plan went perfectly according to plan to emphatically defeat Arsenal 4-0 in the 1st leg of the Champions League knock-out stage.” The Arsenal Column

Sánchez and Messi put Barcelona in control

“Alexis Sánchez scored twice as holders FC Barcelona took a giant step towards a place in the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals with victory at Bayer 04 Leverkusen. Though they spent much of the opening period trying in vain to prise open their obdurate hosts, Josep Guardiola’s men went in at half-time ahead courtesy of Alexis Sánchez’s 41st-minute strike, his maiden goal in UEFA club competition. The Chilean international doubled his team’s tally ten minutes after the restart, nipping in the bud a Leverkusen rally sparked by Michal Kadlec’s 52nd-minute header. Lionel Messi’s seventh of the competition late on left Barcelona in control going into the second leg on 7 March.” UEFA (Video)

Nine points on Zenit 3-2 Benfica

“An eventful match with lots of attacking and rather too many goalkeeping mistakes. 1. Zenit are now without Danny after his sad injury. He was their technical leader, brilliant on the counter-attack and wonderfully creative. Zenit are predominantly a counter-attacking side – their approach in Europe this year has been to sit back, soak up pressure and then hit sides on the break. Here, however, they were much more proactive without the ball – the front players closed down, the fluid midfield triangle tried to press Benfica’s holders quickly. It created an open game, but Zenit allowed Benfica far too many opportunities to counter. …” Zonal Marking