UEFA Champions League
San Siro, Milan
2:45 P.M. EST
They're two of soccer's most popular clubs, but they're wrestling with their identities at home. So will Europe be a safe haven or a bloody hell for AC Milan and Arsenal when they meet in the Champions League knockout round on Wednesday (2:45 p.m. ET, Fox Soccer)?
Hounded by a shoddy defense and a tight budget, Arsenal has been jostled about by both the press and the club's own supporters this season for their uneven, lurching performances. Yet for all their flaws, the Gunners are fourth in the EPL and are still standing in the Champions League, the latter fact being more than northern foes Man U and Man City can claim.
Milan, meanwhile, is top of Serie A, but only due to having played two more matches than second-place Juventus. Moreover, the defending Italian champs have been criticized for their style of play, with everyone from the club's president to the fans saying the team looks too old and slow to be considered a great side.
Expect both clubs to play with great urgency when meet at the San Siro, for, according to the experts, a European conquest is all they have left at this point.
Scroll Down For All Goals And Full Match Commentary
02/15/2012 4:59 PM EST
VIDEO: Milan 4 - Arsenal 0
From Boateng's beauty to Ibra's pen, here are all four Milan goals from Wednesday's match.
02/15/2012 4:44 PM EST
Little Hope for the Gunners
I'm normally an Arsenal apologist, but the Gunners showed themselves to be exactly what their critics believe them to be: a very poor defensive team that can find its focus drifting at the most alarming moments. Milan will head to North London without much risk of not pushing through to the next round. Arsenal, meanwhile, should simply hope to hold on to some of its dignity and not lose its tenuous grip on their crucial fourth-place spot in the EPL. If they don't make it back to the CL, then it's going to be tough to keep Van Persie at the Emirates.
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02/15/2012 4:41 PM EST
The Final Whistle
And there you have it, Milan wins the first leg in convincing fashion, 4-0, thanks to two goals from Robinho and one each from Ibrahimovic and Boateng.
02/15/2012 4:36 PM EST
Mikel Arteta has done very very little for Arsenal tonight, but Milan's forwards probably deserve a good bit of credit for tracking back nicely and forcing the Gunners to find other means of moving the ball up the pitch. It's rare to see the skilled Spaniard get so few touches over the course of an entire match.
02/15/2012 4:34 PM EST
Milan 4 - Arsenal 0 in the 88th minute.
02/15/2012 4:32 PM EST
Pato on for Robinho
Sorry for missing that one, but Milan goes Brazilian for Brazilian up front. Great job by No. 70 tonight with two goals.
02/15/2012 4:31 PM EST
83' Horrible Rosicky Miss
Rosicky gets a golden opportunity at the top of the box thanks to a botched high clearance that falls perfectly to his right foot. Rosicky winds up and unleashes a shot that perfectly strikes the corner flag. Amazing marksmanship from Arsenal's No. 7.
02/15/2012 4:29 PM EST
Nothing to Play For
@ RWhittall :
Milan will be annoyed playing a mid-season friendly at the Emirates.
02/15/2012 4:27 PM EST
81' Yellow for Ambrosini
Ambrosini collects a yellow card for a late tackle on Arteta. But it matters little; this match is done.
02/15/2012 4:26 PM EST
79' GOAL MILAN
Ibrahimovic calmly drives home his penalty attempt to the right even though Szczesny guessed correctly. It's now 4-0 to Milan. The Gunners are going home with little hope of advancing.