7 March 2012. Arsenal 3 Milan 0. A victory, a defeat

By Tony Attwood

I guess we mostly focus on this site on events from 30 years ago or more, because that is what we are taught history is about.  The past, and the further back in the past, the better.

But this match in 2012 does need to be remembered, not least for the phenomenal support given to the Arsenal team by everyone lucky enough to be in the stadium.

It was one of those games that we all turned up for knowing there was not a chance in the world of Arsenal going through, having lost 4-0 in the first leg.  But by half time the impossible seemed possible, we were 3-0 up in the second leg.  All we had to do was score one more and stop them scoring to get us into extra time.

And maybe even penalties.

Of course it was not to be.   But it was so close.

Laurent Koscielny headed us in front from an Oxlade-Chamberlain  corner after seven minutes.   Tomas Rosicky took advantage of some dodgy defending by Thiago Silva to make it 2-0 after 25 minutes.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain was fouled in the area to allow RVP to score from the spot, and the world turned upside down.

The defiant crowd was now a crowd brimming with expectation, and the Ems has never been livelier or noisier.

Straight from the start of the second half Arsenal went on the attack, but then the set-back.  Alex OC did his hamstring and had to go off.

And then the almost goal.  On the hour, Gervinho’s shot deflected.  It was saved by Abbiati, but bounced away.  RVP ran in and followed up.  Abbiati saved again.   Arsenal started to run out of steam, and as Milan recovered their composure, you could feel the chance of a draw, or even a win, was gone.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic almost scored, Szczesny made great saves from El Shaarawy.   Nocerino shot straight at Szczesny and that was it.

We lost, but what a night.  For once we could say after a defeat, “It was a pleasure to be there.”

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