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Resilient Rossoneri frustrate Arsenal

Published: Thursday 21 February 2008, 0.55CET
Arsenal FC 0-0 AC Milan
The UEFA Champions League holders remain on course to defend their crown after securing a London shutout.
by Michael Harrold
from Arsenal Stadium
Resilient Rossoneri frustrate Arsenal
Eduardo da Silva struggles to shake off the attentions of Massimo Oddo and Gennaro Gattuso ©Getty Images

Match statistics

ArsenalMilan

Goals scored0
 
0
Attempts on target7
 
2
Attempts off target6
 
4
Corners9
 
2
Offsides3
 
4
Fouls committed14
 
14
Yellow cards2
 
1
Red cards0
 
0

Standings

Matches

19 February 2008

Schalke
1-0
Porto
Liverpool
2-0
Internazionale
Roma
2-1
Real Madrid
Olympiacos
0-0
Chelsea

20 February 2008

Celtic
2-3
Barcelona
Lyon
1-1
Man. United
Arsenal
0-0
Milan
Fenerbahçe
3-2
Sevilla
 
Published: Thursday 21 February 2008, 0.55CET

Resilient Rossoneri frustrate Arsenal

Arsenal FC 0-0 AC Milan
The UEFA Champions League holders remain on course to defend their crown after securing a London shutout.

Arsenal FC and AC Milan will move on to the San Siro with this UEFA Champions League tie evenly balanced after an absorbing encounter in north London ended goalless.

Kalac class
Gunners manager Arsène Wenger had called the first knockout round tie the "ultimate test" for his young side and they proved worthy of the challenge as they pressed the European champions back for long stages. A faultless display from Zeljko Kalac in the Milan goal, though, kept the English Premier League leaders at bay – even if he was grateful to the woodwork when Emmanuel Adebayor headed against the crossbar from point-blank range in the closing seconds.

Young and old
The emergence of Pato has given Milan's season fresh impetus and he was quickly involved on his return from injury here. Kolo Touré was forced off on seven minutes after blocking the 18-year-old's powerful shot and from the resulting corner, Rossoneri old boy Jens Lehmann spectacularly tipped away Paolo Maldini's header. At 38 and 39 respectively, two of the game's old guard were showing they still have plenty to offer.

Happy homecoming
Even with Touré making way for Philippe Senderos, Arsenal were unfazed. Wenger had urged them to play with the "handbrake off" and they purred seamlessly through the gears early on, Saturday's defeat at Manchester United FC long forgotten. Despite plenty of possession, chances were few, with the front line in midfield where Gennaro Gattuso and Andrea Pirlo kept Cesc Fabregas in check. When the 20-year-old did release Adebayor the prolific forward shot over, although Kalac – recovered from a dislocated finger – was finally called into action on 36 minutes to smother Mathieu Flamini's low drive.

Senderos praise
Having successfully subdued Kaká for much of the opening period, Flamini was beginning to push forward himself and he drew another save from Kalac with a low cross after twisting free of Pirlo just before the break. Prior to that the biggest cheers had been for Senderos, first for diligently blocking the electrifying Pato as he burst into the box, then for a crunching tackle on Kaká.

Defensive switch
Like Arsenal at the start of the first half, Milan had to reshuffle their rearguard five minutes into the second when Alessandro Nesta picked up a knock. On came Marek Jankulovski but, before Milan could regroup, Kakha Kaladze almost headed into his own goal from a corner. Tails up, Arsenal came close again soon after when Emmanuel Eboué curled an attempt centimetres wide. The hosts were finding their fluency and had the ball in the net on 54 minutes only for Adebayor's effort to be ruled offside.

Fabregas denied
The title-holders were being pinned back, struggling to escape the confines of their own half, with Kaká and Pato isolated up front. Even so, they remained a danger. Kaká shot wide on 69 minutes, then Pato sent Arsenal hearts racing as the ball bobbled dangerously in their area. The Rossoneri's hero of the night, though, was at the other end. Kalac has dislodged Dida as Milan's No1 and it was clear to see why as he dived low to block Fabregas's drive with 15 minutes left, then repeated the feat as Milan went unpunished – with a little help from the crossbar.

Last updated: 21/02/08 10.14CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2008/matches/round=15106/match=301892/postmatch/report/index.html#resilient+rossoneri+frustrate+arsenal

Lineups

arsenal

Arsenal

milan

Milan

1
LehmannJens Lehmann (GK)
16
KalacZeljko Kalac (GK)
3
SagnaBacary Sagna
3
MaldiniPaolo Maldini (C)
4
FàbregasCesc Fàbregas
4
KaladzeKakha Kaladze
5
K. TouréKolo Touré
Substitution7
7
PatoPato
Yellow Card33
Substitution77
9
EduardoEduardo
Substitution74
8
GattusoGennaro Gattuso
10
GallasWilliam Gallas (C)
10
SeedorfClarence Seedorf
Substitution86
13
HlebAleksandr Hleb
13
NestaAlessandro Nesta
Substitution50
16
FlaminiMathieu Flamini
21
PirloAndrea Pirlo
22
ClichyGaël Clichy
22
KakáKaká
25
AdebayorEmmanuel Adebayor
23
AmbrosiniMassimo Ambrosini
27
EbouéEmmanuel Eboué
Yellow Card81
Substitution90
44
OddoMassimo Oddo

Substitutes

21
FabiańskiŁukasz Fabiański (GK)
29
FioriValerio Fiori (GK)
6
SenderosPhilippe Senderos
Substitution7
Yellow Card70
5
EmersonEmerson
Substitution86
15
DenilsonDenilson
9
F. InzaghiFilippo Inzaghi
19
Gilberto SilvaGilberto Silva
11
GilardinoAlberto Gilardino
Substitution77
26
BendtnerNicklas Bendtner
Substitution74
18
JankulovskiMarek Jankulovski
Substitution50
31
HoyteJustin Hoyte
25
BoneraDaniele Bonera
32
WalcottTheo Walcott
Substitution90
32
BrocchiCristian Brocchi

Coach

Arsène Wenger (FRA) Carlo Ancelotti (ITA)

Referee

Claus Bo Larsen (DEN)

Assistant referees

Bill René Hansen (DEN), Henrik Sønderby (DEN)

Fourth official

Peter Rasmussen (DEN)

Legend:

  • GoalsGoals
  • Own goalOwn goal
  • PenaltiesPenalties
  • Missed PenaltiesMissed Penalties
  • reds_cardRed Cards
  • yellow_cardsYellow cards
  • yellow_red_cardsYellow/red card
  • SubstitutionSubstitution
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