Arsenal exits after near miracle

[WORLD VIEW] You have to give credit to Arsenal after its 4-0 loss to AC Milan. Arsene Wenger's boys could have crumbled, but they've gone from strength to strength since the embarrassing defeat at the San Siro and 2-0 defeat to Sunderland in the FA Cup. Wins over Tottenham (5-2) and Liverpool (2-1) set up the return match with AC Milan three weeks later. A 3-0 lead at the half had Gunner fans thinking miracles. Too bad, then, the second half wasn't like the first.

Arsenal got goals from Laurent Koscielny, Tomas Rosicky and Robin Van Persie (from the penalty spot) but after halftime never looked like evening the series.

Van Persie has put away just about everything for Arsenal -- 32 goals in 37 games -- but he was stopped by Milan keeper Christian Abbiati from close range on the Gunners' best chance to make it 4-4 on aggregate after the break.

"I felt he wanted to chip the keeper," said Wenger, "because he was down but Abbiati got up very quickly. He reacted well and unfortunately we couldn't score. I hoped in the last 10-15 minutes we could create some danger in front of goal but it didn't happen.''

Wenger said Arsenal paid the price for its poor game in Milan.

''They can only be proud of their performance,'' Wenger told Sky Sports 2 Tuesday night. ''The team has fantastic spirit and showed some fight after the first tie, but unfortunately we go out. We had the chances for a goal, but we keep our winning run going which is important. We have paid the price for a bad first game. But we have given everything. That is all you can do at the top level: give everything and then you can accept the result.''

Benfica won Tuesday's other game, 2-0, in Lisbon to advance 4-3 on aggregate against Zenit St. Petersburg.

1 comment about "Arsenal exits after near miracle".
  1. Andres Yturralde, March 7, 2012 at 2:58 p.m.

    It was there for the taking, but Arsenal just didn't believe it enough during the second half. At least not as much as they did believe it during the first half. Overall, though, it was a good push.

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