Arsenal are through to the quarter-finals of the Champions Europa League after overcoming a tough tie against AC Milan, running out 5-1 winners on aggregate.
The job was half done in Milan last week, with a 2-0 away win, but when Hakan Calhanoglu scored a screamer 10 minutes before half time, it felt like we might crumble. For all of the latest betting odds on the rest of the competition, please visit bettingtop10.com/ie
Especially given our flaky performances in recent weeks and the utter humiliation suffered by Spurs and Man United in recent weeks in the Champions League knockout rounds, Juventus and Seville knocking them both out in devastating (and hilarious) fashion.
Just after Milan had gone ahead in the game, Danny Welbeck was tripped in the box (according to the 5th official) and duly despatched the awarded spot kick to tie the game and restore our two goal advantage.
A Milan goal would mean they would just/still need one more to go through on away goals and while the goals where flying in over in Lyon, there was to be no Arsenal capitulation this time around. David Ospina deserves a mention after some excellent goalkeeping, one fine save pushing the ball over the bar, definitely one for the cameras, but a good save none the less.
Granit Xhaka scored our second, thanks to some disastrous keeping from the Milan number 99 (wait, what?), and Danny Welbeck got his second and our third with just 3 minutes left.
He searched in vain for his hat-trick, but it just wouldn’t come, however a good result against tough opposition saw us safely through.
The result means we are now in the hat for todays Champions Europa League Quarter Finals, where there’s not too many teams we need to fear. Diego Costa and his Atletico Madrid side are favourites for the trophy, but who knows, if we can avoid them in the draw and meet them in the final, who knows – Per and Chambers at the back will know what to do.
Another great result, all a little late in the season to make it a meaningful one, but Lyon and the final beckons, just the Quarters and Semis to go. This competition is also our only chance of getting into the Champions League next year, only a win will do that though as we are far too far off the pace in the league to secure a top four finish, barring a Spurs type disaster for Liverpool or… Spurs.
No more games now until April as the FA Cup means our game with Leicester has to be postponed, then it’s interlull time, so this gives Alexandre Lacazette time to recover from his operation. This should also give Laurent Koscielny time to rest and recover after limping off again last night after just 11 minutes with his recurrent ankle problem.