AC Milan (The Emirates Stadium, London)
Champions League (Last 16) Second Leg
Tuesday 6th March 2012
Kick Off: 7.45pm
As soon as Arsenal lost 4-0 in Milan, I must have been one of very few who still thought we were still in the tie. We had been completely outplayed by AC Milan, our defending was shambolic and we were never in the game as a contest.
A good, old fashioned battering.
Since then, we’ve comeback from 2-0 down to beat Tottenham 5-2, and “nicked” a result against Liverpool.
And those two games make me even more confident that Arsenal will progress tonight.
In both of those games, we were ultra clinical. We made chances and scored most of them. Against Liverpool and Tottenham, Van Persie was his usual self and scored vital goals at vital times. The man is in the form of his life.
And that’s exactly what we need tonight.
Over 90 minutes Arsenal can create chances against anyone. If Arsenal make some clear cut chances and they fall to Robin Van Persie then who knows?
Arsenal play at their best when they have nothing to lose. You saw it against Tottenham – we were just all out attack.
You can talk about all the deficiencies in the squad, how the team can’t defend, and so on, but the way Arsenal play and Arsene Wenger’s philosophy means that this current Arsenal team, are capable to producing the extraordinary.
People talk about having managers like Mourinho at the helm but no-one other than Arsene Wenger could produce at team that wins 5-3 at Stamford Bridge, or wins 5-2 against Spurs.
When things click, then they really click.
At the same token, this same Arsenal team are capable of losing games 8-2 like they did at Old Trafford. And that’s the point – if we were a team like United, Tottenham or Chelsea then I’d say we’ve got no chance tonight. But this Arsenal team can do the impossible – whether it’s terrible or fantastic.
Tonight, we could lose 5-2, but we could also win 4-0. Anything is possible and I just think Arsenal will be so up for it and with nothing to lose then we have to believe. AC Milan might score twice in the first 10 minutes and kill the tie off but we have a team in a rich vain of form who know that it’s all or nothing tonight.
More important than the result tonight, is the performance of the players. If they play their hearts out, and we narrowly lose on aggregate then I won’t be upset or angry.
As long as Arsene puts out a team that give 110% then that’s all I want.
A bit of brilliance, a deflected goal, a dodgy penalty decision – I couldn’t care less how the goals come. As long as we give it everything that’s all we can ask for tonight.
If Liverpool can come behind from 3 goals down in 45 minutes, then 4 goals is not completely inconceivable. Yes, I’m clutching at straws but you have to believe.
AC Milan are 1/150 to qualify for the next round tonight. Let’s give them something to worry about.
And if you needed any inspiration for tonight, here’s an awesome compilation on RVP, Arsenal’s MVP.