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Full Credit to Arsenal

The title of this post says it all.

I’ve criticized Arsenal and manager Arsene Wenger a lot recently, although there was every reason for me to do so.

Today, there’s nothing for me to do but salute the Gunners’ performance in Milan, as they beat the hosts 2-0 and advanced to the Champions League quarterfinals. This was a match that Arsenal had the better of from start to finish and while the final scoreline may be a bit flattering, there is no doubt that Arsenal deserved to win. They had more chances and created more going forward than Milan, and it’s as simple as that.

It’s time for me to eat a bit of crow and I will do so. I picked Milan to win this tie and prove that experience was more important than youth, something I still believe regardless of this result but will have to question more when the case arises again.

Great result for Arsenal and as I said, they were the better team on this day.

I would be remiss to not also salute Paolo Maldini, who played his last European match for AC Milan today. Maldini has been a great servant to his club and has played in over 1,000 competitive games for the Rossoneri, which is unheard of today. Along with Franz Beckenbauer, I believe Maldini is the best central defender in international history.

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  1. eye

    March 7, 2008 at 2:28 pm

    Berbatov, Spurs just loss to Birming .. hahahhaha

  2. dragonki2012

    March 5, 2008 at 10:09 am

    Spurs suck, so stfu Berbatov.

  3. Jeff Hash

    March 5, 2008 at 9:19 am

    Michael, I am one to agree with the thought on experience triumphing over youth.

    However, their is also a point of diminishing returns, where experience can not make up for loss of sharpness and endurance. According to the Guardian, the average age of AC Milan last night was over 30. That’s very old for an entire eleven in this game, and it showed. Milan looked exhausted almost the whole way through, and it finally caught up to them at the moment Arsenal is best: the last 10 minutes.

    Arsenal deserves every bit of credit for last night’s win. They took on an opponent that, overall, was probably their equal in a tough away atmosphere and shined. If anything, I think last night showed manager Arsene Wenger at his best: someone who knows how to get the full effort of his team in a big moment.

  4. Paul

    March 5, 2008 at 9:03 am

    Dimi Berbatov “STOP HATING” . The two matches we drew were the result of an own goal and a wrong penalty call! so get it straight son. Anyway i betu were u thought we would not win and now u r here saying this, WHATEVER DUDE! regardless of what u say we made history and u shold know that because a team isnt great in their league it does not mean that they cant be good in a cup competition, ie – liverpool! We were great and beat a team of wonderful experience team – w/o two first team strikers a midfielder and first class defender mind u!


    Be Blessed!

  5. goonerSA

    March 5, 2008 at 2:45 am

    Dont care what neone says ARSENAL r the f##K u dimi berbatov let us enjoy our moment and mayb one day just mayb one day urll can beat milan at the san siro (LOL)

  6. Dimi Berbatov

    March 4, 2008 at 9:58 pm

    OK Hleb lets take apart your argument piece by piece.

    The operative phrase is “last year.” You see last year the aging Milan was a veteran team and this year they have become old.

    AC Milan are struggling with or without Kaka. You might argue they are the Liverpool of Italy, playing well only in Champions League, but I doubt that is a comparison you would be eager to make. (How could any team with the formidable Gerrard be struggling???).

    Also you confuse my argument about Pato. He is supremely talented. Milan still do not know how to play with him against top class competition. As a result, their attack was completely impotent in the final third (and you can’t tell me that is due to the lead footed senderos).

    As for the goals; Fabergas scored from distance on a very speculative (albeit skillful) effort. He is a great player but the goal had nothing to do with Arsenal’s supposed dominance. The other goal came with Milan desperately pressing for two goals in extra time. Finally, the Hleb call should have been a free kick but by no means a penalty (read; he was fouled outside the box and fell into it).

    Oh and I think that the English press are the best source to demonstrate the vast superiority of a victorious English club.

    I guess that it is you who needs to consider silence until you have a cogent argument to make. 😉

  7. Alex Hleb

    March 4, 2008 at 9:16 pm

    dimi berbatov, shut up.

    man u played the same “struggling” team last year and were taken to the cleaners .
    (struggling?-any team that has the formidable kaka, cant be doing too bad for itself)so theyve been in some bad form, but they put the same team up against man u last year, without the talented pato as well.

    our backline stopped Kaka- something ManUer couldnt get done. We played our style of football relentlessly and defeated the reigning champions-always the favorites to win it again. we were the first english team to beat ac milan in the san siro-something liverpool and man u couldnt have done. ronaldo, gerrard, and others were all stopped by their defence last year, while we stamped our authority with 2 goals, if not a 3rd that could have amounted as a result of the missed hleb call.

    we showed that try to discount us and we’ll kick you in the arse.

    a great article by the bbc-

  8. Dimi Berbatov

    March 4, 2008 at 6:41 pm

    Credit to Arsenal. They were the better team on the day. That being said, I don’t think they should get carried away after beating a struggling AC Milan club that are in fifth place in Serie A 18 points off the pace of Inter. I know they were the holders but they seem old and are really in a transitional period as they try to incorporate Pato. Aston Villa and Blackburn are 17 and 20 points of the pace in the PL for point of reference.

  9. eye

    March 4, 2008 at 6:02 pm

    I am sooooooooooo happy for Arsenal. Keep writing us off, you think I care?

    1 point, I urge Arsene to make Diaby run with the ball around Emirates 100 times since he love to do that, and give the rest of the squad a day off. lol

  10. mikey

    March 4, 2008 at 5:26 pm

    Bandwagon! Yeah this is exactly what some so-called arsenal fans did. Always ready to criticise the team, leaving the stadium before end of game, questioning people’s ability like adebayor and so on.
    Every team and player has blips, we no different, let’s support the team when things going against us and dont just come gloating after games like today’s. I’m sick and tired of it.
    Oh did you notice how the fa rescinded lampard’s red. F****ING JOKE!

  11. jm

    March 4, 2008 at 5:25 pm

    I absolutely cannot wait to see this match. Unfortunately I was teaching a class during it, and had to miss the whole thing.

    As soon as my office hours are over, I’m heading right home to find a replay! Great job Arsenal!!

  12. Alex Hleb

    March 4, 2008 at 5:20 pm

    i want barca or united.

    hey isnt that karma? 90th minuted walcott on the right with the ball, passes to ade . well he missed it first leg, but its redemption tonight.

    give us any team right now. we’ve got karma on our side now.

  13. LazyB

    March 4, 2008 at 5:15 pm

    It appears the San Siro is a happy hunting ground for the Gunners, Inter and AC both dispatched there now.

    Hoping we dont get United in the next round, I think Arsenal’s game is better suited to Italian/Spanish teams who tend to back off and give them the space to play.

  14. Jakarta Gooners

    March 4, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    First English team win at Milan home yeah… They deserved that!

  15. Paul

    March 4, 2008 at 5:10 pm

    What exactly were ur reasons to criticize Wenger. If based on the past couple of weeks it is no mare than joining in the ant arsenal band wagon to me.

    Anyway Arsenal were resilient and it is so sweet after everyone was saying that we were self detsructing! even Arsenal fans were talking rubbish and did not realize that the cup defeats were somewhat by design. Less the own goal and bogus penalty we would not even be saying this silly stuff.

    I knew it and the players proved it. History was made and believe this is the team to go all the way.

    God Bless!

  16. kenyan gunner

    March 4, 2008 at 5:05 pm

    i want the english media to still count us off. i dont want any accolades from the english media. damn it i hate english media

  17. marching on

    March 4, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    what a great game,Hleb was awesome again as was senderos and gallas, time to restart th season

  18. LaGunnerz

    March 4, 2008 at 5:01 pm

    When it matter, Arsenal pull it off…..No other english team can match Arsenal’s Heart….Its the start of the Gunner Dynasty Ladies & Gents..hope on the bandwagon while u can!!!!!

  19. Cesc

    March 4, 2008 at 5:00 pm

    The Arsenal boys were superb all the time tonight. Fully deserved the goals. Certainly Maldini deserves all the credit.

  20. Alex Hleb

    March 4, 2008 at 4:51 pm

    the champions! we’re going on! what a game. what a goal. what a win. 2-0, should have been 3 with the hleb call. amazing. best result we could have hoped for. 2-0 on aggregate. 1st english club to win at san siro. not liverpool, not man united, no. but we did it. counted us out. we pulled through. great fighting spirit. great heart. we did it.!

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