TBT: When trio of Robinho, Zlatan and Prince Boateng tore Arsenal into shreds in 60 minutes

By Robert Nyanja: Thursday, March 8th 2018 at 12:17 GMT +3 | Football
Boateng (L), Robinho (C) and Zlatan (R) scored for AC Milan in the first leg in 2012 [Photo: Courtesy]

UEFA Champions League clash between AC Milan and Arsenal in 2012 was one of the memorable matches in the European competition that year.

The first leg of round of 16 tie was played on Wednesday February 15 at Stadio Giuseppe Meazza in Milan.

AC Milan made a giant leap towards a first UEFA Champions League quarter-final appearance since 2007 after hammering four goals against Arsenal in one of the memorable nights.

The Rossoneri were soon ahead after Kevin-Prince Boateng, returning from a month-long injury, easily turned Arsenal defenders to playing toys and controlled Antonio Nocerino’s pass with his chest before sending a venomous volley in off the bar from a tight angle to give Milan the lead.

Kevin Prince-Boateng scoring a venomous volley in off the bar [Photo: Courtesy]

Arsenal could not match Milan’s drive and energy epitomized by Boateng and Robinho not forgetting the killer passes Ibrahimovic provided time and again including the great run he made to cross the ball for Robinho to head in for Milan’s second goal.

Robinho scored two goals in the first leg [Photo: Courtesy]

Arsenal stared down the barrel after Laurent Koscielny was seen limping off just before the break. His injury left Thomas Varmaelen exposed for Milan’s third goal as the Belgian international unfortunately slipped when Ibrahimovic played in Robinho who turned him inside out before dispatching a low angled shot past Wojciech Szcz?sny's right-hand post.

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Thierry Henry was introduced for his 376th appearance for Arsenal and the French striker almost created an unexpected away goal when he produced a clever flic setting up Robin Van Persie whose shot was pulled off by an excellent Christian Abbiati.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic scored the fourth goal from a penalty [Photo: Courtesy]

Worse followed for Arsenal when Zlatan Ibrahimovic converted a penalty after fouled by Johan Djourou with only 11 minutes to the final whistle.

AC Milan won 4-0 over Arsenal after the final whistle which left the Gunners with an uphill battle to get five goals in the second leg if they were to progress to quarters.

On Tuesday March 6 2012, Arsenal hosted AC Milan at the Emirates for the second leg of the UEFA Champions League round of 16.

Trailing 4-0 after a catastrophic first leg, efforts from Laurent Koscielny , Tomas Rosicky and Robin Van Persie gave the London outfit hope of completing the greatest comeback in the UEFA Champions League era but Milan held on perfectly to advance to quarter-finals for the first time in five years with a 3-4 win on aggregate.

Laurent Koscienly heading Arsenal's first goal in the second leg [Photo: Courtesy]

Wenger fielded an attacking 4-3-3 formation that got off his side to a good start as Laurent Koscielny headed in Oxlade-Chamberlain corner for the first goal for Arsenal after seven minutes of the play.

Rosicky scored a side-footing goal in 26th minute after the Rossoneri defenders failed to clear their lines to leave Arsenal with two goals to level the scores.

Rosicky celebrating after scoring the second goal [Photo: Courtesy]

Arsenal third goal arrived just two minutes before half-time when Chamberlain was brought down by Djamel Mesbah in the box compelling the referee to award the Gunners a penalty which Robin van Persie converted after sending Abbiati the wrong way.

Robin Van Persie converted the penalty to give Arsenal the third goal [Photo: Courtesy]

Arsenal were close to a fourth goal when Abbiati saved Gervinho’s deflected shot before clawing away Van Persie’s follow-up.

Arsenal continued to press harder but Milan seemed less inclined to sit back and defended well until the final whistle to book a spot in the quarters.