Analyzing Milan's historic rout of Arsenal

February, 15, 2012

AC Milan scored twice in each half en route to rolling Arsenal 4-0 at the San Siro on Wednesday, as Robinho posted his first Champions League brace in five years. Here are five notes on the historic rout.

• AC Milan matches its biggest Champions League win, emphatically ending a seven-game winless streak versus English teams. AC Milan had been eliminated in its previous three encounters with English clubs, but that is unlikely now. No team has ever advanced in Champions League after losing the first leg by four goals.

• Arsenal suffers its worst defeat in European competition, topping four previous three-goal losses, most recently at Barcelona two seasons ago. Arsenal also lost by three goals twice in 2000, at Shakhtar Donetsk and at Spartak Moscow. The club's only three-goal European loss at home was to Spartak Moscow in the 1982 UEFA Cup.

• Zlatan Ibrahimovic deservedly converted a 79th-minute penalty to extend his Champions League scoring streak to five games. He was active the entire match, as indicated by being whistled offside five times, matching the single-game season high for any player. Ibrahimovic was offside only a combined six times in his four Group Stage appearances this season.

• From the land of deceptive statistics, Arsenal out-passed AC Milan, both in volume and accuracy, completing 473 of 591 passes (80.0 percent), compared to Milan's 340 of 453 (75.1 percent). Seven different Arsenal players completed more passes than Mark van Bommel, who led Milan with 40. The Gunners' struggles surfaced in the final third of the field, where they completed only 65.0 percent of passes.

• Obviously, Arsenal's quarterfinal hopes are bleak. ESPN's Soccer Power Index gives Arsenal a 1.6 percent chance of advancing. With Chelsea only a slight favorite over Napoli, there is a 43 percent chance that no English club reaches the quarterfinals. That hasn't happened since the 1995-96 season, when only one English team participated in Champions League, and Blackburn was eliminated in the Group Stage.



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