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The Guardian / Sports

Milan v Arsenal: Europa League last-16 first leg – as it happened

Henrikh Mkhitaryan and Aaron Ramsey scored to cap a strong display by Arsène Wneger’s men


11.22pm GMT23:22

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8.00pm GMT20:00

Full-time: Milan 0-2 Arsenal

A thoroughly satisfying victory for Arsenal. This was a fine way to break out of that downward spiral, a commanding away performance, albeit against a sadly feeble Milan side. There was no sign of low confidence or a lack of fight from Wenger’s team, and they attacked with encouraging slickness in the first half and managed the game well in the second. That happy ending is still on for Wenger!

Updatedat 8.00pm GMT

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7.56pm GMT19:56

90 min: There will be at least five more minutes. Xhaka decides to try for a third goal, and receives a bollocking from Wenger when his 30-yard shot balloons way over the bar.

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7.53pm GMT19:53

89 min: There will be no last hurrah from this Milan side and, most likely, no comeback in the second leg: they are pale ghosts of their previous teams and Arsenal, even at a low ebb, are much better than them. AC/DC would have put up a harder fight than them.

Updatedat 7.55pm GMT

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7.50pm GMT19:50

87 min: Arsenal’s final substitution sees Elneny replace Chambers.

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7.50pm GMT19:50

86 min: Ramsey chases a long ball into the right-hand channel and then recycles it. Arsenal resume knocking the ball about well, much to the consternation of their hosts.

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7.49pm GMT19:49

85 min: Perhaps not the best time to draw your attention to this but orders are orders and, you know, form is temporary.

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7.46pm GMT19:46

83 min: Silva and Kalinic combine to open up Arsenal! But Ospina hurtles off his line to clear before Kalinic could get a decisive touch.

David Ospina rushes out to deny Milan’s Nikola Kalinic. Photograph: Alberto Lingria/Reuters

Updatedat 7.59pm GMT

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7.45pm GMT19:45

82 min: Welbeck chest the ball back to Wilshere with Fellaini-esque panache. Arsenal being a spell of keep-ball, irritating the hosts no end. bumper San Siro crowd have been brought down to earth with a bump

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7.43pm GMT19:43

80 min: Holding’s first touch is an important block on a shot from Bonaventura. An inspired substitution!

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7.42pm GMT19:42

Arsenal substitution: Ozil trudges off, on comes Rob Holding. That’s what you call a like-for-like replacement.

Updatedat 7.44pm GMT

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7.42pm GMT19:42

79 min: Milan’s last resort is to throw on Fabio Borini for Calabria.

Updatedat 7.57pm GMT

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7.41pm GMT19:41

78 min: Suso shanks a wild shot wide from 16 yards.

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7.40pm GMT19:40

77 min: The man on the TV has jsut reminded us that Arsenal have lost their last six home European knockout matches, their last win coming in 201.

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7.39pm GMT19:39

74 min: In a sense this second half could be considered as encouraging for Arsenal as the first was. They have demonstrated a game-management ability for which they are not renowned. Just goes to show, it’s never too late to learn.

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7.37pm GMT19:37

73 min: Ramsey sneaks up on Kessie and dispossesses him from behind. That gives Arsenal a chance to launch a counter-attack: it’s been a while since they threatened to extend their lead. But this move comes to nothing.

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7.35pm GMT19:35

71 min: Bonaventura slips as the takes the freekick, dabbing it into the wall.

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7.34pm GMT19:34

70 min: Koscielny does well to clear a cross from the left. In the ensuing scramble for the ball, Ramsey is booked for showing his studs as he wins it. A real stickler this ref. Milan have a free-kick about 26 yards out, quite central.

Laurent Koscielny heads clear again. Photograph: Alberto Lingria/Reuters

Updatedat 7.50pm GMT

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7.32pm GMT19:32

69 min: Milan make another change, replacing their striker Cutrone with Andre Silva.

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7.31pm GMT19:31

68 min: The corner is cleared as far as Rodriguez at the edge of the box. He mishits his volley, and the ball trickles wide.

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7.30pm GMT19:30

67 min: Suso skedaddles into the Arsenal box. But Maintland-Niles follows him all the way and deflects his cross behind f

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7.27pm GMT19:27

64 min: Strong defending by Mustafi. He tracked the run of Kalinic and then muscled the striker off the ball in the box before drawing a foul.

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7.25pm GMT19:25

63 min: Milan also make a change, replacing Calhanoglu with Kalinic.

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7.24pm GMT19:24

63 min: Kolasinac seems to have picked up an injury. He hobbles off and is replaced by Maitland-Niles.

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7.23pm GMT19:23

63 min: After Koscielny gets a vital touch to a cross to put the ball behind for a corner, Suso sends over a decent setpiece. Mustafi heads it away.

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7.23pm GMT19:23

61 min: Kolasinac booked for handball after the ball bounces up and catches him on the arm near half-way. Don’t see how that can be deemed deliberate.

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7.22pm GMT19:22

60 min: Bonaventura jinks in from the left wing and bangs off a shot from 25 yards. High and wide.

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7.21pm GMT19:21

58 min: Kessie robs Wilshere in midfield. but Wilshere sprints back to win the ball

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7.19pm GMT19:19

56 min: Arsenal are less adventurous than they were in the first half because (a) they realise there’s no need to take risks in search of another goal and (b) Milan are improving somewhat. A shot by Cutrone from 20 yards is deflected over.

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7.17pm GMT19:17

“Hello from a Liverpool supporter,” greets Michael Cosgrove. “I’m sooooooo pleased for Wenger! A thoroughly decent man, he has given so much of himself to Arsenal over the years and it would be churlish not to wish him a happy end to the season, whatever happens after that.” He has indeed given a lot to Arsenal. And Arsenal have given a lot to him. And yes, a happy ending would be lovely.

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7.15pm GMT19:15

51 min: Bonucci sweeps a pass wide to Calabria. The right-back sends a good low cross to Bonaventura, who hits it first time from 16 yards. But he was leaning back and skies the shot way over the bar.

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7.13pm GMT19:13

49 min: Wilshere plays a slack pass in the centre circle ... and then Kessie inexplicably swings at the ball and sends it looping way backwards over his own defence. Welbeck dashes towards it as it bounces in the box. Donnarumma charges off his line and meets it with a flying punch ... but he sends it straight at Welbeck, and the ball rebounds off the striker and lands just wide of the post! What a farcical goal that nearly was!

The ball rebounds off Danny Welbeck but lands just wide. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Updatedat 7.24pm GMT

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7.11pm GMT19:11

47 min: Xhaka gets a telling off from the ref for speaking angrily to Kessie, who had tried to hurry him into giving back the ball so that Milan could take a throw-in. Xhaka facial expression suggests he is puzzled as to why the ref felt the need to get involved.

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7.08pm GMT19:08

46 min: Off we go again

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7.07pm GMT19:07

Trust me, you have nothing better to do during the break than read Scott Murray’s wonderful account of the theft of the World Cup in 1966.

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6.57pm GMT18:57

“Wenger in!” hurrahs Mike Wilner and, er, countless others.

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6.54pm GMT18:54

Half-time: Milan 0-2 Arsenal

Everything’s hunky-dory so far for Arsenal. They’re proven themselves to be the better team in what has been an entertainingly open game so far. Perhaps a little too open if you want to carp, but Arsenal look more likely to score a few more rather than let this lead slip. ’sd.

Updatedat 6.58pm GMT

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6.52pm GMT18:52

45+4 min: If you like counting assists, mark another one down for Ozil! HE dissected the home defence with a low pass to Ramsey, who found himself face-to-face with the keeper, whom he promptly put on his arse. The Welshman then rolled the ball into the empty net.

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6.51pm GMT18:51

GOAL! Milan 0-2 Arsenal (Ramsey 45+4)

A lovely goal and the ideal way for Arsenal to answer their critics!

Aaron Ramsey rounds goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma to score te second. Photograph: Catherine Ivill/Getty Images

Updatedat 7.06pm GMT

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6.49pm GMT18:49

45+1 min: Another sweeping Arsenal break finishes with Welbeck playing a cute ball through to Mkhitaryan, who chops back on to his right foot and lets fire just as he did for his earlier goal. But this time his shot shaves the top of the crossbar and flies over!

Henrikh Mkhitaryan shaves the top of the bar with this effort. Photograph: Luca Bruno/AP

Updatedat 7.04pm GMT

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6.47pm GMT18:47

44 min: Calhanoglu curls in a corner from the left. Ospina makes a lame effort to catch it, and Bonucci just fails to connect with a clean header, glancing it wide from five yards! How annoying that would have been for Wenger, whose team have looked much more likely to score a second rather than concede.

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6.45pm GMT18:45

43 min: Arsenal come again! Mkhitaryan slips a pass through to Welbeck, who sprints down the left and into the box, then shapes to curl a low shot into the far corner, Thierry Henry-style. But his shot goes straight at the keeper.

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6.43pm GMT18:43

42 min: Mkhitaryan zips forward and feeds Welbeck, who lays it back to Chambers to have a go from 20 yards. It’s well hit and forces an awkward save from Donnarumma!

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