Whether the San Siro's terrible pitch was an accident or an intentional dirty trick, it's worked wonders for the home side so far. The odd pitch that has perfect grass in the center and all kinds of problems on the wings is working out perfectly for Milan, who are controlling the run of play and forcing Arsenal into their game. At halftime, they lead the Gunners 2-0, and that lead is well deserved.
Things actually got off to a terrible start for Milan, when Clarence Seedorf picked up an injury, perhaps contributed to by their terrible pitch. Urby Emmanuelson came on in the 12th minute, and Milan didn't seem phased by the switch at all. Three minutes later, they had their opening goal.
And what an absolute stunner it was. Kevin-Prince Boateng showed exactly what Milan have been missing while he's been out with an injury, putting a stellar volley past Wojciech Szczesny. After the Arsenal keeper gave possession away to Milan with a bad kick, the ball was set to Boateng, who took a brilliant touch off his chest before hitting a volley off the underside of the crossbar from 12 yards out.
Their second goal came in the 38th minute on a great counter attack. Bakary Sagna didn't step up fast enough on a ball over the top to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, who just barely stayed onside as he took off on a run down Milan's left. He made himself space along the byline and hit a cross for Robinho, who nodded it into the back easily. Laurent Koscielny didn't move at all and allowed Robinho to score easily.
Then, to add injury to insult, Koscielny picked up a knock and had to come off just before the stroke of halftime. Johan Djourou was his replacement. There was another scary injury moment in stoppage time, as Luca Antonini and Szczesny had a nasty collision on the edge of the penalty area. It wouldn't be terribly surprising if one or both of them didn't come out o start the second half.
By just about every standard, it's been a poor first half for Arsenal. They can't contain Ibrahimovic, they're not creating quality chances, they're down 2-0 and one of their best players has been injured. Arsene Wenger is going to have to make some serious adjustments in the locker room -- and perhaps give his side a quality hairdryer -- to get the Gunners back into this tie.