Arsenal Vs. AC Milan, 2012 UEFA Champions League: Gunners One Goal From Equalizer At Halftime

Arsenal had no chance to turn around a 4-0 deficit heading into the second leg of their Champions League quarterfinal tie with AC Milan. The problem is that nobody told the Gunners that and Milan completely believed it. Arsenal came out firing in the first half of the second leg, scoring three in large part thanks to shambolic Milan defending. The result is a tie that is now very much in the balance at 4-3 on aggregate with 45 minutes to play and a Arsenal side, and their supporters, who now believe that a memorable comeback is actually possible.

It took just seven minutes for Arsenal to strike first and it was the much-maligned Laurent Koscielny who did it. The central defender who has been responsible for several goals against Arsenal got one for his team when he got free on a corner kick and headed home the opening goal.

Before the half-hour mark, the Gunners made things really interesting thanks to a massive mistake from Thiago Silva. Theo Walcott broke down the right and had plenty of time to get a good cross off, but instead he put the ball right at Silva's feet. It should have been an easy clearance, but Milan's standout defender couldn't get the ball away. Instead he put it on the foot of Tomas Rosicky 15 yards from goal and the Arsenal man easily slotted the ball past Christian Abbiati to make it 4-2 on aggregate.

The first two goals may have given the Arsenal supporters hope, but it wasn't until just before halftime that the Emirates went completely delirious. Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ran straight at the Milan defense and into the box. Despite having two defenders there and Oxlade-Chamberlain without anywhere to go, though, they bundled over the winger and the referee pointed to the spot for a penalty. Robin van Persie stepped to the spot and blasted the ball into the netting, bringing Arsenal to within one and the incredible comeback within reach in the final 45 minutes.

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