AC Milan yet to recover from Arsenal's shockwaves

Updated: 07 March 2012 22:37 IST

AC Milan were still in shock a day after their 3-0 humbling by Arsenal in the Champions League despite the Londoners' fightback failing to halt the Italians' passage into the quarter-finals.

AC Milan yet to recover from Arsenal's shockwaves

Rome:

AC Milan were still in shock a day after their 3-0 humbling by Arsenal in the Champions League despite the Londoners' fightback failing to halt the Italians' passage into the quarter-finals.

Sweden striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic claimed the performance at the Emirates was not worthy of the seven-time European champions who made the last eight courtesy of their 4-0 win in the first leg of the last 16 tie.

"If you play for a big club like Milan that can't happen," Ibrahimovic told Swedish journalists.

"You can lose in many ways but it's not acceptable to lose the way we did this time. We're Milan and we should be better and more stable than that."

The big striker also said he felt uneasy with the 4-3-3 formation coach Massimiliano Allegri had opted for at kick-off, although he blamed the performance on careless mistakes.

"We tried to calm ourselves down but it wasn't a simple situation. We made too many stupid mistakes, I think we were thinking too much about the big first leg lead.

"We were too cautious and we didn't try to play our match. Throughout the whole period of playing three up top I felt out of position."

Ibrahimovic also admitted that during the game he feared they would lose the tie.

"Arsenal took an early lead and then found the second and third goals, and all this in the first half," he said.

"Then after the break they had many chances to score a fourth or fifth goal but luckily they didn't manage it.

"Every time they attacked I was thinking: 'what happens if they score the fourth?'

"The final whistle was a relief, we need to learn from the mistakes we made."

Chief executive Adriano Galliani said he feared a defeat would have hit their league hopes as well.

"If we had been eliminated it would have had a huge knock-on effect in the championship," he told AC Milan's official TV station.

"It's the 12th time we're in the top eight teams in Europe ... but I think we should always be in the top eight."

Galliani insisted Milan's previous Champions League meltdowns never entered into his thinking.

In 2005 Milan led Liverpool 3-0 at half-time in the Istanbul final before losing on penalties.

And the year before they beat Deportivo La Coruna 4-1 in the quarter-finals first leg at the San Siro before a 4-0 defeat in Galicia saw them sent packing.

"The Istanbul comeback and the one in La Coruna never entered my mind," said Galliani, who praised goalkeeper Christian Abbiati for a miraculous double save to prevent Arsenal scoring a fourth.

"I was thinking about Abbiati's three saves, the one against (Cristian) Bucchi to decide the 1999 title, then the one with his calf to deny (Mohamed) Kallon and Inter in the 2003 Champions League semi-final, and then the one on (Robin) van Persie.

"These three interventions will remain a part of our history."

Topics : Football AC Milan Arsenal Zlatan Ibrahimovic
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