Italian press criticise AC Milan's performance

View from Italy

The Italian presswere unanimous in their criticism of AC Milan's performance in the 3-0 defeat to Arsenal in the second leg of their last 16 Champions League clash.

Major Italian newspapers said the Rossoneri emerged with a tarnished image from Emirates Stadium last night, despite edging through 4-3 on aggregate.

The Gazzetta dello Sport ran a big headline: "Milan, how fearful," and underlined all the mistakes Massimiliano Allegri's team made during the match.

Corriere dello Sport wrote that the Rossoneri "lived a real nightmare" in London, and were mentally out of the game, whereas Arsenal looked much more gritty in every sector.

Repubblica highlighted the fact that Gunners kept possession well, creating a lot of opportunities with the trio of Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tomas Rosicky and Robin van Persie coming in for plenty of plaudits. Repubblica also highlighted the fact Milan players arrived too relaxed for the match after the 4-0 first leg win in the San Siro and had to thank their goalkeeper Christian Abbiati.

Milan's vice-president and CEO Adriano Galliani admitted: "We suffered too much. I was so scared, after the save of Abbiati from Van Persie, I thought about my heart and I went down to the dressing room. I have not seen the rest of the game."

AC Milan coach Allegri praised Arsenal for their approach to the match and also admitted his own players have been too cautious. "They played a good first half, we were nervous".

Barbara Berlusconi, Milan president Silvio Berlusconi’s daughter and Alexandre Pato's girlfriend, said the tension at Emirates was "terrible."

The overall feeling in Italy is that Milan were lucky and they showed all their limits in London. The Champions League road is now uphill for the Rossoneri according to the Italian press, whilst Arsenal can be proud of last night's performance despite exiting the competition.