Good morning Positives,
A livelier spring in the step this morning as we emerge from the footballing fog of the past fortnight.
What a good performance and an even better result in Milan last night. We put together what I’d say is the best team performance this season. Against good quality opponents who were in form and in front of 70,000 Milanese our 11 players worked tirelessly over the 99 minutes of the game to fashion the deserved win. I do not think it was our best football performance this season, as we have purer, crisper Wengerball at other places sinceAugust, but last night every player worked for the collective, the sum of the parts added up to more than the 11 components.
Particular praise to Granit, Aaron and Jack across the middle who were creatively tidy with the ball, and bloodhounds when Milan had it. Mustafi has endured a storm of criticism over the past fortnight but was excellent last night. Man of the match though for me was Danny Welbeck. I admit in the opening few minutes I was a bit “FFSDanny” as he skated about but he raced about all night and provided an out-ball to stop us being constantly confined in our half. Toward the end of the game he still looked fresh and for a player who has played so little football his fitness was credit to him and to the backroom gurus who have brought him back. With Laca still a bit short Danny will have another busy Thursday next week.
The only slight cloud on the horizon was Sead and Callum’s injuries. Our Bosnian had a first half tormenting the home side so his departure was disappointing. Hopefully both players will be swiftly restored but you never ‘know’ with injuries.
Of our RossoNeri opponents I doubt this tie is all over. Milan tried stuff and it either ran into the AFC defensive brick wall or it did not come off. They will be disappointed not to have got at least one goal. Suso’s a handful, I like him. Milan still think they are in it and will come to the Ems with the early goal in mind.
Both sides played a fair game last night and congratulations to Calhanoglu for not chucking himself at Ospina to win a penalty. Were you watching ‘ArryKane ? For referee Turpin an easy game to control and he responded by allowing the game to flow and whipping out only one card.
Before starting this morning I picked up a ticket for the second leg – lower tier North Bank £18.50. You won’t hear about that ticket price in the media or from AST.