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Last Updated: Wednesday, 20 February 2008, 21:39 GMT
Arsenal 0-0 AC Milan
By Mandeep Sanghera

Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor misses a glorious late chance as he heads against the crossbar in the 0-0 draw with AC Milan
Adebayor (centre) heads against the crossbar late on
Arsenal's Emmanuel Adebayor missed a glorious late chance to win his side's goalless Champions League last-16 first-leg tie against AC Milan.

Adebayor's point-blank header struck the crossbar in injury-time after the Gunners had dominated the second half.

Emmanuel Eboue dragged a shot wide and Nicklas Bendtner fired high from eight yards in earlier chances for Arsenal.

Milan's best chance came in a tight first half when Paolo Maldini's header was palmed away by keeper Jens Lehmann.

Arsene Wenger's side had been aware of the task facing them ahead of the tie against the Champions League holders and they suffered a setback early on.

Milan's teenage prodigy Alexandre Pato flicked a ball over Fabregas and struck a sweet volley which was blocked by Kolo Toure.

The Gunners centre-back was forced off injured and, while the home side were a man down from a corner, Maldini had a near post header palmed to safety by keeper Lehmann.


Philippe Senderos came on for Toure before Lehmann launched a huge throw for Adebayor.

The striker controlled the ball as he surged towards the Milan goal but was tackled before he could get his shot away.

Arsenal's hunger to further confirm proof of their emerging talents against the experience of the Italian side was clear to see.

But the wily Milan quelled the threat of their youthful rivals with the type of strength in defence and positional nous which is the hallmark of quality Serie A sides.

The match was absorbing rather than thrilling but a rare chance did present itself to Mathieu Flamini only for the midfielder to shoot straight at keeper Zeljko Zalac.

Arsenal defender Kolo Toure went off with a calf injury against AC Milan
Toure went off early on with a calf problem for Arsenal

Adebayor had the opportunity to give the match a different complexion late in the opening half but overplayed a pass that would have given Fabregas a clean sight of goal.

At the start of the second half, Milan centre-back Alessandro Nesta was forced off injured and, similarly to Arsenal when Toure went off, they almost conceded in the process of substituting him.

A corner was put wide of his own goal by Milan defender Kakha Kaladze as Arsenal took a grip of the game and created a flurry of chances.

Adebayor slotted in but was ruled offside before Alexander Hleb pulled a ball back for Eboue, who dragged his shot wide.

Milan were rocked on to their heels and keeper Kalac had to gather at the feet of Adebayor as he tried to poke a shot in after a pass by the increasingly influential Fabregas.

Eduardo fired a shot just over but Milan survived their scares as they hoped to produce the quality they are famed for to break away and score.

Fabregas and Adebayor struck two long-range shots well but straight at keeper Kalac, while Bendtner had a sight of goal late on but sent his left-foot shot well high from eight yards.

The game looked set for a draw but Arsenal had a gilt-edged chance to win it when Theo Walcott crossed for Adebayor, who nodded against the woodwork when he should have done better.

Arsenal: Lehmann, Sagna, Toure (Senderos 7), Gallas, Clichy, Eboue (Walcott 89), Flamini, Fabregas, Hleb, Adebayor, Eduardo (Bendtner 74).
Subs Not Used: Fabianski, Denilson, Silva, Justin Hoyte.

Booked: Senderos, Eboue.

AC Milan: Kalac, Oddo, Nesta (Jankulovski 50), Maldini, Kaladze, Pirlo, Gattuso, Kaka, Seedorf (Emerson 86), Ambrosini, Alexandre Pato (Gilardino 77).
Subs Not Used: Fiori, Inzaghi, Bonera, Brocchi.

Booked: Alexandre Pato.

Att: 60,082

Ref: Claus Bo Larsen (Denmark).

BBC Sport Player Rater man of the match: Arsenal's Cesc Fabregas on 7.73 (on 90 minutes).

  • Please note that you can still give the players marks out of 10 on BBC Sport's Player Rater after the match has finished.

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