Arsenal’s Champions League dreams were shattered by a humiliating 4-0 defeat to AC Milan in the first leg of their last 16 clash at the San Siro.
Kevin-Prince Boateng fired the Italians ahead on 15 minutes with a sublime strike, before two goals by former Manchester City frontman Robinho and a penalty from the impressive Zlatan Ibrahimovic put the tie beyond the Gunners.
Arsenal never really settled and were punished for some careless possession – and not even the introduction of former captain Thierry Henry in the final game of his loan spell from New York Red Bulls could spark a fairytale comeback.
The heaviest European away defeat for Arsenal will be a bitter pill to swallow, but Arsene Wenger must lift his squad again for what is now a crucial FA Cup fifth-round tie at Sunderland on Saturday ahead of the Premier League derby with Tottenham – when the Gunners will look to keep alive hopes of qualifying again for the Champions League with a top-four finish.
Milan had not won any of their previous seven matches against English clubs, knocked out of the Champions League at this stage by Tottenham last season.