Two goals from Danny Welbeck saw Arsenal go striding into the quarter-finals of the Europa League after finishing off a lacklustre AC Milan side at the Emirates.
The Gunners carried a commanding 2-0 lead over from the first leg in the San Siro, which was subsequently increasing to 5-1 by the end of the second.
After a reasonably comfortable start to the first half, Arsene Wenger’s side were put on edge 10 minutes before the interval when Hakan Calhanoglu drove a low shot past the despairing fingertips of David Ospina from the edge of the area.
However, the anxiety soon dissipated just a few minutes later when Danny Welbeck cheated a penalty out of the seemingly oblivious match officials.
Indeed, the striker lolloped into the area and, in the absence of a better idea, went rag-dolling to the floor despite there being clear daylight between himself and marker Ricardo Rodriguez.
Never the less, referee Jonas Erikssen (a multi-millionaire who has admitted he “referees for fun”) pointed to the spot, with Welbeck miraculously recovering to convert the ensuing chance.
Abysmal, no? Oddly, Milan coach Gennaro Gattuso didn’t appear to be overly phased…
Gattuso on WelbeckL
"He is a striker. He has to do what he does… Even myself, when I was a player, I would try and take advantage of some situations."
— Miguel Delaney (@MiguelDelaney) March 15, 2018
Anyway, with the second half underway and Arsenal back on the front foot, Granit Xhaka restored the home side’s lead on the night in the 71st minute.
The Swiss midfielder’s 20-yard daisy-strimmer caught Gianluigi Donnarumma cold, with Milan’s prodigious teenage goalkeeper deflecting the ball awkwardly into his own net…
With just a few minutes left, Welbeck pounced again to put things beyond doubt when he nodded home a rebound from close range to score his second and Arsenal’s fifth goal of the tie.
As such, the Gunners are into a European quarter-final for the first time in eight years by virtue of winning both legs of a knockout tie for the first time since 2004.
Crisis? What crisis?