AC Milan crashed out of the Europa League on Thursday night after a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal, losing 5-1 on aggregate, but a big moment in the first half at the Emirates changed the tie.
In truth, the Italian giants weren’t good enough in the first leg, particularly in the first half at the San Siro, and that effectively put them in a very difficult position to battle back from.
However, after Hakan Calhanoglu scored a great goal in the first half in London, Danny Welbeck won a contentious penalty and converted from the spot minutes later to put Arsenal back in full control of the tie.
The Turkish international was far from impressed with referee Jonas Eriksson’s decision, and he let him know about it in his post-match interview with the disappointment and frustration of bowing out of the competition still obvious.
“The referee was man of the match. I will never forget that,” he told Milan TV, as quoted by ESPN.
“We played well and it’s not easy to do that here. We scored and then conceded an incredible goal, it’s not normal in the Europa League to see something like that.
“Ricardo Rodriguez didn’t touch him, but for the referee it was a penalty anyway. I was fouled in the first leg and didn’t let myself go like that.”
The Rossoneri were also wasteful in both legs too as they certainly had their chances to make Welbeck’s dive redundant.
However, they weren’t clinical enough and although they can certainly feel hard done by based on the replays of the incident involving the England international, there is little to change the outcome as they’ll have to learn from the experience and improve.
With a battle for a top-four finish in Serie A and a Coppa Italia final to look forward to, Milan and Calhanoglu will undoubtedly have to put this disappointment behind them as quickly as possible and ensure that they still have reason to cheer when the campaign ends.