Failure to place basic football components together in the correct order proved a fatal demise of Arsenal in the UEFA Champions League against AC Milan at the San Siro.
The alarmingly slow transition in converting from defence to attack just stuck with the Gunners as their seemingly super glued stunts gifted Milan with generous scoring opportunities.
On numerous occasions, the man on the ball took far too long to release the next player when it attack, allowing the Italians ample time to regroup and shape up.
The average decision-making became increasingly erratic and very much delayed in all departments, especially in midfield. The poor defending principles were obviously encouraging AC Milan and retreating to wrong areas did not help Arsenal’s cause.
Too much spaces in defensive situations and poor take-off by the flat-footed Arsenal defenders resulted in the porous and stagnant shapes between the central defenders and the wing defenders as seen in the goals scored and missed clear-cut chances by Milan.
Playing too square and ignoring the blind side, the Londoners were found wanting for pace and ball watching. They seemed content dangerously zonal marking in the defending third.
The defense to attack conversion naturally failed to fatten the supply line in either channel and the numbers thinned in the attacking third.
Lack of crosses in attack saw the Gunners rarely threatening the relaxed Milan defence. There was never a squeeze or telling pressure to cause anxious moments for the hosts.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Robinho had a field day running rings around Bacary Sagna, Karen Gibbs, Laurent Koscielny and Thomas Vermaelen. Nocerino spent a good night supplying Kevin Prince Boateng with first class passes.
The goals came from Boateng (15 minutes), Robinho (38 and 49 minutes) while the 80th minute penalty by Ibrahimovic sealed the Gunners agony.
Thierry Henry bid farewell as he returns to the New York Red Bulls.