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No excuses as Arsenal are torn apart by Milan

AC Milan 4 Arsenal 0

Boateng 15, Robinho 38, 49, Ibrahimovic 79

One of the tamest performances of Arsene Wenger‘s tenure as manager ended with Arsenal‘s heaviest defeat in European competition as AC Milan ran riot at the San Siro and effectively knocked the English side out of this season’s Champions League before the return leg in a fortnight’s time. It was a sad way for Thierry Henry to end his second spell at the club, but even the combination of the great man and his successor Robin van Persie was not enough to disguise a display of stunning mediocrity which will inevitably lead to renewed questions about the club’s lack of timely transfer activity in both the summer and January transfer windows.

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The week in numbers: w/e 12/2/12

Drogba missed a penalty in the final again

0Ivory Coast failed to win the Africa Cup of Nations despite not conceding a single goal in the entire tournament. Zambia beat them 8-7 on penalties after the teams played out a goalless draw in last night’s final.

3 – All three finals in which Ivory Coast have played have gone to a penalty shootout after finishing 0-0. They won the final in 1992 and lost in 2006.

2Didier Drogba missed a penalty in normal time. The Ivory Coast striker also missed from the spot in the 2006 final.

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Henry delivers a parting gift as substitutes lead Arsenal comeback

Sunderland 1 Arsenal 2

McClean 70; Ramsey 75, Henry 90+1

Legends write their own headlines. Just as it looked like Arsenal would have to settle for an honourable battling draw at a misty Stadium of Light, Thierry Henry poked home an injury-time winner to condemn high-flying Sunderland to defeat and ensure the Emirates Stadium faithful will continue to speak of his name in reverent tones long after he returns to the US next week. With Chelsea, Liverpool and Newcastle all losing, Arsenal climbed back into the top four.

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Arsenal beat seven bells out of Blackburn

Arsenal 7 Blackburn 1

van Persie 2, 38, 62, Oxlade-Chamberlain 40, 54, Arteta 51, Henry 90+3; Pedersen 32, Givet sent off 42

It has felt like a very long time since they dealt an opponent an old-fashioned shellacking, but Arsenal bounced back from the disappointment of Wednesday’s goalless draw at Bolton by putting seven past a beleaguered Blackburn. The visitors’ defence looked about as water-tight as a colander as the home side scored at will for an hour, before setting up all-time leading goalscorer Thierry Henry to provide a fairy-tale ending to a win which will lift spirits both in the dressing-room and the stands ahead of a tough and potentially season-defining sequence of games over the next few weeks.

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It’s anything but seventh heaven as Arsenal squander chances again

Bolton 0 Arsenal 0

Arsenal were left to rue a host of missed chances in the opening 20 minutes as they ended up clinging on for a point in a goalless draw at Bolton‘s Reebok Stadium. Instead of potentially closing the gap on fourth spot to three points, the Gunners found themselves slipping back to seventh on yet another frustrating night for their travelling fans. The trust that Arsene Wenger had placed in his squad after passing up the opportunity to add experienced quality in the transfer window looks horribly misplaced after this uninspired showing.

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