By Matt Fortune
AC Milan simply do not lose to English clubs at home. Not until Tuesday night, anyway.
Arsenal's masterclass in Milan was marvellous. When you consider that on 12 previous occasions the Rossoneri had avoided defeat against English opposition at Stadia Giuseppe Meazza , the Gunners' achievement seems all the more impressive.
Their 2-0 victory completed an illustrious hat-trick for Arsenal following two other famous firsts on foreign soil.
In 1980, the Gunners became the first English club to win at Juventus. After an ill-tempered 1-1 draw in the first leg of their European Cup Winners' Cup Semi-Final at Highbury, Terry Neill took his charges to the Stadio Communale. With the scores deadlocked and time running out, Neill went for broke and threw on 18-year-old striker, Paul Vaessen. Two minutes from time, the gamble paid off. Graham Rix went on a mazy dribble into the box, pulled the ball back, and Vaessen guided a header past Dino Zoff. Arsenal were through to the Final, a match they lost on penalties against Valencia. As for Vaessen, that goal in Turin proved to be the highlight of his career. He tragically died in August 2001, aged just 39.
Rix crosses the ball for Vaessen
Vaessen heads home in Turin
The second of Arsenal's prestigious treble came in 2006. The location was the Santiago Bernabeu and home to Real Madrid. The much-fancied Spanish outfit boasted a wealth of world stars while Arsenal, with a crippling injury list, were struggling to find top-gear on the domestic front.
However, with Thierry Henry in their ranks, anything was possible. A virtuoso goal from the Frenchman two minutes after the interval was enough to secure a famous victory. Cesc Fabregas fed Henry in the centre circle and the striker held off Ronaldo, skipped past Alvaro Mejia and Guti before racing into the area and muscling past Sergio Ramos. He planted an angled shot past Casillas and into the far corner of the net. It was stunning even by Henry's high standards.
Fifteen days later a 0-0 draw in the second leg at Highbury saw Arsenal into the last eight of the Champions League.
Henry scores in the Bernabeu
Thierry silences the Madrid crowd
AC Milan v English rivals at the San Siro - P13 W7 D5 L1 F22 A8
2008 Champions League, lost to Arsenal 0-2
2007 Champions League, beat Manchester United 3-0
2005 Champions League, beat Manchester United 1-0
2000 Champions League, drew 1-1 with Leeds United
1999 Champions League, drew 1-1 with Chelsea
1995 Super Cup, beat Arsenal 2-0
1978 Uefa Cup, drew 2-2 with Manchester City
1975 Uefa Cup, beat Everton 1-0
1972 Uefa Cup, drew 1-1 with Tottenham Hotspur
1969 European Cup, beat Manchester United 2-0
1966 Fairs Cup, drew 1-1 with Chelsea
1962 European Cup, beat Ipswich Town 3-0
1958 European Cup, beat Manchester United 4-0