A controversial penalty helped Danny Welbeck to a brace as Arsenal overcame a scare to beat AC Milan 3-1 on the night and 5-1 on aggregate to reach the quarter-finals of the Europa League.
Leading 2-0 from the first leg at the San Siro, Arsene Wenger’s men found themselves behind to a superb Hakan Calhanoglu strike 10 minutes before half-time.
Hakan Calhanoglu gave AC Milan the lead at Emirates Stadium, but Danny Welbeck scored either side of Granit Xhaka to see Arsenal through.
Laurent Koscielny’s 11th-minute departure with an apparent back injury increased the defensive anxiety for the hosts, with Calum Chambers filling the void at centre-back, but they were warming to their task in an attacking sense.
A simmering contest burst into life 10 minutes before half-time when Calhanoglu unleashed a brilliant strike that swerved away from David Ospina and flew low into the right corner.
Arsenal’s response was purposeful rather than panicked – Donnarumma palming an Aaron Ramsey shot to safety – and Welbeck converted coolly from 12 yards, even if the decision to award a penalty against Rodriguez for a foul on the England forward bordered on farcical.
But any momentum Milan were building up dissipated when one of the additional assistant referees indicated Ricardo Rodriguez had fouled Welbeck when contact was minimal at best.
On the day he received an England recall, Welbeck made no mistake form the spot to score his first European goal since a hat-trick against Galatasaray in October 2014.
Milan continued to ask plenty of questions until a dreadful error from their goalkeeping protege Gianluigi Donnarumma meant Granit Xhaka’s speculative strike put the overall result beyond doubt and Welbeck struck again in the 86th minute.