Arsenal seized control of their Europa League last-16 tie with AC Milan courtesy of a 2-0 win at San Siro on Thursday, easing the pressure on Arsene Wenger.
Goals from Henrikh Mkhitaryan, his first for the club, and Aaron Ramsey were enough to give the Gunners a valuable first-leg advantage and bring an end to their four-game losing run.
Questions over the future of manager Wenger had dominated the pre-match talk, but the 68-year-old will have been delighted with a clinical and disciplined display from his players against a Milan side who had gone 13 games without defeat.
Mkhitaryan played a key role in Manchester United’s triumph in last season’s tournament and he continued his fine form in continental competition with the opening goal 15 minutes in.
Milan struggled to turn their possession into meaningful chances and they were punished again seconds before the interval, when Ramsey beat the offside trap to score his seventh goal of the season.
Gennaro Gattuso’s men fought hard in the second half but were comfortably kept at arm’s length by the visitors, leaving them with a significant task to come at the Emirates Stadium next week.