Somewhere around 50 minutes into Arsenal's meltdown Wednesday night in the San Siro, the British commentator on the American television feed said more with seven words than any scribe could have written with 10 times as many.
"This is not," he said, "a great Milan side."
Sadly, no. And Arsenal only trailed by three goals at that point.
Arsenal's second really, really bad loss of the season shared little, if anything, in common with the first. Six months ago, when the Gunners flopped 8-2 at Old Trafford, at least they showed up short-handed. Six months ago, at least United were rampant.
AC Milan, though? Not so much. In dispatching Arsenal—with ease—by four goals, the Rossoneri were not free-flowing, rampant or all that impressive. Instead, they were clinical, composed and, above all, competent.
Make no mistake: This was not a performance for the ages. Milan merely showed up. Based on Arsenal's performance Wednesday night, the New York Red Bulls—whose uniform Thierry Henry will wear the next time he plays a professional match—probably could have done the same.
Three weeks from now, Arsenal will probably play their final Champions League match of the season. After a few more weeks, Milan will probably do the same. In the meantime, Arsenal and Arsene Wenger must head, yet again, back to the drawing board.
So what now? If Arsenal want to make anything of this wretched season, Wenger will have to learn something from his side's insipid performance at the San Siro. But as anyone who watched the match will agree, a few cosmetic changes aren't going to do the trick.
Somebody cue John Blutarsky.