It’s possibly the stand-out tie of the round, certainly in England, and it’s a shame that one of Arsenal and Milan have to bow out of the competition at this stage. The Gunners’ form has been generally outstanding this season, compared to the holders who have laboured in Serie A to the point where they hadn’t won a league match at home until the New Year. However, The Guardian report that, although this may not be a vintage Milan team, Arsenal midfielder Cesc Fabregas is all-too aware of the damage they can cause.
“Everyone talks that they are not doing well in the league, that they are not playing well,” he said. “But these kind of teams can kill you in one second. They have massive players like Kaka, [Andrea] Pirlo and [Alberto] Gilardino – this kind of world-class player – and we have to be careful. Still I think we have a good chance.”
Indeed, Arsenal are slight favourites to overcome the Rossoneri over the two legs, although a 4-0 defeat at Old Trafford was hardly ideal preparation for Arsene Wenger’s team. Will that result be academic by the time Wednesday night’s match kicks off or has the Gunners’ morale been hit hard by that game?