- AC Milan will face Arsenal in the Europa League round of 16
- Mirabelli evidently confident that Rossoneri will prevail
- Remains to be seen whether or not that confidence is warranted
- READ MORE: ‘Bye bye Champions League’ – Arsenal fans react to Europa League draw, face AC Milan
AC Milan sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli is either really confident, or he was in a jovial mood on Friday after the Europa League draw.
The Rossoneri will take on Arsenal in the last-16 of the competition, with the first leg taking place at the San Siro on March 8, before the second leg back at the Emirates a week later.
Both clubs are currently struggling domestically to secure a Champions League qualification spot, and so the Europa League arguably represents their best chance of booking a spot back at Europe’s top table next season.
Mirabelli has essentially hinted that he believes Arsenal’s journey in Europe will end next month when the two sides meet, apologising to the Gunners ahead of what he believes will be their elimination.
“I’m sorry for Arsenal, who I’m sure would have liked to have continued in Europe,” he said, as reported by The Mirror. “It would have been a nice final, but I’m happy. It’s best to face a big club like Arsenal now. We needed opponents like these.”
Having been out of Europe in recent seasons, this will be a big platform for Milan to produce a top performance and make a statement of sort to suggest that they’re back on the right path.
While Arsenal have struggled this season that shouldn’t take away from the fact that this should be an excellent and competitive tie between two sides desperate to do better and deliver a major trophy to their fans this year.
Whether or not Mirabelli was right to suggest that Arsenal won’t be progressing any further in the competition remains to be seen, but it’s certainly a fun way to stoke up the rivalry ahead of the two meetings next month.