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1) Arsenal have a decent record against Italian opposition in recent years. The last time that we played against A.C Milan was in the 07/08 season, and we qualified for the last 8 by becoming the first English team to beat the Italians at the San Siro (with goals from Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor). This is even more impressive when you bear in mind that A.C. were the European Champions at the time.
Within the last 6 seasons we have also faced Roma and Juventus in the knockout rounds, neither of whom were able to knock us out of the competition.
2) AC Milan have been knocked out of the competition by English sides in 3 of the last 4 seasons and have a terrible record when they travel to England. Milan were knocked out by Arsenal in 07/08 (as noted above), Manchester United in 09/10 and Spurs last season. They have also failed to score in England on all three occasions. It was 0-0 at the Emirates, 4-0 at Old Trafford, and 0-0 and White Hart Lane.
3) The advantage of playing at home in the second leg cannot be underestimated. There is huge pressure on Milan to get a good result at the San Siro because they know that they are not as strong in England. If Arsenal can hold out for even a score draw, then we have a away goal advantage to take into the home leg. We have proved that Milan are beatable at the San Siro. We are very close to fielding a fill strength team, and we can do it again.
4) (following on from point 3) Arsène Wenger has said that the team will push for that vital away goal in Milan on Wednesday, which will set us up nicely for the second-leg at the Emirates in just over 2 weeks time. Combine that they the pressure that Milan will be under, and I am more than sure that it will be a fantastic game.
“The European system is organised to reward audacious action away from home.
“When you go away in the Champions League, you have to score. The best way to score is play in an offensive way, and we will try to do that.”
5) We have Robin van Persie and Thierry Henry. The chances of van Persie having at least a few shots on goal are pretty high, and Thierry will want to sign off his Champions League career in the same way that he did with the Premier League yesterday. TH12 heads back to New York on Thursday. As a true Arsenal legend, he deserves to go out with a bang.