Milan v Arsenal: Only a United fan would miss it

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There are a number of very tasty looking Champions League ties ready to be played out over the next couple of days. Roma v Real Madrid looks set to be a wonderful game, Manchester United v Lyon could be a good one as well while Sevilla v Fenerbache looks set to dish out some serious excitement. But even then, none of them compares to the spectacle that Milan v Arsenal will put on at the San Siro later tonight.

The contest is so evenly balanced and the teams so evenly matched that there is just no way anyone who enjoys a good football match will want to miss it. Unless, of course, they support one of the other six teams in action at the same time tonight.

Arsenal will need to put in a great team performance to overcome Milan

Arsenal put in a fine showing at home in the first leg but were unable to get the goal their dominant performance deserved when Emmanuel Adebayor’s late header crashed against the bar with just seconds remaining. That miss as well as a host of others means that despite Milan’s subdued effort at Emirates Stadium, they will start as favourites to qualify for the quarter-finals. And deservedly so, too; the Italian club are the current holders of the competition and have in their ranks the most experienced side in Europe as well best player going around in world football in Brazilian attacker Kaka. Add to that the likes of Pato, Filippo Inzaghi and Alberto Gilardino and it’s clear that Milan have a side that can not only stop their opponents from scoring, but get a few at the other end as well.

Arsene Wenger spoke yesterday about the importance of his side maintaining the right balance between defensive solidarity and attacking instinct, and Arsenal’s ability to find that balance will be the key to their chances of qualification. The importance of the away goal cannot be understated – indeed, if Wenger’s side do happen to get it then they will more than likely get through – but it should not become the obsession that it was for a Manchester United side who were outplayed so thoroughly by the Italian side at the San Siro last season.

The advantage that Arsenal have over the Manchester United side that lost to Milan is a far superior defensive outfit. In the middle, William Gallas has played some of the best football of his career this season and become the type of leader that Arsenal has wanted since Tony Adams retired all those years ago. His partner Philippe Senderos appears to be made for the slower pace of the European stage, a tendency outlined by the fact that his best performance of the season came in the first leg against Milan a fortnight ago.

On the flanks are Gael Clichy and Bacary Sagna, who have the energy to push forward all day as well as the defensive technique to cope if Milan decide to turn up the heat. Looking at United’s defence against the same opponents last season – John O’Shea, Wes Brown, a not-quite-match-fit Nemanja Vidic and Gabriel Heinze – and you can see the obvious advantage that this Arsenal side will take into the game over the current Premier League champions.

Adebayor is the player most likely to get Arsenal a goalFlamini & Adebayor the keys

Adding to the defensive solidity is Mathieu Flamini, who has been without a doubt the club’s best player this season.  Although Wenger has stressed that his side will not man-mark the brilliant Kaka there’s little question that most of Flamini’s work will centre around the Brazilian. If he has a good game then it will make a huge difference, and given the consistency he has shown so far this season you wouldn’t put it past him.

If defence is one of the keys that will allow Arsenal to unlock Milan, then getting an away goal is certainly the other. There are a host of players who could get; Cesc Fabregas, Alexandr Hleb, Nicklas Bendtner if he starts, even Theo Walcott off the bench. But the man who will want it the most and the man who will be most likely to get it is Emmanuel Adebayor. Although the Togolese striker has never scored in the Champions League it would be a wonderful time for him to break that duck, especially considering his glaring miss in the first leg. And although he is struggling a little bit for form at the moment he showed enough against Milan a fortnight ago to keep Alessandro Nesta and Co as well as Carlo Ancelotti on their toes.

So, who is going to qualify? It is, of course, a difficult question and one that may be answered in the first half-hour of the contest. If the game remains goalless then it’s anyone’s for the taking. However, if Milan score first and score early, you have to fancy them; Arsenal will be forced to attack and if that happens then the likes of Kaka will become extremely dangerous. If Milan do get an early goal then I do fear a repeat of the Manchester United match from last season.

If Arsenal score first and score early, then it will take a huge effort from Milan to pull them back. To score two goals against a team as physically fit as Arsenal has proven to be an incredibly difficult task this season, especially when Wenger’s side have taken the lead. Even at home I wouldn’t fancy Milan fighting back to qualify if Arsenal do get the first goal.

Whatever happens, you’d be a fool to miss this because it’s going to be one hell of a contest. Come on Arsenal!

What do you think?

Have your say on Arsenal v Milan by leaving a comment.


37 thoughts on “Milan v Arsenal: Only a United fan would miss it

  1. hey, a win here will turn our season around and bring confidence to our team and win the premiership also. If we can grab a goal within 30 mins i think it would be nicely setted up.

  2. I think the game b/n these two teams will be completed in a surprise victory of arsenal on milan.This is b/c arsenal players are now in a good position and momentum not only to beat milan but also to win the champions league. wuletaw wondmagegn,Ethiopia

  3. Excellent analysis SF.
    I think we have a good chance. There is no team that cannot be beaten.What is home advantage anyway?the crowd?the pitch?the weather?We have overcome these before and we will tonight.
    Milan have recorded poor results in their league this season even to smaller teams and are not at their best.Arsenal is a big team and I believe this is the best chance for us to announce to all and sundry that we’ve come of age at the CL level.We got good results against REAL,JUVENTUS,etc in the 2005/6 season with a much more less experienced side.We have even beaten INTER 5-1 in the same stadium so why can’t we do it tonight?I have no doubt in mind that if the boys play as a team and for each other, they will make it.
    In my opinion, the key ingredients of victory tonight are:100% concentration,determination and a “never-say-die” fighting spirit.
    And looks like the boys are fired up for an explosive game going by the Manager’s words “‘I will tell you something – tomorrow we do not need anything for motivation.

    ‘The players are focussed, are ready for it and will give it their best shot “

  4. We will win and no matter what happens we will still be in the champions league. Walcott and van Persie should come in the game later to replace Eboue and Diaby and win this game.

    I am very confident……ARSENE KNOWS THE GAME PLAN

  5. I’m not sure if we can beat them, but I believe one away goal will be enough. I predict 1-1 and that’s perfect.

  6. have you lot have stopped winging about eduardo yet.The song was funny not offensive unlike what you sing about the yids and munich. Get a life and just be pleased you nicked 2 points off us

  7. I’m a UTD fan, but I’ll be watching the Milan Vs Arsewipes match……

    Just to watch you get knocked out and continue the fantastic run you are in

    Is Eduardo playing tonight?

  8. hope you lot have stopped winging about eduardo yet.The song was funny not offensive unlike what you sing about the yids and munich. Get a life and just be pleased you nicked 2 points off us

  9. I would be more confident if RVP was fully fit and due to start the game. We all know what he brings to the side – awesome ballcontrol, vision and the ability to pull off a wonder-goal from set pieces and outside the box. At the start of the season it looked like our midfield were going to supply truck-loads of goals but Hleb positively discriminates against scoring goals himself although a couple of attempts in recent games suggest he is at least trying to improve that aspect of his otherwise superb playing ability. Cesc needs to start scoring again and tonight sets the scene nicely for that to happen – what better context to demonstrate your emergence as one of Europe’s leading midfielders? We’ll certainly miss the tricky Rosicky as well.

    So we have a squad with numerous injuries and generally playing below par particularly in the goal-scoring department, and that includes our striker[s], away at one of the most intimidating stadiums in the world against a supremely experienced and capable Milan side … looks like a big ask to me … unless we find the form we showed earlier in the season or in the first leg. If we can weld our swaggering style of the games of the 2006 CL run to the extra resilience we have shown this season we’re in with a great chance but we will need to be at the top of our game.

    My prediction is that Milan will not come all out to attack us but will want to nullify our possession game and frustrate us – while they will fear a few players, especially Adebayor who gave their defenders a torrid time at The Grove [he will be very closely marked] we’ll be under pressure when holding the ball – they won’t want to allow us to get into our game and will seek to lock us out and frustrate the kids in an attempt to exploit our perceived lack of experience. We’ve suffered a bit from this in the PL and get impatient at times when we haven’t scored. If we don’t hold our composure tonight we can be out-thought by Milan. If I’m wrong and they do attack fronm the get go they’ll be playing into our hands as an open flowing game will suit us perfectly.

    I think it’ll be tight and tense but if we score then we can go through this one covered in glory!

    One last thought – Eboue … if they give him planty of stick he could react and as a professional loose-canon [ahem] he might like to perform on the European stage! Let’s hope he’s grown up a bit of late.

    Come on The Gunners, let’s take this one for Eduaro!

  10. Hey Villa Deano – is Curtis playing at the weekend?

    Hows that Villa mug that got shoved down the steps for chanting about Eduardo? Out of hospital yet?

    And those mugs that got bashed up outside the ground?

    Even your own manager said you sickened him – bet you are well proud of that.

  11. Y don’t u just go back to ur Man Ure pit and sulk as ur team gets crushed by Lyon! Don’t forget we are a bunch of fighters and no matter the point difference, WE ARE STILL TOP OF THE LEAGUE!! How dare you come here and dis such a quality player like Eduado! I cannot wait till hes back woth RvP dismantling ur team next Christmas!
    Now thats dealt with, all you Arsenal and non-Milan/Manure fans out there, lets rally up tonight/today (depending where you live) and get behind the boys. Lets show them exactly why we are top of the league, soon to be top of the world!
    Come on Gunners!!

  12. Comment by RedDevil on March 4, 2008 @ 11:52 pm

    I’m a UTD fan, but I’ll be watching the Milan Vs Arsewipes match……

    Just to watch you get knocked out and continue the fantastic run you are in

    Is Eduardo playing tonight?
    Comment by villa deano on March 4, 2008 @ 11:58 pm

    hope you lot have stopped winging about eduardo yet.The song was funny not offensive unlike what you sing about the yids and munich. Get a life and just be pleased you nicked 2 points off us

    *Admin* – please remove these two morons from the Blog. Their comments are offensive, ignorant and disrespectful not only to Eduardo but to all fair minded football fans.

    It is clearly beyond the scope of their diminutive intellects to reflect upon how they would feel if it was either Rooney or Young whose leg was scythed in half.

  13. To the knucklhead chavs of manURE and the Villa Shower – Read and weep little pu$$y boys:

    1 Arsenal 65

    you are nothing

  14. Talking of diminutive intellect El Tommo, are you not one of the chavs who chant Munich songs at the previous shack you once played in and the now arab stadium?

    You want me to respect you? your fans? or maybe Eduardo who actually made a worse challenge on Ronaldo a few weeks earlier when we smashed you up in the cup?

    I think you Arsewipes are really doing quite well, and that should see you through tonight…

    Adebayor and Bendtnar not talking,
    Theo Walcrap crying because Gallas pointed out he’s cr4p
    Edweirdo doing a heather Mills on the sideline
    and a manager who’s blind trying to organise you.

    …looking good guys

  15. the point im trying to make is called “double standards” you lot abuse the jews and the mancs,it was a bit of fun chill out….p.s didnt see any villa fan get whacked, only crying gooners……….. the c crew are back……..

  16. RedDevil – Sure there are morons amongst our fans too – we don’t like racists here nor do we like bigots like you, it’s the same lack of intelligence that unites you all as one.

    villa deano – as above, WHO? are ‘back’ LMFAO!!!!!!!! The only thing that you have going for you is MON, and you know as well as I do that he’ll be off to a decent club when he gets the chance you’ll always be the poor men of the PL.

  17. That team that smashed the gooners 5-1 in the cup, haven’t they got a European cup too?

    The Arse do have history though……of moving stadiums

  18. Comment by villa deano on March 5, 2008 @ 12:37 am – Ooooooooooooooooohhhhhhhh what a joker – now you’re starting to sound like a Liverpool fan! Clutching at straws for want of anything worth saying you desperately look back into the shrouded mists of time for a morsel of comfort. Pathetic.

    RedDevil – zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
    Haven’t you got an old lady to go out and mug?

  19. RD and Villan – you do have something else in common aside from your puny minds … wait for it YES! It’s Big Ron [LOL] Godfather of all bigots! You must both be proud of the association. Let me remind you.

    His infamous TV appearances led to “Ronglish” becoming known to a wider audience. With his permanent suntan and taste for chunky, gaudy jewellery, he was often portrayed as a lovable buffoon in the UK media.

    This came to an end on April 21, 2004, when Atkinson resigned from ITV after he was caught making a racist remark live on air about the black Chelsea F.C. player Marcel Desailly: believing the microphone to be switched off, he said, “…he [Desailly] is what is known in some schools as a fucking lazy thick nigger”. Although transmission in the UK had finished, the microphone gaffe meant that his comment was broadcast to various countries in the Middle East. He also left his job as a columnist for The Guardian “by mutual agreement” as a result of the comment.

    Oh dear … obviously the spirit of Ron is alive and well here today.

  20. Adebayor is dip in form and has 0 goals in champions league. Somtimes he is not afraid to compare himself to the likes of Henry and Eto. This is his final chance to prove it. Hopefully he can improve his first touch and score a goal today. We could have done it easily with fit RVP and Rosiscky but today without them it’s gonna be hard as hell. Fabregas is anot in form and has 1 goal in 18 games. That is a very bad stats of a brilliant midfielder. Hope he can have the game of his life today.
    Today Milan will attack more than they did at emirates. But they will still be solid at the back. We need a good game from Flamini and all defenders. Our captain is having a torrid week after some controversial incidents and team’s 3 draws in succession. Senderos might be low in confidence after that own goal. But slow paced european games will suit him as Spanishfry said and he should be alright against Inzaghi if he starts. Inzaghi might not be a great footballer but is the topscorer in Europe. One chance a goal.
    I feel we will be through if we can score at San siro but from where we will get our goals. Adebayor? Fabregas? Maybe an owngoal or a header from a corner or RVP after coming from bench. We will not have more than 2/3 clear chances throughout the game, believe me. We should take those chances to get through today. Milan will surely score today at least 1 but might be 2/3. It will depend on how we defend for 90 minutes. Whoever gets the first goal will get through.
    In the first leg we had chances to have a comfortable lead but we never looked like scoring. Ade was our goal threat but his first touch is even worse than me in than game. Fab and Hleb will be feeding him enough today, hope he will have a big game.
    I am really excited but not really confident today. My prediction is 1-1 or 2-1 to Milan. I wish the team will prove me wrong and get a encouraging win against the Champs!!!

  21. Almunia
    Sagna Gallas Senderos Clichy
    Eboue Fabregas Flamini Diaby

    Reliable and WILL perform well:
    Almunia, Sagna, Clichy, Hleb

    Need to show how good they are and CAN but might not perform:

    The rest!

    We’ll need to be at our very best to go through.

  22. RedDevil and Villan are pure asssholes!
    Get your facts right before posting anything here after this.

    You both are a disgrace to football and being typical idiotic fans are what you showing here. Joking on Eduardo’s injury is sick RedDevil..Why don’t joke on your mom’s pussy that Fergie this time threw his old dick at her?

    RedDevil is clearly scared that we have a good chance beatin Milan, the team that wiped their red-asses with shit last time out.

    And as for Villan, stop being so proud of drawing 1-1 with Arsenal, we beaten the hell out of your team many times before and you are here talking big about a draw?? You are just a cry baby that moans about Arsenal stopping your team getting a win and 3 points that will boost your European dreams..your team have no class to be in Europe, Everton is much better team than your fans are idiotss and not needed in European games. Bunch of disgrace motherfkers!

    Now on the game, which this article are all about Arsenal vs Milan..I think it will be 1-1 with Milan scoring first and Arsenal coming back for a draw..i hope it is the other way around. The positive going to this game is the 1st leg where Arsenal was more superior in every department againts NMilan..which can carry on to the 2nd leg..just luck was on Milan’s side at the first leg. I have high respect for Milan and if they win today, then I believe they will win the CL again.

    The best game and a MUST watch by every football fan, except the 2 cunts. LOL


  23. And ya if both RedDevil and Villan want to reply my comments here, go on but too bad i won’t read it because I have no time listening to 2 stupid “dogs” barking around!

    Better things to do… to get ready my beers!


  24. Red Devil- spurs have never won the european cup you mug. And yes we are doing well considering we are top of the league. Villa Deano what are you even doing on an arsenal blog, i can kind of understand united fans as they are actually our rivals but who the fuck are villa? I fancy the boys to nick a 1-0 tonight, with ade getting the goal making up for his miss at emirates.

  25. I notice that villa deano has posted the same exact comment on various arsenal blogs today. A bit obsessive. Apparently he’s the one obsessed with Arsenal, he’s the one who can’t let Saturday’s game go, he can’t move on. We have — we’re all thinking about Milan and forgotten all about Villa, while he’s still stewing about losing two points to a poor Arsenal team who kept fighting to the last.

  26. Villa Deano & Red Devil – You guys are fools. Get lost and if you ever post non-constructive rubbish on this blog again you will be banned.

  27. ARSENAL HAVE DONE IT!!!!!!!!!



  28. Whoo!!
    Take that Fools!!
    Villa Deano – Do you think your team will ever make it into the champions league, then on top of that, beat the last years holders in the quaterfinals?
    Red Devil – Now we’ll be back to beat you in the EPL and
    Yeah!! and Adebayor FINALLY BROKE HIS GOAL DROUGHT!!!

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