Arsenal face AC Milan and Chelsea will take on Napoli when Europe’s elite competition resumes in February, and they will be hoping to continue a trend of Premier League dominance
The Rossoneri have gone down to Premier League opposition every time they’ve attempted to win an eighth European Cup, and now is the time to buck the trend
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has challenged his side to maintain their momentum to give themselves every chance of knocking AC Milan out of the Champions League.
MILAN – According to the official Arsenal website, this is what Arsene Wenger had to say after being drawn with Milan in the Champions League: “It’s a difficult draw, but an exciting one. I suppose they could say exactly the same thing. So let’s make sure we continue until February. Then we can take our chance with full power and belief.”
Goal.com’s UK & International experts combine to discuss their opinions on Friday’s draw, Arsenal & Chelsea’s European fate, and who they think will succeed come May
So much to discuss today, we may as well hit the ground running. First and foremost Happy 112th Birthday to AC Milan…
I remember 1999’s Centennial like it was yesterday, hard to believe another 12 have gone by. Those 12 were some of the most amazing for me as a Milan Tifosi. Two CL’s, three scudetti, the rise of Sheva and Kaka, the retirement of Maldini, the scourge of Ronaldniho and Leo, a Club World Cup, and the gut –wrenching loss in Istanbul. What a roller coaster, a ride I wouldn’t trade in for the World. Here is to many many many more. FORZA MILAN!
Now onto the Champions League draw:
I warned against the dangers of Arsenal, but many a Milan fan seem to be oblivious to Arsenal’s recent run of form and more functional result orientated style of football they are currently playing. This is not the pass you around the block, physically inept Arsenal many are used to, this is a roll their sleeves up punch you in the face Arsenal and that sort of never say die attitude always poses a problem. Of course I still believe Milan will come out on top, but this is not going to be a walk in the park. For the rest of the boot both Inter and Napoli have a chance to advance as well. From a fan perspective, I have to say Chelsea v Napoli is incredible, 4-3-3 v 3-5-2, nice wide open football, and a good chance for Napoli to show some class. Some will call it revenge if Italy can come out on top in the Italy v England ties, but for most it will simply be the cyclical nature of football.
Now onto more pressing matters, our little “Black and White” problem gets a little worse. Udinese and Juventus sit atop the table ahead of us and Siena comes town to make matters worse. Now Siena has not been a strong team and sitting atop the relegation zone at a mere 14 points doesn’t exactly strike fear in the heart of opponents, but as we already know, no game is easy. It has also grown abundantly clear that this Milan team is very capable of winning and more often defeats themselves, something that can’t be done in what is a must take three points match.
Allegri is still dealing with the loss of Nesta, so the tossup between Mexes and Bonera remains. This is an important one because Siena has Destro and Calaio up top and their blend of pace and strength could pose a problem. But injuries may force Allegri’s hand even further. Nocerino also remains a question mark and his pace, tackling, and off the balls were sorely missed against Bologna. While I want him to play, I also don’t want him to further worsen his injury. Would almost prefer he continue to be rested. There is also the discussion about Seedorf, Aquilani or Urby, and frankly I think Seedorf and Aquilani on the pitch together are useless, and Urby’s appearance last week earned a start in my book. The same way Pato’s disappearing act earned him a spot on the bench.
Amelia; De Sciglio, Bonera, Silva, Taiwo; Prince, Van Bommel, Urby; Aquilani; Zlatan and Robinho
UPDATE: No Abate, Antonini or Abbiati!? Not to mention no callup for Zambro so defense is pressed. I like Aquilani closer to the strikers, simply because Prince and Urby can provide more in pressing and forward runs while Aqui is better on the ball. Zlatan and Robinho need no explanation, when those two are on, they are on. See you for a Saturday afternoon match no liveblog this time around, but I had a blast time and if people enjoy it I am happy to do it again. One thing is for sure, expect a live blog for the matches against Arsenal!
MILANELLO – The players trained this afternoon at the Milanello sports centre ahead of Siena’s visit to the San Siro stadium.After a team meeting held by Allegri, the Rossoneri started the session on the central pitch with the first part of training taken up by the players warming up with a run, some calisthenics, sprints through the cones and a stretching session.Training continued with the player working on tactics ahead of the visit of the Tuscan Bianconeri on Saturday.Training ended with Allegri’s players involved in a practice match. At the end of the session, Allegri read out the list of players called up to face Giuseppe Sannino’s side:Amelia, Roma, Bonera, De Sciglio, Ely (53), Mexes, Taiwo, Thiago Silva, Ambrosini, Aquilani, Kevin Prince Boateng, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Seedorf, Van Bommel, El Shaarawy, Ibrahimovic, Pato, Robinho.
MILANELLO - Click here to read what the players did in training ahead of tomorrow evening's game against Siena at the San Siro.
MILAN - Here's the list of players read out by coach Allegri at the end of training today at the Milanello sports centre for Milan-Siena tomorrow evening.Amelia, Roma, Bonera, De Sciglio, Ely (53), Mexes, Taiwo, Thiago Silva, Ambrosini, Aquilani, Kevin Prince Boateng, Emanuelson, Nocerino, Seedorf, Van Bommel, El Shaarawy, Ibrahimovic, Pato, Robinho.
MILAN – Here’s what Giuseppe Sannino said in his press conference according to the club’s official website: "The satisfaction over the cup win is already gone, now we’re thinking of Milan. We’ll have to run like animals and really sacrifice a lot against a great team led by a great coach. Until tomorrow that’s all we’ll be thinking of. I told the players that tomorrow they’ll have to forget about having a name on their shirts. We’ll be strangers on a big stage. And that the only way we’ll be able to get something out of the game, with lots of humility. I’d be lying if I said there was no excitement about going to the San Siro for the first time. But once the game starts, that’ll be it. In the end, the pitch is always the same, from promotion to the San Siro.”
MILAN - According to the club website, Giuseppe Sannino has called up 23 players for the game against Milan tomorrow evening:Brkic, Farelli, Pegolo, Contini, Del Grosso, Pesoli, Rossettini, Rossi, Terzi, Vitiello, Angelo, Bolzoni, Codrea, D’Agostino, Gazzi, Grossi, Mannini, Reginaldo, Brienza, Calaiò, Destro, Gonzalez, Larrondo.
MILAN - Click here to find out what Massimiliano Allegri had to say in today's press conference.
MILAN – Here’s what club CEO Adriano Galliani said today during the inauguration of the Caritas Shelter in Milan:"We were very happy to play our part in this initiative because we’re convinced that a club like Milan, like all the other firms in the city, has a certain social responsibility towards the city itself. In 2003, we founded the Milan Foundation and we’ve made a lot of money for charity by playing friendly matches in the last few years. Everyone in the club contributes to the Milan Foundation from the coach to the first team to ex players. Since 2003, the Milan Foundation has been able to donate over €7 million to 80 projects in 16 different countries. We want to continue this, we want to get better and to stay side by side with Milan’s ecclesiastic authorities to work with them and with other organizations. We want to continue on this road and contribute, in as much as is possible, to the solving of our cities problems and those of Italy in general."
The Gunners face a difficult task against the Serie A champions, but the Frenchman is confident of his side’s chances having tasted victory twice at the San Siro before
MILAN - Click here for the photos from the inauguration of the Caritas Shelter in Milan
MILAN - Click here for the photos from today's press conference.
MILAN – Here’s what Allegri had to say at the press conference for the inauguration of the Caritas shelter in Milan on the eve of Milan-Siena.On the Caritas Shelter:“These are things that make us richer, every so often during the year, it pays to have initiatives like this to help keep our feet on the ground and to keep in contact with the real problems of the world. Especially in the period that we’re in, it helps us to understand how many people there are in real need. They’re important initiatives and give you the chance to help those who need it. We complain everyday but the real problems are those like not having a roof over your head. It’s a good idea for the team to visit, not only here, but also in hospitals to meet patients, as the club does already. These are initiatives that can only do good.”
On football:"The games get more difficult as the Christmas break comes up because you’re more distracted and you have to be very careful. There are six vital points up for grabs and we can’t slip up. They’ll be tough game starting from tomorrow. Siena is a sold team with good technique and organization. It’s up to us to face the game in the right way. I think they’ll play a tight game and try to hit us on the counter attack and we’ll definitely have to defend better than we did against Bologna. It won’t be easy just because we’re playing at home and anyway, the three points are the same home and away. You always have to run hard to win; it’s not just technique that counts. We can’t concede nay space tomorrow like we did against Bologna. We’re two points off the top and we can get six more before Christmas. The results will be important if we’re to have a relaxing break. We’ll have to be well prepared because for us, the points are fundamental.”“The two keepers are a doubt: if Abbiati and Amelia are out, Roma will play. If Antonini doesn’t make it, Taiwo will play. Bonera is ahead of Mexes.”
On his contract:“As soon as we sit down around the table, we’ll make the deal. I don’t think there’ll be any problems. The confirmation came from the president and I thank him for his kind words said publicly. It’s important to have the backing of the Galliani and the club. I’ve been at the club a year and a half and I want to stay as long as possible.”
On the Champions League:“It’s tough draw because the English teams are always difficult. They’re a team that play good football and have excellent players but for now we have to stay focused on the league. I don’t want to be rude, but I don’t see the point of talking about Arsenal right now. This is an important, even if not decisive moment for the league. There are 6 points available and we can get the first three tomorrow.”Pato is definitely not an unwanted player. He always gives everything when he plays. He has an average of a goal every two game. That’s his quality; scoring goals and those are the characteristics that he has to make the most of.”The squad is really competitive at the moment, I have no requests. After Christmas I’ll talk with the club and we’ll decide what we have to do and if there are Milan quality players available. I have nothing new to say about Tevez, you’ll have to ask someone else.”“Personally, I think we have to get better in the Champions League. It’s difficult to quantify how far behind Barcelona we are, I can only say how we played against them. Berlusconi is right and I’m all for ball possession.”“Mexes is well. He trained yesterday and is available for selection. It’s normal to feel a bit sore after being out for so long. He’s lacking a bit of match fitness but he did well when he played. My relationship with him is good as it is with all the players.”
MILAN - Here's how Allegri reacted to the Champions league draw: "Right now we're focused on the league. It doesn't make sense to talk about a game we won't play until February. Arsenal are a quality side, well organised with good players. We have to try and get to the game with a full squad, something we didn't do last year"
MILAN - Here's what Allegri said when asked about his formation ahead of Milan-Siena: "There are a few doubts. After training today, I'lls ee how the players are. If Abbiati and Amelia don't play, then Roma will. If Antonini doesn't make it, Taiwo will play"
Brian Marwood has revealed that the striker may end up moving elsewhere in the January window, and has criticised the Serie A side’s use of the media in the transfer saga
(IN THE PHOTO: Christmas cakes will be on sale tomorrow at the San Siro with proceeds going to help the homeless.)
MILAN - Adriano Galliani, Massimiliano Allegri and Laura Masi were representing the club at the inauguration of the Caritas Shelter today at Milan’s Central Station. After the restructuring work of the premises belonging to the Italian railways, the venue has now become a refuge for Milan’s homeless thanks to the Milan Foundation, the Cariplo Foundation and Enel Cuore.Cardinal Angelo Scola was present to cut the ribbon. “We’re honored by your presence”, said Caritas Ambrosiana director Roberto Davanzo adding that after 10 years of activity homelessness was still a problem for the Lombardy capital.The Milan Foundation together with Italian Railways, Enel Cuore and the Cariplo Foundation played an active part in the Milanese project. Tomorrow evening, fans at the San Siro stadium will be able to purchase Christmas cakes with the proceeds going to the project.
MILAN - Here are the dates for Milan's games i the last 16 of Europe's top competition:MILAN - ARSENAL, Wednesday 15 February 2012, at 20.45 at the San Siro stadium.ARSENAL - MILAN, Tuesday 6 March 2012, at 20.45, at the Emirates Stadium.
The Bavarians enjoyed the best fortune as they were handed a draw against Basel while the San Paolo outfit have been handed long odds after being drawn against Chelsea
MILAN – Milan will face Arsenal in the last 16 of the Champions League after the drae held today in Nyon.This is the last league result by the London side:Saturday 10 December:Arsenal-Everton 1-0.
Arsenal are currently in 5th position in the Premier League with 29 points thanks in no small part to the 15 goals scored by Robin Van Persie and they finished above Marseille, Olympiacos and Borussia Dortmund after having beaten Udinese in the preliminary round.There is some history between the two teams. In the European Super Cup final in 1994/95, the first leg ended scoreless and Milan won the second leg 2-0. In the last 16 of the Champions League in 2007/08, the opposite happened with the London sider winning 2-0 after a scoreless first leg.
Marquee tie in the Champions League draw sees resurgent Gunners head to San Siro to take on the Serie A title-holders but David Miles believes they stand every chance of winning
MILAN - The Italian champions will meet Arsenal in the last 16 of the Champions League.
The Italian champions are in good domestic form but their coach feels that they will have their work cut out in trying to eliminate the Gunners when the two clubs clash
MILAN - The inauguration of the Caritas shelter will take place today from 11.30 at Sammartini 114 in Milan. Representing Milan Foundation will be the president of the charity Adriano Galliani.
MILAN - It was today on December the 16th 1899 exactly 112 years go that the most titled-club in the world Milan was founded.On an important day such as the draw for the last 16 of the Champions League and with the presentation of the Caritas shelter presented by Adriano Galliani and Massimiliano Allegri.
As Europe’s elite competition enters the knockout phase, we analyse every team’s season so far and how their record compares to their last 16 opponents