Milan drawn with Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League round of 16: the first leg on March 8 will be played at San Siro

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The UEFA Europa League trophy pictured before the draw for the UEFA Europa League round of 16at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland on February 23, 2018. (JEAN-GUY PYTHON/AFP/Getty Images)
The UEFA Europa League trophy pictured before the draw for the UEFA Europa League round of 16at the UEFA headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland on February 23, 2018. (JEAN-GUY PYTHON/AFP/Getty Images)

Milan will face Arsenal in the next round of the Europa League. The second leg will be at the Emirates Stadium.

Milan passed the Round of 32 in the Europa League after beating Ludogorets 4-0 on aggregate and today they learned who they will be facing in the next round.

While the Rossoneri avoided the likes of Lazio, Borussia Dortmund and Atletico Madrid, they still got a very, very difficult draw, as they will be playing Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal in a double encounter.

The first leg will be played on March 8 at Stadio San Siro (19:00 CET kickoff) and the return leg is one week later at the Emirates Stadium (21:05 CET kickoff).

This means that Milan’s next six games are against Roma (A), Lazio (A), Inter (H), Arsenal (H), Genoa (A) and then the Gunners again (A).

“In the end there were 4 teams left [in the draw bowl], honestly at that point I thought of drawing Red Bull Salzburg,” club manager who represented Milan at the draw, Christian Abbiati, told Sky Italia. “It’s a fascinating and historic match with Arsenal, it will be a beautiful game.

“It is not the Arsenal of the past but facing them at the moment is positive for us, despite the run of games we’re having. My personal experience from facing Arsenal in the Champions League? We won 4-0 at home and then in London the return leg was a disaster, we lost 3-0 and risked getting out.

“In the dressing room there was a heated exchange between we players, we couldn’t give that account of ourselves. We managed to hold on to a result which allowed us to qualify and I hope we don’t make the same mistakes this time. San Siro will definitely be full; the fans will help us, and Milan can do it. We’re a solid group and we hope to continue with this squad.”

There was a live Facebook feed showing Massimiliano Mirabelli watching the draw and after it he jokingly said: “I feel sorry for Arsenal.” Milan will hope that Mirabelli’s jokes will turn to a reality.

The result of the Europa League Round of 16 draw. (via @EuropaLeague)
The result of the Europa League Round of 16 draw. (via @EuropaLeague)

69 COMMENTS

  1. Well as they come, this would be the biggest test for Gattuso and his boys so far this season6. Arsenal has much more expensive squad and tbh better players than Milan have.
    That being said, I can’t wait for this clash and believe Rino can suprise a few.
    Forza Milan!

      • Be realistic. I am a hardcore Milan fan but that doesn’t mean that I am blind to rest of the football world.
        I really think they have some better individuals but I also say that players rarely win matches, teams do it more often.

      • Arsenal are by far the favourites. Ozil and Mkhitaryan are world class players that would walk into our starting lineup. It will be a difficult tie, but it’s important for the players. Guys like Romagnoli, Cutrone, and any other youngster who plays will leave as better players. This is the European experience they need. As far as actually winning, I think it’s unlikely but there is a slight chance.

  2. I don’t agree .. they have a better attack that said without aubameyang who is cup tied! but not better midfield or defence .. i think in those department’s we are a little better . Its an even tie all round for me .. we really will see how far we have come in the nxt 6 games! .. roma away..lazio away cup.. inter .. arsenal home genoa away then arsenal away!! Wow will really will see how good we are .. Forza milan!!

    • Are you f kidding me? To start with: Ozil, Mkhtarian, Cazorla, Ramsey, Xhaka, WIlshire. Every single one of them would be starter in our midfield. If you said defense I would maybe agree but in midfield they are soo ahead of us.

      • The 6 arsenal midfielders uve just mentioned .. lets start with wilshere yes hes good but nothing amazing hes not exactly toni kroos is he! Mica…yes hes fast he can run shoot abit but so can chag and bona! . Xhaka and cazorla average in my opinion what have they ever done?? And wilshere for that question! Ramsey wow! Hes wales best midfielder what an achievement! Ok ozil is world class! But so is lucas biglia! Also None of those arsenal midfielders you mentioned can defend to save there lives! Our midfield might not be the best in the world! But it can do abit of everything .. keep ball , score and more importantly what most midfield should be able to do defend!

  3. We will win . Forza Milan. Too much negative energy from fans which does not help the team.
    we will win !!!!!!!!!!!

  4. BRING THOSE FARMERS AT SAN SIRO. WE AC MILAN WILL KICK THEIR ARSEnal AT SAN SIRO. AND BORINI WILL SCORE AT EMIRATES

  5. They’re the only side I didnt want to face, because they’re a tricky side, kind of like jekyll and hyde, you dont know which side of them you’ll get to face, the free flowing beautiful arsenal, or choke/defensively frail arsenal. Besides, out of the top teams, I think it’s pretty embarassing if we would get knocked out by them, which I hope wont happen.
    A huge tests awaits Rino right now that will show how far he’s come as a coach. All the best. Forza MIlan!

  6. The next few weeks….. those awesome matches. Man it is going to be a delightful period of footballness.
    It truly is the defining moment. The players will finally have the chance to put them to real test and show if they are truly Milan material or not.
    Forza Milan.

    • Players along with Rino. Its a hellish period on paper, we’ll see how we’ll fare…Im super nervous and excited…

    • Comment:11 matches, yet no one on this platform is yet to see test? wow! we played Lazio twice, defeated them and drew one, Sampdoria too were defeated, VAR rescued them and their goal keeper amongst others.
      11 consecutive Games, no lose which Montella couldn’t do with 4 straight games.
      I believe most people here are waiting to insult Rino and the boys, but as for me, Win one or non Ac Milan all the way. I just want to knock out Lazio and Arsenal, all because of the way S. Inzaghi behaved and my friends (Arsenal fans) that love making a mockery of Serie A, most especially Milan.
      Forza Milan

      • Geez lad hold your horses, I just pointed out Milan have intense weeks up front amd it’ll be tough since the lads are not used to such tempo. But my man Rino and his intense training regime, huge improvements are already seen and for the first time after 6 years I am also optimistic

        Forza Milan!

      • Hold your horses. We lost 4-0 away to Lazio and there’s another game away against them in coppa. 0-0 first leg at home.

  7. Our next 6 matches kind of feels like we’re in the Champions League lol but look. Arsenal isn’t the draw any of us would have wanted but to be the best you have to beat the best. Arsenal can look really good or look really bad. Good thing is aubemayang is cup-tied lacazette is injured and arsenal defence is terrible. I’m nervous and excited for this match up. I’m also optimistic about this, if milan want to take that next step up it starts here. We’ve come a long way and it would be awesome to knock out arsenal just like we used to in the Champions League.

    • Comment: I wanted Arsenal, maybe you don’t want them, that is personal.
      I do from the beginning of this competition.
      it is like one part of my wish came through, now is to wait for the other part… knock them out.
      Forza Milan

    • I agree with you when you said “to be the best we have to beat the best”. Arsenal are a good team on their day however if we want to win the competition we have to play the most difficult teams on paper. Thus we have to ensure that the the momentum we have now continues until the end of the season God Willing. Once the guys are ready on all fronts we will overcome any opponent even in our most difficult fixtures in the next coming weeks as they are all the teams that are above us on the table. We have to believe guys and we will conquer any opponent. FORZA MILAN!!!

  8. Not worried about Arsenal. I’m more worried about our busy schedule as we will be facing some difficult games leading up to the Arsenal game.

    However, I believe we are coming into a positive run of form at the right time. Plus our defence is getting better with each game and our build up play is also improving at the right time.

    Just look at our recent stats and you will see that we are on par with Atl. Madrid in terms of shots allowed and goals conceded.

    They are the only team i didnt want to face because of their championship predigree and recent form.

  9. I didn’t want Arsenal now cos our matches in the league are pretty strong ones this period and we need to win all of them. Have you noticed that favor is really falling on Milan under Gattuso’s management? Big teams seem to fall into some kind of deep before meeting Milan or when Milan beats them, they lose their sails and begin to slow down. Its happened with Inter and Lazio already. Roma recently and we’ll surely beat them on Sunday. Let’s defeat Arsenal and go on to lift this trophy. Arsenal fans already fear for their exit

  10. I think we will progress. Arsenal without Aubameyang needs to find something out of nothing. Lacazette is out of form. Milan has to take care of Ozil and I think Biglia will do that job well enough. Forza Milan!!

  11. This is great news!! Surely this match is highlight of the round of 16. We cannot win EL, for now, that can change, but we need to fight as long as possible to be in the spotlight, we need to draw attention, let them know that Milan is coming back.

    • For every rossoneri…there will be only one team in thier heart..its like a true love..
      Apparently this is not the kind of forum where
      One could write “i love both milan and arsenal”

  12. I too wanted Milan to avoid Atl. Madrid, their style is similar to Milan’s now and Spaniards are always tricky in Europe.

    I also wanted to avoid any Russian club as I believe Milan players would go into match thinking they are half through and Russians are not to be underestimated either

    Arsenal players are weak minded and without a proper character along with Arsene. Gattuso installed more balls in last month and a half to Milan than Arsenal ever had. Hope Milan can repeat a match against Sampdoria

    Forza!

  13. In a WhatsApp forum I am with my friends, yesterday I was spamming the forum with “I WANT ARSENAL” and they kept complaining LOL.

    Now i got them and I am positive we will beat them over the 2 legs. We will suffer in the Emirates but we will qualify.

    I’m definitely going to be there too as am close, hope to join the Curva Sud and enjoy every moment.

  14. Nice draw, better lose now than later empty handed.

    Therefore, if we win, perfect. So no pressure.

    With the form of lately, Milan will win

  15. If not for anything I am happy montella is not the coach to take us through this next 6games.. Gattuso and the lads would prove their worth.. milan all the way..

  16. Great game..

    If gattuso decides to go with the “italian coach thinking” Kalinic have serie a experience and start him then we have lost already.

    Its all depends if gattuso is italian or smart 1 day before kick off.

  17. am also happy many hopes and believe I pray it come to pass as for montella he actually did well against Man United his tactics was OK maybe spainish football fit is style but I so pity for him when he go for the away match at Old Trafford forza Milan all the way

  18. Roma match is no problem as they won’t want to vomit too much cos of chm League fatigue, plus arsenal have man city, manu to handle, the only problem is who will strike against roma cos kalinic could mean no goal, whereas Andre Silva must not get injured against roma as he will be our lifeline against arsenal and pls don’t overuse chalenogluo

  19. Last night I saw Zapata marking well, reading the game well, recovering balls high up the pitch and making good forward runs. Now I have one crazy idea. God forbid Kessie gets injured but harsh times sometimes call for extreme measurements and maybe Zapata can take over Kessie’s role in mid…

    • I dont get it! just because both are black 😀 Monto is playing good. Loca is also available. Mauri wasn’t bad yesterday

    • And Musacchio has good skills too as backup for Biglia as DM. Remember the crazy idea of Capello making a central defender Marcel Dessailly to mark Stoichkov in the UCL final against Barca in 1994?

        • Yup. Dessailly was a real nightmare for Barca’s duo Romario-Stoichkov that night LOL.
          Hope Rino reads this blog and he start thinking of using Musa, ex- Yellow Submarine el Capitan as Milan’s secret weapon against any teams which has creative AM like Ozil, Pjanic, Hazard and Fekir.
          Kill them all, Rino.

    • Zapata might have a good game once in a blue moon but dont get carried away he is generally not very fast and his passing is not up to scratch, i’ll argue that he should never had joined us to begin with. Even a player like paletta with all his red cards was a better player and he is gone now. Mussachio is a great teqnical defender but to put him in the midfield would be a slap in the face of both better and experienced midfielders and at this point it would be a hazardous move that in my opinion could hurt the team morale. Utilizing a defensive midfielder of the class and strength of marcel desailly WHO was allready a great player when he joined milan and placing him in the defense compared to the reverse move of either zapata or musscahio is neither comparable or advisable in my view.

      • Totally agree. Desailly is in a different class. Besides no more experimenting with playing anyone out of their natural position.

        Havent you guys learn from Montella’s crazy experiments? The team needs stability and consistency.

        • Hey Nick glad im not the only one seeing the potential issues in fielding those players in a completely unfamiliar position.

          I think Montella had a decent first seaon at milan and desserves some credit for that but unfortunately it whent all downward from 17/18 season which i agree was partialy due to his experimenting and the lack of ability to create stability and consistency within the squad. In my opinion he should also have rested the squad more against some fairly weak europa League teams so the starting 11 of the serie a would have been more ready for some more important fixtures. In the end im happy that gattuso was apointed as he is one of my alltime favourite milan players and if anyone desserves succes at the Club its him as it was allways clear he would willingly bleed and for that sake make others bleed for the shirt and Club.

  20. I’m not even scared .. Milan is going to the the next round for sure … Gattuso have solidify our defense and style of play to an impressive extent

  21. I was personally hoping for an easier fixture like plzen while some of the other big teams would eliminate eachother before NeXT round. Arsenal was one of my least wanted fixtures except playing against atl madrid, Dortmund and Leipzig but when that is said i do think this fixture squad wise on paper is pretty much 50/50. Arsenal on theyr best days is a great team that commands some respect from all teams but at the same time its also a team that can completely disapear and get trashed by second rate teams. Aubameyang is cuptied and from what i read by a gunners fan earlier Lacazette will be out untill near april so if that holds up i’ll say we are propably small favourites. in the end i believe we will advance to NeXT round but propably not with a great margin.

  22. Come on guys we gonna win this EL with Rino as the Surprise. I’m very confident and hopefull for this team. Forza Milan

  23. In my opinion this is done game for Milan, Arsenal too me is not anyway so good, the team has not won any competitive European competition over 2 decade, though they can rise up to occasion sometimes nevertheless their are inconsistent cannot be evaluated, wrong decision and approach to game. Ozil hate rough game as well as entire arsenal team, kick them twice and unsettle them, they are doom. I believe in Gattuso. Thank Forza Milan

  24. Trust me ,let’s not be sentimental about this ,let’s talk like analysts, when it comes to die hard competitive games arsenal stand a better chance ,and I want to tell our management (mirabell) to use his words carefully so as not to boost the morale of the arsenal squad,cos they will charge more with such languages he uses(too much confidence) Milan r not strong yet,wud have been more sure of Atalanta beating arsenal than Milan winning arsenal,they have speed upfront and good at counter attack
    My prayer and wish is for Milan to scale tru this which is going to be so slim a chance ,if we can beat Roma 2moro then we may just be able to play arsenal

  25. Wow, its good to finally have some positivity and optimism around here. Rino really bring out something here. I hope fellow milanisti can take this positivity to their everyday lives to achieve great things.
    As it stands, both milan and arsenal are underachievers considering their history and investments but from what ive seen so far, underachieving arsenal play a bit better than underachieving milan this season and i have no doubt arsenal at their peak could play better than milan at their peak this season so i dont get why people are so cocksure about milan beating arsenal. Stranger things have happened though so its possible milan can beat arsenal though i wouldnt bet my assets on it.
    Regarding the final, i think atl madrid and dortmund can be the finalists if they really want it (and with favourable drawings) with atl come out winning their 3rd trophy, like good old spanish teams in modern days europa league.

  26. Mr English man @milan10 is not abt the spellings and pls consult ur dictionary ,what matters is the msg and its understanding I cud as well right in my language if I wish

  27. I can see that many fans here don’t really football dey watch without seeing the level of playing and team work!!!!Milan will beat Arsenal home and away!!!mark my words!!it’s only Sanchez dat is dere best and better player and he’s sold out,we are winning Arsenal!!

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