A great Champions League draw for Arsenal!
On the 19th/20th February Arsenal will play AC Milan in the first round of the Champions League knockout stage.
These are the games you live for.
To play the reigning European Champions is something I find really exciting.
Many people may have wanted a ‘lesser’ team, but as they say you never get any easy games in this competition. And there’s no doubt Arsenal raise their game against the biggest names in European football, and funnily enough seem to struggle against the less fancied sides in Europe.
Arsenal’s best performances in Europe were when they weren’t favourites to get a result. We’ve seen Thierry score a hattrick at Roma, Arsenal demolish Inter Milan 5-1 in their own back yard, win at the Bernabeu and turnover Juventus over two legs.
And don’t forget, this current Arsenal team can beat anyone on their day.
We even managed to lead against one of the strongest sides in World Football in the Champions League Final with only 10 men for over an hour!
So no-one should be worried about this tie.
Bring it on!
But we should not underestimate this AC Milan side.
Yes, they are currently struggling in their domestic league – slumped in 11th position and a shocking 22 points behind league leaders Inter Milan.
But this is the side that won the European Cup last season, and have a simply awesome record in this competition over the last 5 years. Correct me if I’m wrong, but they were in the semi-finals against Deportivo (were they lost a 4-1 lead) and Barcelona (who went on to win it), and then met Liverpool in the final twice, losing one and winning one.
So they may be poor in Serie A at this moment in time but in Europe it’s safe to say they have a formula to get to the latter stages, and are arguably the best side equiped in European Football.
People will say this team is ageing, past their best, and all the other rubbish but their record speaks for itself.
And that should serve as great motivation for this young Arsenal side to beat one of Europe’s greats.
Below is the Champions League draw in full:
Celtic v Barcelona
Lyon v Manchester United
Schalke v Porto
Liverpool v Inter Milan
Roma v Real Madrid
Arsenal v AC Milan
Olympiakos v Chelsea
Fenerbahce v Sevilla