AC Milan sporting director Massimiliano Mirabelli has joked that he feels “sorry” for Arsenal as the two clubs were drawn together in the last-16 of the Europa League.
The Serie A side reached the next stage of the Europa League with a 4-0 aggregate victory over Bulgarian side Ludogorets, while the Gunners avoided a scare to beat Ostersunds 4-2 on aggregate.
And Mirabelli is in no doubt that Gennaro Gattuso’s men will knock Arsenal out of European competition when they play in March.
“I am sorry for Arsenal because I am sure they would have liked to continue in Europe,” he said.
“It would have been a nice final, but I’m happy meet them in the last 16.
“It’s a big test to face a big club like Arsenal now. We need opponents like this.”
Christian Abbiati, Milan’s club manager, has recalled the last time the clubs met in Europe as the Italian side scraped through 4-3 on aggregate in the last-16 of the Champions League, despite winning the first leg 4-0 in the San Siro.
“It was a disaster in London but we made it through in the end and I hope we don’t see the same mistakes this time,” Abbiati said.
“This is definitely not the same Arsenal as back then and we meet them in what is a positive moment for us.
“We are in good form at the moment and have had some good results. Playing in games like this will be all the motivation we need.”