Wenger positive ahead of Milan clash | News | Al Jazeera

Wenger positive ahead of Milan clash

Arsenal manager hopeful despite 'mission impossible' against AC Milan in Champions League second leg.

    All smiles for Robin van Persie who has notched up 31 goals in all competitions this season [GETTY]

    From the depths of despair after losing 4-0 in the San Siro, Arsenal have rediscovered some hope and will have a spring in their step when they embark on "mission impossible" against AC Milan in their European Champions League last 16, second leg on Tuesday.

    Logic suggests seasoned Serie A sides like Milan do not fritter away four-goal advantages but after morale boosting back-to-back English Premier League victories against Tottenham Hotspur and Liverpool and with Robin van Persie in the form of his life, Arsenal believe there could still be a twist in the tie.

    The Emirates is something of a fortress for the Gunners in Europe and goals do tend to flow.

    They will also seek comfort from Deportivo La Coruna's 4-0 second leg victory against Milan in the 2004 quarter-finals for a 5-4 aggregate victory.

    Wenger hopeful

    Manager Arsene Wenger, who labelled the hammering in Milan a "disaster", believes all may not be lost.

    Six of Arsenal's last 19 home wins in Europe have been by four goal margins - a statistic that will not have gone unnoticed by Milan as they seek to reach the quarter-finals having lost at the last 16 stage to Tottenham last season.

    "I love these statistics!" Wenger said after Van Persie's double earned Arsenal a 2-1 win at Liverpool on Saturday that boosted their chances of a top-four finish.

    "We can score, we can have a good edge in our game, so let's just go for it. We have it all to win because the result is written before we turn up, but we can change it.

    "Nothing would be fatal (if Milan score). If we have the attitude we had against Spurs then nothing is fatal, so we will just go for it.

    "We will give absolutely everything to win. We know the statistics are against us, but you can realise the impossible when you don't know it is impossible. "

    - Arsene Wenger

    "We will give absolutely everything to win. We know the statistics are against us, but you can realise the impossible when you don't know it is impossible."

    Defence priorities

    Van Persie, who also scored in the 5-2 hammering of Tottenham, has notched 31 goals in all competitions this season and keeping the Dutchman quiet will be the main priority for Milan.

    "We have a good lead and we're confident. Arsenal can be devastating at home but if we play like we can we can make it without problems," Milan's Djamel Mesbah told Milan's website.
     
    Milan will also be confident of scoring with their own in-form striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic bagging a hat-trick in the 4-0 win over Palermo at the weekend which sent the champions clear at the top of Serie A.

    "Ibra is doing great things," Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri said.

    "He's in a rich vein of form. The three-match ban did him good."

    Milan have doubts over Kevin-Prince Boateng and Clarence Seedorf for the second leg while Mikel Arteta is a worry for Arsenal after suffering concussion against Liverpool - Arsenal's fourth league win in a row. 

    SOURCE: Reuters


    YOU MIGHT ALSO LIKE

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    Interactive: Coding like a girl

    What obstacles do young women in technology have to overcome to achieve their dreams? Play this retro game to find out.

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    America's Guns: Secret Pipeline to Syria

    How has the international arms trade exacerbated conflict in the Middle East? People and Power investigates.

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    I remember the day … I designed the Nigerian flag

    In 1959, a year before Nigeria's independence, a 23-year-old student helped colour the country's identity.