Arsene Wenger’s side are in full control after they strolled past I Rossoneri 2-0 at San Siro.
1 – Arsenal are the first side to beat AC Milan at the San Siro in the Europa League/UEFA Cup since February 2002 (0-1 v Roda JC) – the Italians had gone 10 games without losing between these defeats. Optimism. pic.twitter.com/FefVTG7fuQ
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 8, 2018
Henrikh Mkhitaryan gave the visitors the lead with his first goal for the club since his January move from Manchester United, before Aaron Ramsey deservedly doubled their advantage seconds from the break.
Both teams head into the game on the back of league victories. Arsenal cruised to a 3-0 win over a lacklustre Watford at the Emirates, while Milan clinched three points away to Genoa with a last minute winner.
Milan romped to a 4-0 victory when they hosted Arsenal back in 2012. Kevin-Prince Boateng struck to give Milan the lead, before a double from Robinho saw Milan find themselves 3-0 up and Arsenal’s European hopes were left in tatters.
Zlatan Ibrahimovic added insult to injury from the penalty spot, inflicting one of Arsenal’s heaviest European defeats ever.
In the second leg in North London, Arsenal looked on course for a stunning comeback as they fired home three first-half goals to reduce the aggregate score to 4-3.
Goals from Laurent Koscielny and Tomas Rosicky, and a Robin van Persie penalty, saw the
Gunners go into the break 3-0 ahead on the night. However, they couldn’t manage to add to their tally in the second half and were knocked out of the competition with a 4-3 aggregate loss.
Recorded last six home & away games
Arsenal’s Home Record: WLLWWW
The Gunners haven’t had the best of seasons, but their home form has been quite steady over the course of the campaign. While Arsene Wenger’s side might be 6th in the overall Premier League table, they have the third best home record – having won 11 out of a possible 15 league games and lost only twice.
Nevertheless, defeat at the Emirates to Swedish side O
Milan’s Away Record: WWWWDW
Milan have undergone a miraculous rejuvenation in recent months and their away form has been key to their upturn in fortunes. The Serie A side have won their last four games away from the San Siro – in which they have scored 10 goals without conceding any.
Arsenal are likely to welcome back Spanish duo Hector Bellerin, who has recovered from a knee injury, and Nacho Monreal, who has recovered from a minor back problem. Mesut Ozil is also expected to be fit after picking up a minor knock.
— Héctor Bellerín (@HectorBellerin) March 8, 2018
Shkodran Mustafi is a doubt, however, after the centre back suffered a groin injury in the Gunners’ 3-0 victory over Watford at the weekend.
The visitors, on the other hand, will have the same squad available to them as in the reverse fixture, with full back Davide Calabria having been rested in their weekend win over Genoa.
In defence, both Hector Bellerin and Nacho Monreal will have to be wary of the threat posed by Milan’s full back pairing of Davide Calabria and Ricardo Rodriguez, both of whom are likely to push high up in support of their strikers.
That, in turn, will leave space for Arsenal’s full backs to to exploit and the two Spaniards will need to be wary of when to venture forward and when to stay back.
In midfield, Milan will need to do what they couldn’t at the San Siro and stop Arsenal’s attacking trio of Ozil, M
13 – Arsenal’s victory ended a run of 13 games without defeat for AC Milan in all competitions, with the Italian side’s previous loss before this coming back in December 2017 (v Atalanta in Serie A). Scalp. pic.twitter.com/uKjIvE0Gxm
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) March 8, 2018
That means L
André Silva scores his first Serie A goal as AC Milan get back to winning ways with a late victory at Genoa. ⚽️
— UEFA Europa League (@EuropaLeague) March 11, 2018
Prediction: Arsenal 2-1 Milan