Arsenal have been drawn against Italian giants AC Milan in the Europa League last-16. The Gunners defeated Sweden’s Ostersunds in the last-32 after receiving a slight scare in the second leg. The team will now face AC Milan, who have played well in the tournament despite underwhelming in Serie A.
Arsenal will travel to Milan for the Europa League last-16 first leg on March 8th. The return match will take place at the Emirates a week later on March 15th.
Arsenal lost their second leg tie to Ostersunds on Thursday night, 2-1. The team were able to go through on aggregate 4-2, however. While Arsenal were defeated on Thursday, AC Milan knocked off Bulgaria’s Ludogorets 1-0. The Italians won the tie 4-0 on aggregate.
Despite Milan’s relative ease in the Europa League this season, the team has failed to play well in Serie A. The team is currently seventh on 41 points. In late November, the Italians sacked then-manager Vincenzo Montella and hired Gennaro Gattuso. Montella went on to join Sevilla.
After the Europa League last-16 draw was made, AC Milan club manager Christian Abbiati spoke about the exciting draw.
“It is a game that gives you great excitement, a fascinating game. We expect San Siro stadium to be packed, our fans will support us,” Abbiati said.
“AC Milan can do it because we have been playing as a team lately, the players are united and we have been doing very well. We hope to continue like this.”
Europa League last-16 draw
AC Milan versus Arsenal will be the biggest fixture of the next stage of the tournament. However, there are seven other big ties as the tournament is now down to the last 16 teams.
Lazio v Dynamo Kiev
RB Leipzig v Zenit St Petersburg
Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow
CSKA Moscow v Lyon
Marseille v Athletic Bilbao
Sporting Lisbon v Viktoria Plzen
Borussia Dortmund v FC Salzburg
AC Milan v Arsenal