Arsenal will face AC Milan in the last-16 of the Europa League, and history suggests it will be a close encounter.
Arsenal have faced the Serie A side on six separate occasions in the past, and they’ve won two, drawn two and lost two of those matches.
The North London side have kept four clean sheets in those games, and Milan have kept four in return with neither side scoring if the other does.
Even the number of goals scored in ties between the two teams is pretty similar, with Arsenal scoring five and Milan scoring six.
In their last meeting, Wenger’s side won 3-0 at the Emirates, courtesy of a whirlwind first-half performance. Laurent Koscielny, Tomas Rosicky and Robin van Persie all got on the scoresheet in the opening period.
Unfortunately it wasn’t enough to overturn the 4-0 defeat from the first-leg, and Arsenal were eliminated anyway. The most heartbreaking moment was when van Persie had a chance to make it 4-0 but tried (and failed) to chip the keeper. A low and powerful shot probably would have levelled the aggregate scoreline.
Before that, Cesc Fabregas and Emmanuel Adebayor scored late goals at the San Siro as Arsenal knocked Milan out in 2008. They’d held the Italians to a 0-0 draw in London, so just needed any win in the away leg. It was a famous victory, but in the end the team went out to Liverpool in the next round anyway.
For the first meeting of the two clubs you have to go back to 1995.
Arsenal were the holders of the European Cup Winners’ Cup, and Milan the Champions League, so they played each other in the European Super Cup.
At the time, the Super Cup was a two-legged event. Arsenal managed a 0-0 draw in the home leg, but lost 2-0 in Italy. Zvonomir Boban and Daniele Massaro scored the goals.
Hopefully Arsenal can channel their 2008 experience this March, and progress to the quarter-finals.