Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Italian Jobs for London's Big Two

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Italian Jobs for London's Big Two

Article excerpt

Byline: Marco Giacomelli

CHELSEA and Arsenal today received the hardest possible draws against Italian sides in the last 16 of the Champions League.

Arsene Wenger's men must overcome Serie A champions AC Milan while Chelsea are up against Napoli, who defeated Manchester City in the group stage to consign the Premier League leaders to the Europa League. No London club have ever been crowned champions of Europe.

Arsenal boast an incredible record against Italian sides, always going through on the eight occasions they have met them in the knockout rounds. Arsenal beat Milan 2-0 in the San Siro three years ago to reach the quarterfinals.

However, the seven-time European champions were the unseeded team that everyone wanted to avoid today, having finished runners-up to Barcelona in their group.

Arsenal secretary David Miles said: "If I'm being honest, there are some other teams I would have preferred but it's probably the pick of the round."

Milan director Umberto Gandini agreed it was the most attractive tie of the last 16 and said: "It's the tie of the round. For the quality and the appeal of the two clubs it is a fantastic tie. Last time we lost to Arsenal and we were knocked out by Tottenham last year -- we are determined to go through. …

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