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Allegri urges caution against Arsenal

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri underlined Milan’s determination to avoid the pitfalls of last season when they welcome Arsenal to San Siro. MIlan lost to the Gunners’ north London rivals Tottenham Hotspur 12 months ago, while Manchester United FC got the better of them the previous season, as both times Milan was unable to claw back a 1-0 first-leg defeat at home.

Milan Coach Massimiliano Allegri Comments

We are aware of Arsenal’s strength; they have individual talent and play well as a team. The Gunners collectively are more dangerous than the qualities of two great players like [Thierry] Henry and [Robin] van Persie. We must be careful and we have to perform well in defence because it’s a 180-minute challenge.

We will try to qualify for the next round because we want to improve on our last campaign in the UEFA Champions League. We must be careful, play well technically and avoid some of the mistakes we have made recently. Conceding a goal at home would be a blow ahead of the second leg in London. We must not concede on the counterattack.

We don’t have an inferiority complex against English teams despite the defeats in recent seasons. Last year [against Tottenham] we made a big mistake in Milan but in the second game we deserved to win and go through. Arsenal are performing well and their attack is very dangerous.

[Stephan] El Shaarawy is playing very well, he’s growing, but is only 19 so we must not give him too much responsibility. He has great qualities, is a great striker and has become a starter in the Milan attack.