All eyes were on the Champions League draw in Nyon, Switzerland this morning with most Spurs fans waking up with a sense of pride that we have even made it this far in the competition most “pundits” said we would struggle in. But feeling wary of what could lie in store in the last 16. Although we knew we could beat any of those teams on our day, there were some dangerous teams that we could be drawn against, and we got probably the most dangerous of them all - A.C Milan.
Milan are the 2nd most successful team in the competition, with 7 wins since the competitions inception. But over the last few years have been known as the poor relations of great city rivals Inter Milan and they have had to watch Inter and Jose Mourinho lift the treble (Serie A, Champions League and the Italian Cup) last season and win the league 5 years in a row under both Mourinho and Roberto Mancini. But Jose has gone to Madrid, Inter aren’t so special anymore with Rafa Benitez in charge, and A.C have enjoyed a bit of a renaissance this season under Massimiliano Allegri and new signings Robinho and Ibrahimovic who have scored 14 League goals and 4 Champions League goals between them already this season.
Nevertheless Tottenham will fancy their chances in this tie, especially at home. They have already proven themselves in this competition by beating the other Milan team - Inter (the current Champions League holders) 3-1 at White Hart Lane and produced a stunning comeback from 4-0 down with 10 men to make it 4-3, something both Inter and the Champions League have never seen before. Spurs are also unbeaten at White Hart Lane in Europe this season and have won every game, plus they have only been beaten once at home in 2010 in the Premier League. Away from home will be a problem though, they have leaked goals steadily and were 3-0 against Young Boys in the qualifiers, 4-0 down against Inter, 2-0 up in Bremen only to let the lead slip and draw 2-2. they will face a far superior team in Milan in the last 16.
But everyone around the club will be excited by this game. It will bring in huge revenue having such a great club at the Lane and knowing that they can beat them. There is hope for Spurs in the fact that such a team renowned for its defensive qualities in a defensive league are leaky at the back. The ageing team will struggle to cope with the pace of Tottenham’s front line, Nesta is 34, Zambrotta is 33, Gattuso is 32 and Ambrosini 33. It makes for an interesting game.
But what makes up for having a tough draw is that Arsenal have to face possibly the greatest team in history, F.C Barcelona. Added to the fact that they play at home first and have to go to that cathedral of football, the Nou Camp, in the tie decider. It makes for enjoyable watching also.