Paolo Maldini was upbeat after helping AC Milan hold Arsenal FC to a goalless draw in the first leg of the first knockout round tie in London. "It's an excellent outcome," he said.
Maldini had said on the eve of the match that he was conscious his trip to London could be his last foray into foreign fields as a Rossoneri player and he was certainly kept busy by an energetic Arsenal side. But the 39-year-old survived the test posed by a youthful Gunners outfit, and was brimming with confidence after helping keep another clean sheet. "In my experience a 0-0 away from home is a good result," he said. "The fact that in the last five minutes they went for broke to try and get a result suggests to me that they felt the scoreline wasn't the best result for them."
The European champions shared a goalless draw with Celtic FC in Glasgow at this stage last season before overcoming the Scottish side in extra time at San Siro and these are the sort of matches that give the seven-time winners belief. "The big advantage is that we're playing the second leg at home," continued Maldini. "We have experience of getting results in that situation against all the big sides. The only exception was the [1-0] defeat to Barcelona [in 2006], which was the only match where we didn't play better in the home leg – and it was fatal. But we're satisfied with the result. It's an excellent outcome against the side who are first in the Premier League and which everyone has been saying play the best football in Europe."
Massimo Oddo was also pleased with the result but confessed that Milan benefited from a stroke of good fortune when Emmanuel Adebayor headed against the bar in the last seconds. "We were a bit lucky," he said. "Especially with the last move of the match, so we'll settle for the draw. As a team we lacked a little bit of incisiveness in attack and maybe we didn't counterattack quickly enough. It wasn't exactly a vintage performance but we managed to hang in there; we were very compact and the result could certainly serve us well for the return leg."
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