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Milan experience raises Kaladze hopes

Published: Tuesday 4 March 2008, 14.24CET
Having given themselves "a platform to build on" by drawing in London, Kakha Kaladze is confident that AC Milan have the nous to curtail Arsenal FC's challenge.
by Richard Aikman
from Milan
Milan experience raises Kaladze hopes
Kakha Kaladze is confident Milan will progress at Arsenal's expense ©Getty Images

Tournament statistics

MilanArsenal

Goals scored12
 
19
Attempts on target46
 
53
Attempts off target47
 
55
Corners41
 
51
Offsides24
 
36
Fouls committed127
 
129
Yellow cards15
 
17
Red cards0
 
0

Matches

4 March 2008

Milan
0-2
Arsenal
Sevilla
3-2
(2-3p)
Fenerbahçe
Barcelona
1-0
Celtic
Man. United
1-0
Lyon

5 March 2008

Real Madrid
1-2
Roma
Chelsea
3-0
Olympiacos
Porto
1-0
(1-4p)
Schalke

11 March 2008

Internazionale
0-1
Liverpool
 
Published: Tuesday 4 March 2008, 14.24CET

Milan experience raises Kaladze hopes

Having given themselves "a platform to build on" by drawing in London, Kakha Kaladze is confident that AC Milan have the nous to curtail Arsenal FC's challenge.

AC Milan defender Kakha Kaladze is confident his side's strong home record in the UEFA Champions League will come to the fore once more when the holders play Arsenal FC in the deciding leg of an intriguing first knockout round tie.

Track record
With the match delicately poised after 90 goalless minutes in London, the Rossoneri are looking to register a home win to continue their defence of a trophy clinched for the seventh time last season. Kaladze strongly believes experience will go a long way towards helping Milan achieve this ambition on Tuesday. The Italian club succeeded at this stage last term after securing a 0-0 draw at Celtic FC and they won through in similar circumstances against Olympique Lyonnais in the 2005/06 quarter-finals.

Mentally strong
"It's a similar situation to experiences we have had before," said the Georgian international, who featured in both of Milan's UEFA Champions League triumphs under Carlo Ancelotti. "It will be tough for us, but it will be difficult for them too. Experience has made us very strong mentally. And we've got some important players back from injury so we are looking forward to the match and optimistic about our chances."

'Platform'
Kaladze turned 30 last week and, along with Paolo Maldini, Alessandro Nesta, Massimo Oddo and Zeljko Kalac, will likely be at the heart of a back five 166 years young. Having been here before, the left-sided player certainly knows what it takes to go the distance in this competition. "The priority must always be to defend well and build on that," he said. "In London we held firm and we've given ourselves a platform to build on. We expect to play better at home because we always do in this competition.

'Great players'
"Arsenal are a very strong, young and fast side. Emmanuel Adebayor, Aleksandr Hleb, Cesc Fabregas are great players. They play well as a team. They interchange quickly and attack in numbers. They are quick and we respect them, but many good sides have come to San Siro since I've been here and struggled. I don't know how they will be feeling when they come out of the tunnel, but for us it is a huge advantage to play in front of our own fans. In the past we have always risen to the occasion on big European nights here and we're sure we can do it again."

Last updated: 04/03/08 22.14CET

http://www.uefa.com/uefachampionsleague/season=2008/matches/round=15106/match=301896/prematch/focus/index.html#milan+experience+raises+kaladze+hopes

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