Atlético de Madrid vs. Celtic

Cnn goles de Falcao y Diego, los colchoneros abrieron ganando la Europa League.

Despite Celtic’s advance on a second successive domestic treble, Scottish football is getting more competitive at its top level, according to Graeme Murty. The Rangers manager made his case after Saturday’s 2-0 win at home to Heart of Midlothian, which saw his side move to within six points of Celtic ahead of the leaders’ meeting with Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Sunday. Although Celtic have faltered during this campaign, those sides closest to them in the table have previously been unable to close the gap because of their own stumbles. Murty, though, cited the fact that the champions’ points advantage is significantly less than half of what it was a year ago. He said: “Their nearest rivals are closer than for a long time and getting closer to the league that we all want it to be. So, regardless of what Celtic do, our job is to push ourselves further and improve and make sure that, come the end of the season, we’re still talking about title races and challenges at the top of the table and in the Scottish Cup. “We want to be right at the top of the table and involved in every competition we compete in. I’m sure Derek McInnes is saying that at Aberdeen, Neil Lennon is saying that at Hibs and Craig Levein is saying that at Hearts. We want to be closer to what Celtic have done over the last period and, whilst being respectful to them, we want to make sure the season isn’t over by March. “We’re closer but we’re not where we need to be. We’re still improving, we’re still gelling and getting the group tighter and quicker with the ball and more cohesive in all departments.” Alfredo Morales, Rangers’ Colombian striker, stated last week that his aim was to move to an English club, a declaration which Murty declared laudable. “Yes. We want ambitious players here – players that are hungry to get to that next level,” he said. “We have just signed contracts with Josh Windass and James Tavernier, who are ambitious, still hungry to go and play at the highest level, but they understand that this place, this environment, gives them a fantastic platform. “We play in front of masses and masses of people at home. Our fans travel in their thousands away and we get fantastic coverage in the media, so there are not many places in Britain which get better coverage than we get and if Alfredo wants to go to England, he’s got things he has to do here that will bring that closer to being a reality for him. “He wants to be on the pitch scoring goals and I think that his last few performances have shown that he’s a real asset to the team. He’s shown good enthusiasm, good quality and that predatory instinct that we love. “At the moment, fatigue hasn’t become an issue. What we do have is a really, really good squad that means that, if we get the opportunity, or we need to, we can freshen things up. “As I keep on reiterating, though, this group has not finished growing yet. You’ve seen it just at the very, very start of its journey and we have to continue that growth. “There will be setbacks along the way. There will be knockbacks. We just have to understand what we are building. We are closer than we have been recently. But close doesn’t appease people. We want to be in front.” Rangers scored late in each half, taking the lead just before the break from Jamie Murphy and securing their three points two minutes before full- time when Russell Martin netted his first for the club with a tap-in. Elsewhere, Hibernian stunned Kilmarnock at Rugby Park with a first-minute strike by Florian Kamberi and a header by Ryan Porteous and by the interval the visitors could claim that they were unfortunate not to have doubled their advantage. Kilmarnock, though, responded with a swift double on their own account, first with a Jordan Jones shot and then with a penalty kick by Kris Boyd, in a match which finished 2-2. At the other end of the table, Ross County remained bottom when they lost 2-0 to St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, where Murray Davidson netted a double and a poor day for the Staggies deteriorated when Craig Curran was sent off in the closing stages. Partick Thistle dropped into the relegation play-off place when their habit of conceding last-gasp goals materialised again with David Templeton’s injury time winner in a 2-1 defeat at Hamilton, who leapfrogged the Jags into 10th spot. Accies are now two points behind Dundee, whose fans were noisily unhappy at losing to Motherwell at Dens Park, where Craig Tanner scored the only goal.
Scottish football is getting more competitive at the top, insists Rangers manager Graeme Murty
Despite Celtic’s advance on a second successive domestic treble, Scottish football is getting more competitive at its top level, according to Graeme Murty. The Rangers manager made his case after Saturday’s 2-0 win at home to Heart of Midlothian, which saw his side move to within six points of Celtic ahead of the leaders’ meeting with Aberdeen at Pittodrie on Sunday. Although Celtic have faltered during this campaign, those sides closest to them in the table have previously been unable to close the gap because of their own stumbles. Murty, though, cited the fact that the champions’ points advantage is significantly less than half of what it was a year ago. He said: “Their nearest rivals are closer than for a long time and getting closer to the league that we all want it to be. So, regardless of what Celtic do, our job is to push ourselves further and improve and make sure that, come the end of the season, we’re still talking about title races and challenges at the top of the table and in the Scottish Cup. “We want to be right at the top of the table and involved in every competition we compete in. I’m sure Derek McInnes is saying that at Aberdeen, Neil Lennon is saying that at Hibs and Craig Levein is saying that at Hearts. We want to be closer to what Celtic have done over the last period and, whilst being respectful to them, we want to make sure the season isn’t over by March. “We’re closer but we’re not where we need to be. We’re still improving, we’re still gelling and getting the group tighter and quicker with the ball and more cohesive in all departments.” Alfredo Morales, Rangers’ Colombian striker, stated last week that his aim was to move to an English club, a declaration which Murty declared laudable. “Yes. We want ambitious players here – players that are hungry to get to that next level,” he said. “We have just signed contracts with Josh Windass and James Tavernier, who are ambitious, still hungry to go and play at the highest level, but they understand that this place, this environment, gives them a fantastic platform. “We play in front of masses and masses of people at home. Our fans travel in their thousands away and we get fantastic coverage in the media, so there are not many places in Britain which get better coverage than we get and if Alfredo wants to go to England, he’s got things he has to do here that will bring that closer to being a reality for him. “He wants to be on the pitch scoring goals and I think that his last few performances have shown that he’s a real asset to the team. He’s shown good enthusiasm, good quality and that predatory instinct that we love. “At the moment, fatigue hasn’t become an issue. What we do have is a really, really good squad that means that, if we get the opportunity, or we need to, we can freshen things up. “As I keep on reiterating, though, this group has not finished growing yet. You’ve seen it just at the very, very start of its journey and we have to continue that growth. “There will be setbacks along the way. There will be knockbacks. We just have to understand what we are building. We are closer than we have been recently. But close doesn’t appease people. We want to be in front.” Rangers scored late in each half, taking the lead just before the break from Jamie Murphy and securing their three points two minutes before full- time when Russell Martin netted his first for the club with a tap-in. Elsewhere, Hibernian stunned Kilmarnock at Rugby Park with a first-minute strike by Florian Kamberi and a header by Ryan Porteous and by the interval the visitors could claim that they were unfortunate not to have doubled their advantage. Kilmarnock, though, responded with a swift double on their own account, first with a Jordan Jones shot and then with a penalty kick by Kris Boyd, in a match which finished 2-2. At the other end of the table, Ross County remained bottom when they lost 2-0 to St Johnstone at McDiarmid Park, where Murray Davidson netted a double and a poor day for the Staggies deteriorated when Craig Curran was sent off in the closing stages. Partick Thistle dropped into the relegation play-off place when their habit of conceding last-gasp goals materialised again with David Templeton’s injury time winner in a 2-1 defeat at Hamilton, who leapfrogged the Jags into 10th spot. Accies are now two points behind Dundee, whose fans were noisily unhappy at losing to Motherwell at Dens Park, where Craig Tanner scored the only goal.
Derek McInnes was the first West Brom player to ever be sent off in the Premier League. He laughs. “I’ve been sent off twice in my career. Once against Berwick Rangers and once against Man Utd!” If you’re going to do something, do it with gusto. McInnes is the much-coveted manager in charge of Aberdeen, an ex-Scotland international who began his playing career at Greenock Morton, appeared in the Champions League for Rangers and captained West Brom in the Premier League along a journeyman-like path. In charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, the 46-year-old has taken the club from a middling stay in the Scottish Premiership to winning silverware and offering a genuine challenge in a one-horse title race. How? “I think you’ve got to have an idea, an identity to your team,” says McInnes, who is preparing his side to host league leaders Celtic on Sunday. “I’ve always felt a team is an extension of the manager really. I wanted a team with attitude, pace, energy. “In every team I played in there were always better players than me in it but I knew the importance that I felt from my teammates towards me and what I could bring to them. McInnes is a man on a mission Credit: PA “You need certain types in your dressing room. It’s not all about being a good player.” As a player, McInnes was a natural leader. Neat and tidy on the ball, he worked tirelessly off it – qualities evident in his current captain, Graeme Shinnie, a player who operates as a physical manifestation of McInnes on the pitch: “He demonstrates everything I want my team to be.” Shinnie, like McInnes, has been largely overlooked at international level, struggling to break into a Scotland squad relatively flush with central midfielders. But Scottish football is not what it once was. If McInnes were a player in 2018, does he think he’d have earned more than just two caps? “Yeh I do, aye. I think I was a long time really getting any recognition but I understand why. I was at Morton a long, long time in the Championship and you look at the players ahead of me then: Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall. “We always seem to produce good central midfield players in Scotland, even now. I don’t have any gripes about it, I was in about eight or nine squads but only managed to get on the pitch twice. I was grateful for that, there were a lot of better players than me that never got picked.” McInnes “always wanted to be a manager” and took his first steps towards doing so while a youth player at Morton, earning his Uefa B license at the age of just 22. Will McInnes get the better of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday? Credit: Reuters “At the end of the season most young players would be away on holiday or wanting to unwind, but for me it was just brilliant. I loved being immersed in all this coaching, seeing players I’d been playing against, senior players you’d recognise, international players absolutely shaking with nerves trying to put on sessions!” Gary Megson signed and appointed him as captain in then-Championship West Brom’s promotion bid in 2001/02. Where better to cut leadership teeth than in the situation McInnes found himself in during the notorious Battle of Brammall Lane, a match abandoned as Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United had five players sent off. “I think the team deserved a lot of credit for not taking the bait. It wasnae a day I remember fondly, it was in poor taste. It was a strange game. Bizarre. We could see the intention of what was happening, unfolding and I remember Eddie Walstenholme, Ken’s boy – the old BBC commentator – and I was trying to keep him calm as well!” West Brom were awarded a 3-0 victory that day, winning promotion to the Premier League. “I remember Gary Megson saying to me ‘you need to decide whether you want to be a coach or a manager because there’s a distinct difference’ and I get what he meant. I always wanted to be a manager. I wanted that final say, wanted the decision to be mine, the consequences of the results good or bad to be my responsibility.” The next of his decisions is how to beat Celtic on Sunday, the type of game in which Aberdeen have struggled during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie. Celtic have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and he agrees that rivals raise their game now. Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: Getty Images “I think [Celtic] see it as a big game, a chance to slap us down. I think you normally find the strongest, most motivated Celtic to take us on. We have to overcome that.” “We’re judged against Rangers and Celtic. The criticism comes when we don’t beat them but it pleases me that’s the perception now. We’ve been to three cup finals the last four years, at least we’re getting criticised for getting in the position to be successful rather than threatening not even to be there, diddling along not making any impact.” Financial disparity threatens to spoil title races in most European leagues and Scotland has it bad. Celtic’s most recent financial report shows net cash in the bank of £30.9million, with pre-tax profit at £19.5million. Aberdeen’s turnover last year was £15.28million. Is it even possible to bridge the gap? “I don’t think you can ever say never, because we’re probably as close to them now in terms of points than we’ve ever been. “If [Celtic] meet their standards it should keep them ahead of everyone else. If their standards drop there might be enough teams who are encouraged by that and you never know.” McInnes has turned down moves to Sunderland and Rangers in the previous two seasons, with the latter a controversial saga which dragged on far too long. If a financial ceiling is preventing McInnes achieving all he wants at Aberdeen and there are plenty of would be suitors, what keeps him at the club? “You work for clubs… but you actually work for people. When you’ve got options to consider you have to go with your gut feeling and ascertain who am I gonna be working closely with here, how much trust is there, does the club work properly… “A manager can drive it, can get his team going, get the dressing room right and bring people in but the enthusiasm and motivation and expertise in leadership must come from above or the manager is just a consequence of that. “A manager is judged on the pitch but how your club works is normally how it plays out on the pitch. “The opportunity to work down south will come again, I’m confident it will. “I’ve got a plan for myself where I want to manage, how I want to go about things. It would need to take something that would grab me to want to leave here.” Does the Premier League interest him in the future? “Yeh! Now!” he laughs. “This club when I came in, people probably thought you go to Aberdeen and that’s some sort of guarantee of a chance to be successful… but a club’s only a name. It’s the people within the club who brought the success, not the name. “I think clubs are about people and I don’t think we should ever forget that.”
Exclusive interview: I'm sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen's in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes was the first West Brom player to ever be sent off in the Premier League. He laughs. “I’ve been sent off twice in my career. Once against Berwick Rangers and once against Man Utd!” If you’re going to do something, do it with gusto. McInnes is the much-coveted manager in charge of Aberdeen, an ex-Scotland international who began his playing career at Greenock Morton, appeared in the Champions League for Rangers and captained West Brom in the Premier League along a journeyman-like path. In charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, the 46-year-old has taken the club from a middling stay in the Scottish Premiership to winning silverware and offering a genuine challenge in a one-horse title race. How? “I think you’ve got to have an idea, an identity to your team,” says McInnes, who is preparing his side to host league leaders Celtic on Sunday. “I’ve always felt a team is an extension of the manager really. I wanted a team with attitude, pace, energy. “In every team I played in there were always better players than me in it but I knew the importance that I felt from my teammates towards me and what I could bring to them. McInnes is a man on a mission Credit: PA “You need certain types in your dressing room. It’s not all about being a good player.” As a player, McInnes was a natural leader. Neat and tidy on the ball, he worked tirelessly off it – qualities evident in his current captain, Graeme Shinnie, a player who operates as a physical manifestation of McInnes on the pitch: “He demonstrates everything I want my team to be.” Shinnie, like McInnes, has been largely overlooked at international level, struggling to break into a Scotland squad relatively flush with central midfielders. But Scottish football is not what it once was. If McInnes were a player in 2018, does he think he’d have earned more than just two caps? “Yeh I do, aye. I think I was a long time really getting any recognition but I understand why. I was at Morton a long, long time in the Championship and you look at the players ahead of me then: Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall. “We always seem to produce good central midfield players in Scotland, even now. I don’t have any gripes about it, I was in about eight or nine squads but only managed to get on the pitch twice. I was grateful for that, there were a lot of better players than me that never got picked.” McInnes “always wanted to be a manager” and took his first steps towards doing so while a youth player at Morton, earning his Uefa B license at the age of just 22. Will McInnes get the better of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday? Credit: Reuters “At the end of the season most young players would be away on holiday or wanting to unwind, but for me it was just brilliant. I loved being immersed in all this coaching, seeing players I’d been playing against, senior players you’d recognise, international players absolutely shaking with nerves trying to put on sessions!” Gary Megson signed and appointed him as captain in then-Championship West Brom’s promotion bid in 2001/02. Where better to cut leadership teeth than in the situation McInnes found himself in during the notorious Battle of Brammall Lane, a match abandoned as Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United had five players sent off. “I think the team deserved a lot of credit for not taking the bait. It wasnae a day I remember fondly, it was in poor taste. It was a strange game. Bizarre. We could see the intention of what was happening, unfolding and I remember Eddie Walstenholme, Ken’s boy – the old BBC commentator – and I was trying to keep him calm as well!” West Brom were awarded a 3-0 victory that day, winning promotion to the Premier League. “I remember Gary Megson saying to me ‘you need to decide whether you want to be a coach or a manager because there’s a distinct difference’ and I get what he meant. I always wanted to be a manager. I wanted that final say, wanted the decision to be mine, the consequences of the results good or bad to be my responsibility.” The next of his decisions is how to beat Celtic on Sunday, the type of game in which Aberdeen have struggled during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie. Celtic have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and he agrees that rivals raise their game now. Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: Getty Images “I think [Celtic] see it as a big game, a chance to slap us down. I think you normally find the strongest, most motivated Celtic to take us on. We have to overcome that.” “We’re judged against Rangers and Celtic. The criticism comes when we don’t beat them but it pleases me that’s the perception now. We’ve been to three cup finals the last four years, at least we’re getting criticised for getting in the position to be successful rather than threatening not even to be there, diddling along not making any impact.” Financial disparity threatens to spoil title races in most European leagues and Scotland has it bad. Celtic’s most recent financial report shows net cash in the bank of £30.9million, with pre-tax profit at £19.5million. Aberdeen’s turnover last year was £15.28million. Is it even possible to bridge the gap? “I don’t think you can ever say never, because we’re probably as close to them now in terms of points than we’ve ever been. “If [Celtic] meet their standards it should keep them ahead of everyone else. If their standards drop there might be enough teams who are encouraged by that and you never know.” McInnes has turned down moves to Sunderland and Rangers in the previous two seasons, with the latter a controversial saga which dragged on far too long. If a financial ceiling is preventing McInnes achieving all he wants at Aberdeen and there are plenty of would be suitors, what keeps him at the club? “You work for clubs… but you actually work for people. When you’ve got options to consider you have to go with your gut feeling and ascertain who am I gonna be working closely with here, how much trust is there, does the club work properly… “A manager can drive it, can get his team going, get the dressing room right and bring people in but the enthusiasm and motivation and expertise in leadership must come from above or the manager is just a consequence of that. “A manager is judged on the pitch but how your club works is normally how it plays out on the pitch. “The opportunity to work down south will come again, I’m confident it will. “I’ve got a plan for myself where I want to manage, how I want to go about things. It would need to take something that would grab me to want to leave here.” Does the Premier League interest him in the future? “Yeh! Now!” he laughs. “This club when I came in, people probably thought you go to Aberdeen and that’s some sort of guarantee of a chance to be successful… but a club’s only a name. It’s the people within the club who brought the success, not the name. “I think clubs are about people and I don’t think we should ever forget that.”
Derek McInnes was the first West Brom player to ever be sent off in the Premier League. He laughs. “I’ve been sent off twice in my career. Once against Berwick Rangers and once against Man Utd!” If you’re going to do something, do it with gusto. McInnes is the much-coveted manager in charge of Aberdeen, an ex-Scotland international who began his playing career at Greenock Morton, appeared in the Champions League for Rangers and captained West Brom in the Premier League along a journeyman-like path. In charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, the 46-year-old has taken the club from a middling stay in the Scottish Premiership to winning silverware and offering a genuine challenge in a one-horse title race. How? “I think you’ve got to have an idea, an identity to your team,” says McInnes, who is preparing his side to host league leaders Celtic on Sunday. “I’ve always felt a team is an extension of the manager really. I wanted a team with attitude, pace, energy. “In every team I played in there were always better players than me in it but I knew the importance that I felt from my teammates towards me and what I could bring to them. McInnes is a man on a mission Credit: PA “You need certain types in your dressing room. It’s not all about being a good player.” As a player, McInnes was a natural leader. Neat and tidy on the ball, he worked tirelessly off it – qualities evident in his current captain, Graeme Shinnie, a player who operates as a physical manifestation of McInnes on the pitch: “He demonstrates everything I want my team to be.” Shinnie, like McInnes, has been largely overlooked at international level, struggling to break into a Scotland squad relatively flush with central midfielders. But Scottish football is not what it once was. If McInnes were a player in 2018, does he think he’d have earned more than just two caps? “Yeh I do, aye. I think I was a long time really getting any recognition but I understand why. I was at Morton a long, long time in the Championship and you look at the players ahead of me then: Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall. “We always seem to produce good central midfield players in Scotland, even now. I don’t have any gripes about it, I was in about eight or nine squads but only managed to get on the pitch twice. I was grateful for that, there were a lot of better players than me that never got picked.” McInnes “always wanted to be a manager” and took his first steps towards doing so while a youth player at Morton, earning his Uefa B license at the age of just 22. Will McInnes get the better of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday? Credit: Reuters “At the end of the season most young players would be away on holiday or wanting to unwind, but for me it was just brilliant. I loved being immersed in all this coaching, seeing players I’d been playing against, senior players you’d recognise, international players absolutely shaking with nerves trying to put on sessions!” Gary Megson signed and appointed him as captain in then-Championship West Brom’s promotion bid in 2001/02. Where better to cut leadership teeth than in the situation McInnes found himself in during the notorious Battle of Brammall Lane, a match abandoned as Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United had five players sent off. “I think the team deserved a lot of credit for not taking the bait. It wasnae a day I remember fondly, it was in poor taste. It was a strange game. Bizarre. We could see the intention of what was happening, unfolding and I remember Eddie Walstenholme, Ken’s boy – the old BBC commentator – and I was trying to keep him calm as well!” West Brom were awarded a 3-0 victory that day, winning promotion to the Premier League. “I remember Gary Megson saying to me ‘you need to decide whether you want to be a coach or a manager because there’s a distinct difference’ and I get what he meant. I always wanted to be a manager. I wanted that final say, wanted the decision to be mine, the consequences of the results good or bad to be my responsibility.” The next of his decisions is how to beat Celtic on Sunday, the type of game in which Aberdeen have struggled during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie. Celtic have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and he agrees that rivals raise their game now. Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: Getty Images “I think [Celtic] see it as a big game, a chance to slap us down. I think you normally find the strongest, most motivated Celtic to take us on. We have to overcome that.” “We’re judged against Rangers and Celtic. The criticism comes when we don’t beat them but it pleases me that’s the perception now. We’ve been to three cup finals the last four years, at least we’re getting criticised for getting in the position to be successful rather than threatening not even to be there, diddling along not making any impact.” Financial disparity threatens to spoil title races in most European leagues and Scotland has it bad. Celtic’s most recent financial report shows net cash in the bank of £30.9million, with pre-tax profit at £19.5million. Aberdeen’s turnover last year was £15.28million. Is it even possible to bridge the gap? “I don’t think you can ever say never, because we’re probably as close to them now in terms of points than we’ve ever been. “If [Celtic] meet their standards it should keep them ahead of everyone else. If their standards drop there might be enough teams who are encouraged by that and you never know.” McInnes has turned down moves to Sunderland and Rangers in the previous two seasons, with the latter a controversial saga which dragged on far too long. If a financial ceiling is preventing McInnes achieving all he wants at Aberdeen and there are plenty of would be suitors, what keeps him at the club? “You work for clubs… but you actually work for people. When you’ve got options to consider you have to go with your gut feeling and ascertain who am I gonna be working closely with here, how much trust is there, does the club work properly… “A manager can drive it, can get his team going, get the dressing room right and bring people in but the enthusiasm and motivation and expertise in leadership must come from above or the manager is just a consequence of that. “A manager is judged on the pitch but how your club works is normally how it plays out on the pitch. “The opportunity to work down south will come again, I’m confident it will. “I’ve got a plan for myself where I want to manage, how I want to go about things. It would need to take something that would grab me to want to leave here.” Does the Premier League interest him in the future? “Yeh! Now!” he laughs. “This club when I came in, people probably thought you go to Aberdeen and that’s some sort of guarantee of a chance to be successful… but a club’s only a name. It’s the people within the club who brought the success, not the name. “I think clubs are about people and I don’t think we should ever forget that.”
Exclusive interview: I'm sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen's in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes was the first West Brom player to ever be sent off in the Premier League. He laughs. “I’ve been sent off twice in my career. Once against Berwick Rangers and once against Man Utd!” If you’re going to do something, do it with gusto. McInnes is the much-coveted manager in charge of Aberdeen, an ex-Scotland international who began his playing career at Greenock Morton, appeared in the Champions League for Rangers and captained West Brom in the Premier League along a journeyman-like path. In charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, the 46-year-old has taken the club from a middling stay in the Scottish Premiership to winning silverware and offering a genuine challenge in a one-horse title race. How? “I think you’ve got to have an idea, an identity to your team,” says McInnes, who is preparing his side to host league leaders Celtic on Sunday. “I’ve always felt a team is an extension of the manager really. I wanted a team with attitude, pace, energy. “In every team I played in there were always better players than me in it but I knew the importance that I felt from my teammates towards me and what I could bring to them. McInnes is a man on a mission Credit: PA “You need certain types in your dressing room. It’s not all about being a good player.” As a player, McInnes was a natural leader. Neat and tidy on the ball, he worked tirelessly off it – qualities evident in his current captain, Graeme Shinnie, a player who operates as a physical manifestation of McInnes on the pitch: “He demonstrates everything I want my team to be.” Shinnie, like McInnes, has been largely overlooked at international level, struggling to break into a Scotland squad relatively flush with central midfielders. But Scottish football is not what it once was. If McInnes were a player in 2018, does he think he’d have earned more than just two caps? “Yeh I do, aye. I think I was a long time really getting any recognition but I understand why. I was at Morton a long, long time in the Championship and you look at the players ahead of me then: Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall. “We always seem to produce good central midfield players in Scotland, even now. I don’t have any gripes about it, I was in about eight or nine squads but only managed to get on the pitch twice. I was grateful for that, there were a lot of better players than me that never got picked.” McInnes “always wanted to be a manager” and took his first steps towards doing so while a youth player at Morton, earning his Uefa B license at the age of just 22. Will McInnes get the better of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday? Credit: Reuters “At the end of the season most young players would be away on holiday or wanting to unwind, but for me it was just brilliant. I loved being immersed in all this coaching, seeing players I’d been playing against, senior players you’d recognise, international players absolutely shaking with nerves trying to put on sessions!” Gary Megson signed and appointed him as captain in then-Championship West Brom’s promotion bid in 2001/02. Where better to cut leadership teeth than in the situation McInnes found himself in during the notorious Battle of Brammall Lane, a match abandoned as Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United had five players sent off. “I think the team deserved a lot of credit for not taking the bait. It wasnae a day I remember fondly, it was in poor taste. It was a strange game. Bizarre. We could see the intention of what was happening, unfolding and I remember Eddie Walstenholme, Ken’s boy – the old BBC commentator – and I was trying to keep him calm as well!” West Brom were awarded a 3-0 victory that day, winning promotion to the Premier League. “I remember Gary Megson saying to me ‘you need to decide whether you want to be a coach or a manager because there’s a distinct difference’ and I get what he meant. I always wanted to be a manager. I wanted that final say, wanted the decision to be mine, the consequences of the results good or bad to be my responsibility.” The next of his decisions is how to beat Celtic on Sunday, the type of game in which Aberdeen have struggled during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie. Celtic have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and he agrees that rivals raise their game now. Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: Getty Images “I think [Celtic] see it as a big game, a chance to slap us down. I think you normally find the strongest, most motivated Celtic to take us on. We have to overcome that.” “We’re judged against Rangers and Celtic. The criticism comes when we don’t beat them but it pleases me that’s the perception now. We’ve been to three cup finals the last four years, at least we’re getting criticised for getting in the position to be successful rather than threatening not even to be there, diddling along not making any impact.” Financial disparity threatens to spoil title races in most European leagues and Scotland has it bad. Celtic’s most recent financial report shows net cash in the bank of £30.9million, with pre-tax profit at £19.5million. Aberdeen’s turnover last year was £15.28million. Is it even possible to bridge the gap? “I don’t think you can ever say never, because we’re probably as close to them now in terms of points than we’ve ever been. “If [Celtic] meet their standards it should keep them ahead of everyone else. If their standards drop there might be enough teams who are encouraged by that and you never know.” McInnes has turned down moves to Sunderland and Rangers in the previous two seasons, with the latter a controversial saga which dragged on far too long. If a financial ceiling is preventing McInnes achieving all he wants at Aberdeen and there are plenty of would be suitors, what keeps him at the club? “You work for clubs… but you actually work for people. When you’ve got options to consider you have to go with your gut feeling and ascertain who am I gonna be working closely with here, how much trust is there, does the club work properly… “A manager can drive it, can get his team going, get the dressing room right and bring people in but the enthusiasm and motivation and expertise in leadership must come from above or the manager is just a consequence of that. “A manager is judged on the pitch but how your club works is normally how it plays out on the pitch. “The opportunity to work down south will come again, I’m confident it will. “I’ve got a plan for myself where I want to manage, how I want to go about things. It would need to take something that would grab me to want to leave here.” Does the Premier League interest him in the future? “Yeh! Now!” he laughs. “This club when I came in, people probably thought you go to Aberdeen and that’s some sort of guarantee of a chance to be successful… but a club’s only a name. It’s the people within the club who brought the success, not the name. “I think clubs are about people and I don’t think we should ever forget that.”
Derek McInnes was the first West Brom player to ever be sent off in the Premier League. He laughs. “I’ve been sent off twice in my career. Once against Berwick Rangers and once against Man Utd!” If you’re going to do something, do it with gusto. McInnes is the much-coveted manager in charge of Aberdeen, an ex-Scotland international who began his playing career at Greenock Morton, appeared in the Champions League for Rangers and captained West Brom in the Premier League along a journeyman-like path. In charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, the 46-year-old has taken the club from a middling stay in the Scottish Premiership to winning silverware and offering a genuine challenge in a one-horse title race. How? “I think you’ve got to have an idea, an identity to your team,” says McInnes, who is preparing his side to host league leaders Celtic on Sunday. “I’ve always felt a team is an extension of the manager really. I wanted a team with attitude, pace, energy. “In every team I played in there were always better players than me in it but I knew the importance that I felt from my teammates towards me and what I could bring to them. McInnes is a man on a mission Credit: PA “You need certain types in your dressing room. It’s not all about being a good player.” As a player, McInnes was a natural leader. Neat and tidy on the ball, he worked tirelessly off it – qualities evident in his current captain, Graeme Shinnie, a player who operates as a physical manifestation of McInnes on the pitch: “He demonstrates everything I want my team to be.” Shinnie, like McInnes, has been largely overlooked at international level, struggling to break into a Scotland squad relatively flush with central midfielders. But Scottish football is not what it once was. If McInnes were a player in 2018, does he think he’d have earned more than just two caps? “Yeh I do, aye. I think I was a long time really getting any recognition but I understand why. I was at Morton a long, long time in the Championship and you look at the players ahead of me then: Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall. “We always seem to produce good central midfield players in Scotland, even now. I don’t have any gripes about it, I was in about eight or nine squads but only managed to get on the pitch twice. I was grateful for that, there were a lot of better players than me that never got picked.” McInnes “always wanted to be a manager” and took his first steps towards doing so while a youth player at Morton, earning his Uefa B license at the age of just 22. Will McInnes get the better of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday? Credit: Reuters “At the end of the season most young players would be away on holiday or wanting to unwind, but for me it was just brilliant. I loved being immersed in all this coaching, seeing players I’d been playing against, senior players you’d recognise, international players absolutely shaking with nerves trying to put on sessions!” Gary Megson signed and appointed him as captain in then-Championship West Brom’s promotion bid in 2001/02. Where better to cut leadership teeth than in the situation McInnes found himself in during the notorious Battle of Brammall Lane, a match abandoned as Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United had five players sent off. “I think the team deserved a lot of credit for not taking the bait. It wasnae a day I remember fondly, it was in poor taste. It was a strange game. Bizarre. We could see the intention of what was happening, unfolding and I remember Eddie Walstenholme, Ken’s boy – the old BBC commentator – and I was trying to keep him calm as well!” West Brom were awarded a 3-0 victory that day, winning promotion to the Premier League. “I remember Gary Megson saying to me ‘you need to decide whether you want to be a coach or a manager because there’s a distinct difference’ and I get what he meant. I always wanted to be a manager. I wanted that final say, wanted the decision to be mine, the consequences of the results good or bad to be my responsibility.” The next of his decisions is how to beat Celtic on Sunday, the type of game in which Aberdeen have struggled during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie. Celtic have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and he agrees that rivals raise their game now. Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: Getty Images “I think [Celtic] see it as a big game, a chance to slap us down. I think you normally find the strongest, most motivated Celtic to take us on. We have to overcome that.” “We’re judged against Rangers and Celtic. The criticism comes when we don’t beat them but it pleases me that’s the perception now. We’ve been to three cup finals the last four years, at least we’re getting criticised for getting in the position to be successful rather than threatening not even to be there, diddling along not making any impact.” Financial disparity threatens to spoil title races in most European leagues and Scotland has it bad. Celtic’s most recent financial report shows net cash in the bank of £30.9million, with pre-tax profit at £19.5million. Aberdeen’s turnover last year was £15.28million. Is it even possible to bridge the gap? “I don’t think you can ever say never, because we’re probably as close to them now in terms of points than we’ve ever been. “If [Celtic] meet their standards it should keep them ahead of everyone else. If their standards drop there might be enough teams who are encouraged by that and you never know.” McInnes has turned down moves to Sunderland and Rangers in the previous two seasons, with the latter a controversial saga which dragged on far too long. If a financial ceiling is preventing McInnes achieving all he wants at Aberdeen and there are plenty of would be suitors, what keeps him at the club? “You work for clubs… but you actually work for people. When you’ve got options to consider you have to go with your gut feeling and ascertain who am I gonna be working closely with here, how much trust is there, does the club work properly… “A manager can drive it, can get his team going, get the dressing room right and bring people in but the enthusiasm and motivation and expertise in leadership must come from above or the manager is just a consequence of that. “A manager is judged on the pitch but how your club works is normally how it plays out on the pitch. “The opportunity to work down south will come again, I’m confident it will. “I’ve got a plan for myself where I want to manage, how I want to go about things. It would need to take something that would grab me to want to leave here.” Does the Premier League interest him in the future? “Yeh! Now!” he laughs. “This club when I came in, people probably thought you go to Aberdeen and that’s some sort of guarantee of a chance to be successful… but a club’s only a name. It’s the people within the club who brought the success, not the name. “I think clubs are about people and I don’t think we should ever forget that.”
Exclusive interview: I'm sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen's in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes was the first West Brom player to ever be sent off in the Premier League. He laughs. “I’ve been sent off twice in my career. Once against Berwick Rangers and once against Man Utd!” If you’re going to do something, do it with gusto. McInnes is the much-coveted manager in charge of Aberdeen, an ex-Scotland international who began his playing career at Greenock Morton, appeared in the Champions League for Rangers and captained West Brom in the Premier League along a journeyman-like path. In charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, the 46-year-old has taken the club from a middling stay in the Scottish Premiership to winning silverware and offering a genuine challenge in a one-horse title race. How? “I think you’ve got to have an idea, an identity to your team,” says McInnes, who is preparing his side to host league leaders Celtic on Sunday. “I’ve always felt a team is an extension of the manager really. I wanted a team with attitude, pace, energy. “In every team I played in there were always better players than me in it but I knew the importance that I felt from my teammates towards me and what I could bring to them. McInnes is a man on a mission Credit: PA “You need certain types in your dressing room. It’s not all about being a good player.” As a player, McInnes was a natural leader. Neat and tidy on the ball, he worked tirelessly off it – qualities evident in his current captain, Graeme Shinnie, a player who operates as a physical manifestation of McInnes on the pitch: “He demonstrates everything I want my team to be.” Shinnie, like McInnes, has been largely overlooked at international level, struggling to break into a Scotland squad relatively flush with central midfielders. But Scottish football is not what it once was. If McInnes were a player in 2018, does he think he’d have earned more than just two caps? “Yeh I do, aye. I think I was a long time really getting any recognition but I understand why. I was at Morton a long, long time in the Championship and you look at the players ahead of me then: Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall. “We always seem to produce good central midfield players in Scotland, even now. I don’t have any gripes about it, I was in about eight or nine squads but only managed to get on the pitch twice. I was grateful for that, there were a lot of better players than me that never got picked.” McInnes “always wanted to be a manager” and took his first steps towards doing so while a youth player at Morton, earning his Uefa B license at the age of just 22. Will McInnes get the better of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday? Credit: Reuters “At the end of the season most young players would be away on holiday or wanting to unwind, but for me it was just brilliant. I loved being immersed in all this coaching, seeing players I’d been playing against, senior players you’d recognise, international players absolutely shaking with nerves trying to put on sessions!” Gary Megson signed and appointed him as captain in then-Championship West Brom’s promotion bid in 2001/02. Where better to cut leadership teeth than in the situation McInnes found himself in during the notorious Battle of Brammall Lane, a match abandoned as Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United had five players sent off. “I think the team deserved a lot of credit for not taking the bait. It wasnae a day I remember fondly, it was in poor taste. It was a strange game. Bizarre. We could see the intention of what was happening, unfolding and I remember Eddie Walstenholme, Ken’s boy – the old BBC commentator – and I was trying to keep him calm as well!” West Brom were awarded a 3-0 victory that day, winning promotion to the Premier League. “I remember Gary Megson saying to me ‘you need to decide whether you want to be a coach or a manager because there’s a distinct difference’ and I get what he meant. I always wanted to be a manager. I wanted that final say, wanted the decision to be mine, the consequences of the results good or bad to be my responsibility.” The next of his decisions is how to beat Celtic on Sunday, the type of game in which Aberdeen have struggled during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie. Celtic have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and he agrees that rivals raise their game now. Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: Getty Images “I think [Celtic] see it as a big game, a chance to slap us down. I think you normally find the strongest, most motivated Celtic to take us on. We have to overcome that.” “We’re judged against Rangers and Celtic. The criticism comes when we don’t beat them but it pleases me that’s the perception now. We’ve been to three cup finals the last four years, at least we’re getting criticised for getting in the position to be successful rather than threatening not even to be there, diddling along not making any impact.” Financial disparity threatens to spoil title races in most European leagues and Scotland has it bad. Celtic’s most recent financial report shows net cash in the bank of £30.9million, with pre-tax profit at £19.5million. Aberdeen’s turnover last year was £15.28million. Is it even possible to bridge the gap? “I don’t think you can ever say never, because we’re probably as close to them now in terms of points than we’ve ever been. “If [Celtic] meet their standards it should keep them ahead of everyone else. If their standards drop there might be enough teams who are encouraged by that and you never know.” McInnes has turned down moves to Sunderland and Rangers in the previous two seasons, with the latter a controversial saga which dragged on far too long. If a financial ceiling is preventing McInnes achieving all he wants at Aberdeen and there are plenty of would be suitors, what keeps him at the club? “You work for clubs… but you actually work for people. When you’ve got options to consider you have to go with your gut feeling and ascertain who am I gonna be working closely with here, how much trust is there, does the club work properly… “A manager can drive it, can get his team going, get the dressing room right and bring people in but the enthusiasm and motivation and expertise in leadership must come from above or the manager is just a consequence of that. “A manager is judged on the pitch but how your club works is normally how it plays out on the pitch. “The opportunity to work down south will come again, I’m confident it will. “I’ve got a plan for myself where I want to manage, how I want to go about things. It would need to take something that would grab me to want to leave here.” Does the Premier League interest him in the future? “Yeh! Now!” he laughs. “This club when I came in, people probably thought you go to Aberdeen and that’s some sort of guarantee of a chance to be successful… but a club’s only a name. It’s the people within the club who brought the success, not the name. “I think clubs are about people and I don’t think we should ever forget that.”
Derek McInnes was the first West Brom player to ever be sent off in the Premier League. He laughs. “I’ve been sent off twice in my career. Once against Berwick Rangers and once against Man Utd!” If you’re going to do something, do it with gusto. McInnes is the much-coveted manager in charge of Aberdeen, an ex-Scotland international who began his playing career at Greenock Morton, appeared in the Champions League for Rangers and captained West Brom in the Premier League along a journeyman-like path. In charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, the 46-year-old has taken the club from a middling stay in the Scottish Premiership to winning silverware and offering a genuine challenge in a one-horse title race. How? “I think you’ve got to have an idea, an identity to your team,” says McInnes, who is preparing his side to host league leaders Celtic on Sunday. “I’ve always felt a team is an extension of the manager really. I wanted a team with attitude, pace, energy. “In every team I played in there were always better players than me in it but I knew the importance that I felt from my teammates towards me and what I could bring to them. McInnes is a man on a mission Credit: PA “You need certain types in your dressing room. It’s not all about being a good player.” As a player, McInnes was a natural leader. Neat and tidy on the ball, he worked tirelessly off it – qualities evident in his current captain, Graeme Shinnie, a player who operates as a physical manifestation of McInnes on the pitch: “He demonstrates everything I want my team to be.” Shinnie, like McInnes, has been largely overlooked at international level, struggling to break into a Scotland squad relatively flush with central midfielders. But Scottish football is not what it once was. If McInnes were a player in 2018, does he think he’d have earned more than just two caps? “Yeh I do, aye. I think I was a long time really getting any recognition but I understand why. I was at Morton a long, long time in the Championship and you look at the players ahead of me then: Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall. “We always seem to produce good central midfield players in Scotland, even now. I don’t have any gripes about it, I was in about eight or nine squads but only managed to get on the pitch twice. I was grateful for that, there were a lot of better players than me that never got picked.” McInnes “always wanted to be a manager” and took his first steps towards doing so while a youth player at Morton, earning his Uefa B license at the age of just 22. Will McInnes get the better of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday? Credit: Reuters “At the end of the season most young players would be away on holiday or wanting to unwind, but for me it was just brilliant. I loved being immersed in all this coaching, seeing players I’d been playing against, senior players you’d recognise, international players absolutely shaking with nerves trying to put on sessions!” Gary Megson signed and appointed him as captain in then-Championship West Brom’s promotion bid in 2001/02. Where better to cut leadership teeth than in the situation McInnes found himself in during the notorious Battle of Brammall Lane, a match abandoned as Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United had five players sent off. “I think the team deserved a lot of credit for not taking the bait. It wasnae a day I remember fondly, it was in poor taste. It was a strange game. Bizarre. We could see the intention of what was happening, unfolding and I remember Eddie Walstenholme, Ken’s boy – the old BBC commentator – and I was trying to keep him calm as well!” West Brom were awarded a 3-0 victory that day, winning promotion to the Premier League. “I remember Gary Megson saying to me ‘you need to decide whether you want to be a coach or a manager because there’s a distinct difference’ and I get what he meant. I always wanted to be a manager. I wanted that final say, wanted the decision to be mine, the consequences of the results good or bad to be my responsibility.” The next of his decisions is how to beat Celtic on Sunday, the type of game in which Aberdeen have struggled during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie. Celtic have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and he agrees that rivals raise their game now. Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: Getty Images “I think [Celtic] see it as a big game, a chance to slap us down. I think you normally find the strongest, most motivated Celtic to take us on. We have to overcome that.” “We’re judged against Rangers and Celtic. The criticism comes when we don’t beat them but it pleases me that’s the perception now. We’ve been to three cup finals the last four years, at least we’re getting criticised for getting in the position to be successful rather than threatening not even to be there, diddling along not making any impact.” Financial disparity threatens to spoil title races in most European leagues and Scotland has it bad. Celtic’s most recent financial report shows net cash in the bank of £30.9million, with pre-tax profit at £19.5million. Aberdeen’s turnover last year was £15.28million. Is it even possible to bridge the gap? “I don’t think you can ever say never, because we’re probably as close to them now in terms of points than we’ve ever been. “If [Celtic] meet their standards it should keep them ahead of everyone else. If their standards drop there might be enough teams who are encouraged by that and you never know.” McInnes has turned down moves to Sunderland and Rangers in the previous two seasons, with the latter a controversial saga which dragged on far too long. If a financial ceiling is preventing McInnes achieving all he wants at Aberdeen and there are plenty of would be suitors, what keeps him at the club? “You work for clubs… but you actually work for people. When you’ve got options to consider you have to go with your gut feeling and ascertain who am I gonna be working closely with here, how much trust is there, does the club work properly… “A manager can drive it, can get his team going, get the dressing room right and bring people in but the enthusiasm and motivation and expertise in leadership must come from above or the manager is just a consequence of that. “A manager is judged on the pitch but how your club works is normally how it plays out on the pitch. “The opportunity to work down south will come again, I’m confident it will. “I’ve got a plan for myself where I want to manage, how I want to go about things. It would need to take something that would grab me to want to leave here.” Does the Premier League interest him in the future? “Yeh! Now!” he laughs. “This club when I came in, people probably thought you go to Aberdeen and that’s some sort of guarantee of a chance to be successful… but a club’s only a name. It’s the people within the club who brought the success, not the name. “I think clubs are about people and I don’t think we should ever forget that.”
Exclusive interview: I'm sure I will get chance to work down south again, says Aberdeen's in-demand manager Derek McInnes
Derek McInnes was the first West Brom player to ever be sent off in the Premier League. He laughs. “I’ve been sent off twice in my career. Once against Berwick Rangers and once against Man Utd!” If you’re going to do something, do it with gusto. McInnes is the much-coveted manager in charge of Aberdeen, an ex-Scotland international who began his playing career at Greenock Morton, appeared in the Champions League for Rangers and captained West Brom in the Premier League along a journeyman-like path. In charge at Pittodrie since March 2013, the 46-year-old has taken the club from a middling stay in the Scottish Premiership to winning silverware and offering a genuine challenge in a one-horse title race. How? “I think you’ve got to have an idea, an identity to your team,” says McInnes, who is preparing his side to host league leaders Celtic on Sunday. “I’ve always felt a team is an extension of the manager really. I wanted a team with attitude, pace, energy. “In every team I played in there were always better players than me in it but I knew the importance that I felt from my teammates towards me and what I could bring to them. McInnes is a man on a mission Credit: PA “You need certain types in your dressing room. It’s not all about being a good player.” As a player, McInnes was a natural leader. Neat and tidy on the ball, he worked tirelessly off it – qualities evident in his current captain, Graeme Shinnie, a player who operates as a physical manifestation of McInnes on the pitch: “He demonstrates everything I want my team to be.” Shinnie, like McInnes, has been largely overlooked at international level, struggling to break into a Scotland squad relatively flush with central midfielders. But Scottish football is not what it once was. If McInnes were a player in 2018, does he think he’d have earned more than just two caps? “Yeh I do, aye. I think I was a long time really getting any recognition but I understand why. I was at Morton a long, long time in the Championship and you look at the players ahead of me then: Gary McAllister, Paul McStay, Stuart McCall. “We always seem to produce good central midfield players in Scotland, even now. I don’t have any gripes about it, I was in about eight or nine squads but only managed to get on the pitch twice. I was grateful for that, there were a lot of better players than me that never got picked.” McInnes “always wanted to be a manager” and took his first steps towards doing so while a youth player at Morton, earning his Uefa B license at the age of just 22. Will McInnes get the better of Brendan Rodgers on Sunday? Credit: Reuters “At the end of the season most young players would be away on holiday or wanting to unwind, but for me it was just brilliant. I loved being immersed in all this coaching, seeing players I’d been playing against, senior players you’d recognise, international players absolutely shaking with nerves trying to put on sessions!” Gary Megson signed and appointed him as captain in then-Championship West Brom’s promotion bid in 2001/02. Where better to cut leadership teeth than in the situation McInnes found himself in during the notorious Battle of Brammall Lane, a match abandoned as Neil Warnock’s Sheffield United had five players sent off. “I think the team deserved a lot of credit for not taking the bait. It wasnae a day I remember fondly, it was in poor taste. It was a strange game. Bizarre. We could see the intention of what was happening, unfolding and I remember Eddie Walstenholme, Ken’s boy – the old BBC commentator – and I was trying to keep him calm as well!” West Brom were awarded a 3-0 victory that day, winning promotion to the Premier League. “I remember Gary Megson saying to me ‘you need to decide whether you want to be a coach or a manager because there’s a distinct difference’ and I get what he meant. I always wanted to be a manager. I wanted that final say, wanted the decision to be mine, the consequences of the results good or bad to be my responsibility.” The next of his decisions is how to beat Celtic on Sunday, the type of game in which Aberdeen have struggled during McInnes’ time at Pittodrie. Celtic have won the last nine meetings between the two teams and he agrees that rivals raise their game now. Aberdeen are third in the Scottish Premiership Credit: Getty Images “I think [Celtic] see it as a big game, a chance to slap us down. I think you normally find the strongest, most motivated Celtic to take us on. We have to overcome that.” “We’re judged against Rangers and Celtic. The criticism comes when we don’t beat them but it pleases me that’s the perception now. We’ve been to three cup finals the last four years, at least we’re getting criticised for getting in the position to be successful rather than threatening not even to be there, diddling along not making any impact.” Financial disparity threatens to spoil title races in most European leagues and Scotland has it bad. Celtic’s most recent financial report shows net cash in the bank of £30.9million, with pre-tax profit at £19.5million. Aberdeen’s turnover last year was £15.28million. Is it even possible to bridge the gap? “I don’t think you can ever say never, because we’re probably as close to them now in terms of points than we’ve ever been. “If [Celtic] meet their standards it should keep them ahead of everyone else. If their standards drop there might be enough teams who are encouraged by that and you never know.” McInnes has turned down moves to Sunderland and Rangers in the previous two seasons, with the latter a controversial saga which dragged on far too long. If a financial ceiling is preventing McInnes achieving all he wants at Aberdeen and there are plenty of would be suitors, what keeps him at the club? “You work for clubs… but you actually work for people. When you’ve got options to consider you have to go with your gut feeling and ascertain who am I gonna be working closely with here, how much trust is there, does the club work properly… “A manager can drive it, can get his team going, get the dressing room right and bring people in but the enthusiasm and motivation and expertise in leadership must come from above or the manager is just a consequence of that. “A manager is judged on the pitch but how your club works is normally how it plays out on the pitch. “The opportunity to work down south will come again, I’m confident it will. “I’ve got a plan for myself where I want to manage, how I want to go about things. It would need to take something that would grab me to want to leave here.” Does the Premier League interest him in the future? “Yeh! Now!” he laughs. “This club when I came in, people probably thought you go to Aberdeen and that’s some sort of guarantee of a chance to be successful… but a club’s only a name. It’s the people within the club who brought the success, not the name. “I think clubs are about people and I don’t think we should ever forget that.”
Amakhosi returned to second spot, but remain five points behind log leaders Sundowns after firing blanks in front of their home fans in Soweto
Kaizer Chiefs 0-0 Bloemfontein Celtic: Amakhosi miss chance to narrow the gap
Amakhosi returned to second spot, but remain five points behind log leaders Sundowns after firing blanks in front of their home fans in Soweto
<p>Kaizer Chiefs 0-0 Bloemfontein Celtic: Amakhosi miss chance to narrow the gap</p>
Kaizer Chiefs 0-0 Bloemfontein Celtic: Amakhosi miss chance to narrow the gap

Kaizer Chiefs 0-0 Bloemfontein Celtic: Amakhosi miss chance to narrow the gap

<p>Kaizer Chiefs 0-0 Bloemfontein Celtic: Amakhosi miss chance to narrow the gap</p>
Kaizer Chiefs 0-0 Bloemfontein Celtic: Amakhosi miss chance to narrow the gap

Kaizer Chiefs 0-0 Bloemfontein Celtic: Amakhosi miss chance to narrow the gap

<p>Kaizer Chiefs - Bloemfontein Celtic Preview: Amakhosi cannot afford to slip up</p>
Kaizer Chiefs - Bloemfontein Celtic Preview: Amakhosi cannot afford to slip up

Kaizer Chiefs - Bloemfontein Celtic Preview: Amakhosi cannot afford to slip up

<p>Kaizer Chiefs - Bloemfontein Celtic Preview: Amakhosi cannot afford to slip up</p>
Kaizer Chiefs - Bloemfontein Celtic Preview: Amakhosi cannot afford to slip up

Kaizer Chiefs - Bloemfontein Celtic Preview: Amakhosi cannot afford to slip up

Amakhosi are third on the log with 34 points, while Siwelele find themselves 12th on the standings with 25 points from 20 league games
Kaizer Chiefs - Bloemfontein Celtic Preview: Amakhosi cannot afford to slip up
Amakhosi are third on the log with 34 points, while Siwelele find themselves 12th on the standings with 25 points from 20 league games
A disappointed Celtic party flew into Glasgow on Friday to learn that they would have been drawn against Red Bull Leipzig in the last 16 of the Europa League had they been able to capitalise on the 1-0 lead they took to St Petersburg for their encounter with Zenit. Instead, although their most recent trips to Russia allowed them to nourish hope, they were undone by a pallid performance strewn with defensive errors which consigned them to a 3-0 defeat in the old imperial capital. Brendan Rodgers and his players, however, have no time to indulge contemplation of what might have been, because the demands of the domestic fixture list send them on another stopover trip, this time to face Aberdeen on Sunday at Pittodrie in the Scottish in Premiership. The Dons, too, were victims of a setback last time out, in their case a 2-0 loss to Hibernian at Easter Road. Aberdeen have at least had a week to recover from their below-par performance in Edinburgh, but Kristoffer Ajer, Celtic’s 19-year-old central defender, discounted the notion that the champions would be vulnerable after their setback in St Petersburg and the long journeys to and fro. “We performed well in the first leg at Celtic Park, but the target was to get through and we didn’t do that so we were disappointed,” he said. “We need to learn from these games and look at what we could have done better and take that experience into future European games. Celtic were dumped out of the Europa League by Zenit Saint Petersburg Credit: REUTERS “Now we have to look towards Sunday. It’s a big game for us and a big game for Aberdeen. They’ve done really well this season so it will be a tough game for us. “We stayed overnight in Russia after the game and we recovered well today so we’ll be 100 per cent ready for the game at Pittodrie.” Celtic are entitled to travel to the Granite City with confidence in their record against Aberdeen since Rodgers has been in charge – eight wins from as many meetings, six in the league and two in the domestic cup finals. The Dons have also lost three times to Rangers this season, prompting doubts about their mentality in games against the Glasgow pair. Indeed, Celtic’s 3-0 victory at Pittodrie in October was arguably their most accomplished domestic performance under Rodgers last year. “Against us, their big players are always on the pitch and fully motivated as they see the importance of playing against Aberdeen - normally their closest rivals - and trying to give us a slap down,” said McInnes “That, in turn, makes it more difficult for our players but our players should relish the challenge of that and take that as a compliment.” Rodgers will freshen his side for this contest and there is likely to be a starting place for Tom Rogic in midfield. Rangers edged ahead of Aberdeen into second place on goal difference on Sunday and now face a test of their staying power with today’s visit of Hearts, who left Ibrox with a goalless draw in August, when the hapless Pedro Caixinha was still in charge in Govan. Under Graeme Murty – then caretaker boss – Rangers performed well to beat Hearts 3-1 at Murrayfield in October. Hearts’ fortunes picked up on their return from the home of Scottish rugby to Tynecastle, where they subsequently inflicted Celtic’s first domestic defeat under Rodgers and, after Celtic, they have shipped fewer goals than any other side in the top six. “It has been fairly well covered how few goals they concede,” Murty said. “They are happy and content to have a really good structure and shape. We have to make sure we are aware of that and we are aware of what they want to do without the ball as well as with it, but we have to be good enough and bright enough and clever enough to pull their shape apart and cause them problems. “I think, in the form that we’re in and with the players that we have, we have options that can cause them problems whatever formation or shape they choose to play. We need to be more patient and have a better structure at home sometimes. “Teams aren’t going to come to us and be open and expansive – we have to understand that and so do our fans. What we have to be content with is that, over 90-odd minutes, we will create chances and pull teams apart. We just have to choose the right time and the right method to do that. “If it takes 95 minutes to get a 1-0 and it’s been a bit scrappier than we’d have liked, we have to be professional and pragmatic enough to accept that it might be what gets us closer to where we want to be.”
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
A disappointed Celtic party flew into Glasgow on Friday to learn that they would have been drawn against Red Bull Leipzig in the last 16 of the Europa League had they been able to capitalise on the 1-0 lead they took to St Petersburg for their encounter with Zenit. Instead, although their most recent trips to Russia allowed them to nourish hope, they were undone by a pallid performance strewn with defensive errors which consigned them to a 3-0 defeat in the old imperial capital. Brendan Rodgers and his players, however, have no time to indulge contemplation of what might have been, because the demands of the domestic fixture list send them on another stopover trip, this time to face Aberdeen on Sunday at Pittodrie in the Scottish in Premiership. The Dons, too, were victims of a setback last time out, in their case a 2-0 loss to Hibernian at Easter Road. Aberdeen have at least had a week to recover from their below-par performance in Edinburgh, but Kristoffer Ajer, Celtic’s 19-year-old central defender, discounted the notion that the champions would be vulnerable after their setback in St Petersburg and the long journeys to and fro. “We performed well in the first leg at Celtic Park, but the target was to get through and we didn’t do that so we were disappointed,” he said. “We need to learn from these games and look at what we could have done better and take that experience into future European games. Celtic were dumped out of the Europa League by Zenit Saint Petersburg Credit: REUTERS “Now we have to look towards Sunday. It’s a big game for us and a big game for Aberdeen. They’ve done really well this season so it will be a tough game for us. “We stayed overnight in Russia after the game and we recovered well today so we’ll be 100 per cent ready for the game at Pittodrie.” Celtic are entitled to travel to the Granite City with confidence in their record against Aberdeen since Rodgers has been in charge – eight wins from as many meetings, six in the league and two in the domestic cup finals. The Dons have also lost three times to Rangers this season, prompting doubts about their mentality in games against the Glasgow pair. Indeed, Celtic’s 3-0 victory at Pittodrie in October was arguably their most accomplished domestic performance under Rodgers last year. “Against us, their big players are always on the pitch and fully motivated as they see the importance of playing against Aberdeen - normally their closest rivals - and trying to give us a slap down,” said McInnes “That, in turn, makes it more difficult for our players but our players should relish the challenge of that and take that as a compliment.” Rodgers will freshen his side for this contest and there is likely to be a starting place for Tom Rogic in midfield. Rangers edged ahead of Aberdeen into second place on goal difference on Sunday and now face a test of their staying power with today’s visit of Hearts, who left Ibrox with a goalless draw in August, when the hapless Pedro Caixinha was still in charge in Govan. Under Graeme Murty – then caretaker boss – Rangers performed well to beat Hearts 3-1 at Murrayfield in October. Hearts’ fortunes picked up on their return from the home of Scottish rugby to Tynecastle, where they subsequently inflicted Celtic’s first domestic defeat under Rodgers and, after Celtic, they have shipped fewer goals than any other side in the top six. “It has been fairly well covered how few goals they concede,” Murty said. “They are happy and content to have a really good structure and shape. We have to make sure we are aware of that and we are aware of what they want to do without the ball as well as with it, but we have to be good enough and bright enough and clever enough to pull their shape apart and cause them problems. “I think, in the form that we’re in and with the players that we have, we have options that can cause them problems whatever formation or shape they choose to play. We need to be more patient and have a better structure at home sometimes. “Teams aren’t going to come to us and be open and expansive – we have to understand that and so do our fans. What we have to be content with is that, over 90-odd minutes, we will create chances and pull teams apart. We just have to choose the right time and the right method to do that. “If it takes 95 minutes to get a 1-0 and it’s been a bit scrappier than we’d have liked, we have to be professional and pragmatic enough to accept that it might be what gets us closer to where we want to be.”
A disappointed Celtic party flew into Glasgow on Friday to learn that they would have been drawn against Red Bull Leipzig in the last 16 of the Europa League had they been able to capitalise on the 1-0 lead they took to St Petersburg for their encounter with Zenit. Instead, although their most recent trips to Russia allowed them to nourish hope, they were undone by a pallid performance strewn with defensive errors which consigned them to a 3-0 defeat in the old imperial capital. Brendan Rodgers and his players, however, have no time to indulge contemplation of what might have been, because the demands of the domestic fixture list send them on another stopover trip, this time to face Aberdeen on Sunday at Pittodrie in the Scottish in Premiership. The Dons, too, were victims of a setback last time out, in their case a 2-0 loss to Hibernian at Easter Road. Aberdeen have at least had a week to recover from their below-par performance in Edinburgh, but Kristoffer Ajer, Celtic’s 19-year-old central defender, discounted the notion that the champions would be vulnerable after their setback in St Petersburg and the long journeys to and fro. “We performed well in the first leg at Celtic Park, but the target was to get through and we didn’t do that so we were disappointed,” he said. “We need to learn from these games and look at what we could have done better and take that experience into future European games. Celtic were dumped out of the Europa League by Zenit Saint Petersburg Credit: REUTERS “Now we have to look towards Sunday. It’s a big game for us and a big game for Aberdeen. They’ve done really well this season so it will be a tough game for us. “We stayed overnight in Russia after the game and we recovered well today so we’ll be 100 per cent ready for the game at Pittodrie.” Celtic are entitled to travel to the Granite City with confidence in their record against Aberdeen since Rodgers has been in charge – eight wins from as many meetings, six in the league and two in the domestic cup finals. The Dons have also lost three times to Rangers this season, prompting doubts about their mentality in games against the Glasgow pair. Indeed, Celtic’s 3-0 victory at Pittodrie in October was arguably their most accomplished domestic performance under Rodgers last year. “Against us, their big players are always on the pitch and fully motivated as they see the importance of playing against Aberdeen - normally their closest rivals - and trying to give us a slap down,” said McInnes “That, in turn, makes it more difficult for our players but our players should relish the challenge of that and take that as a compliment.” Rodgers will freshen his side for this contest and there is likely to be a starting place for Tom Rogic in midfield. Rangers edged ahead of Aberdeen into second place on goal difference on Sunday and now face a test of their staying power with today’s visit of Hearts, who left Ibrox with a goalless draw in August, when the hapless Pedro Caixinha was still in charge in Govan. Under Graeme Murty – then caretaker boss – Rangers performed well to beat Hearts 3-1 at Murrayfield in October. Hearts’ fortunes picked up on their return from the home of Scottish rugby to Tynecastle, where they subsequently inflicted Celtic’s first domestic defeat under Rodgers and, after Celtic, they have shipped fewer goals than any other side in the top six. “It has been fairly well covered how few goals they concede,” Murty said. “They are happy and content to have a really good structure and shape. We have to make sure we are aware of that and we are aware of what they want to do without the ball as well as with it, but we have to be good enough and bright enough and clever enough to pull their shape apart and cause them problems. “I think, in the form that we’re in and with the players that we have, we have options that can cause them problems whatever formation or shape they choose to play. We need to be more patient and have a better structure at home sometimes. “Teams aren’t going to come to us and be open and expansive – we have to understand that and so do our fans. What we have to be content with is that, over 90-odd minutes, we will create chances and pull teams apart. We just have to choose the right time and the right method to do that. “If it takes 95 minutes to get a 1-0 and it’s been a bit scrappier than we’d have liked, we have to be professional and pragmatic enough to accept that it might be what gets us closer to where we want to be.”
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
A disappointed Celtic party flew into Glasgow on Friday to learn that they would have been drawn against Red Bull Leipzig in the last 16 of the Europa League had they been able to capitalise on the 1-0 lead they took to St Petersburg for their encounter with Zenit. Instead, although their most recent trips to Russia allowed them to nourish hope, they were undone by a pallid performance strewn with defensive errors which consigned them to a 3-0 defeat in the old imperial capital. Brendan Rodgers and his players, however, have no time to indulge contemplation of what might have been, because the demands of the domestic fixture list send them on another stopover trip, this time to face Aberdeen on Sunday at Pittodrie in the Scottish in Premiership. The Dons, too, were victims of a setback last time out, in their case a 2-0 loss to Hibernian at Easter Road. Aberdeen have at least had a week to recover from their below-par performance in Edinburgh, but Kristoffer Ajer, Celtic’s 19-year-old central defender, discounted the notion that the champions would be vulnerable after their setback in St Petersburg and the long journeys to and fro. “We performed well in the first leg at Celtic Park, but the target was to get through and we didn’t do that so we were disappointed,” he said. “We need to learn from these games and look at what we could have done better and take that experience into future European games. Celtic were dumped out of the Europa League by Zenit Saint Petersburg Credit: REUTERS “Now we have to look towards Sunday. It’s a big game for us and a big game for Aberdeen. They’ve done really well this season so it will be a tough game for us. “We stayed overnight in Russia after the game and we recovered well today so we’ll be 100 per cent ready for the game at Pittodrie.” Celtic are entitled to travel to the Granite City with confidence in their record against Aberdeen since Rodgers has been in charge – eight wins from as many meetings, six in the league and two in the domestic cup finals. The Dons have also lost three times to Rangers this season, prompting doubts about their mentality in games against the Glasgow pair. Indeed, Celtic’s 3-0 victory at Pittodrie in October was arguably their most accomplished domestic performance under Rodgers last year. “Against us, their big players are always on the pitch and fully motivated as they see the importance of playing against Aberdeen - normally their closest rivals - and trying to give us a slap down,” said McInnes “That, in turn, makes it more difficult for our players but our players should relish the challenge of that and take that as a compliment.” Rodgers will freshen his side for this contest and there is likely to be a starting place for Tom Rogic in midfield. Rangers edged ahead of Aberdeen into second place on goal difference on Sunday and now face a test of their staying power with today’s visit of Hearts, who left Ibrox with a goalless draw in August, when the hapless Pedro Caixinha was still in charge in Govan. Under Graeme Murty – then caretaker boss – Rangers performed well to beat Hearts 3-1 at Murrayfield in October. Hearts’ fortunes picked up on their return from the home of Scottish rugby to Tynecastle, where they subsequently inflicted Celtic’s first domestic defeat under Rodgers and, after Celtic, they have shipped fewer goals than any other side in the top six. “It has been fairly well covered how few goals they concede,” Murty said. “They are happy and content to have a really good structure and shape. We have to make sure we are aware of that and we are aware of what they want to do without the ball as well as with it, but we have to be good enough and bright enough and clever enough to pull their shape apart and cause them problems. “I think, in the form that we’re in and with the players that we have, we have options that can cause them problems whatever formation or shape they choose to play. We need to be more patient and have a better structure at home sometimes. “Teams aren’t going to come to us and be open and expansive – we have to understand that and so do our fans. What we have to be content with is that, over 90-odd minutes, we will create chances and pull teams apart. We just have to choose the right time and the right method to do that. “If it takes 95 minutes to get a 1-0 and it’s been a bit scrappier than we’d have liked, we have to be professional and pragmatic enough to accept that it might be what gets us closer to where we want to be.”
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
Celtic hope to avoid Europa League hangover against dangerous Aberdeen
Arsenal have been drawn to face Italian side AC Milan in the Europa League last 16. Arsenal suffered the embarrassment of losing 2-1 at home to Swedish side Ostersund in the second leg of their first knockout round match on Thursday night, but progressed 4-2 on aggregate. They will now take on Milan, a team with great continental pedigree. The Rossoneri have won the European Cup and Champions League seven times but have struggled in recent years, and are currently seventh in Serie A. Arsenal and Milan last met in 2012, when the Italians advanced to the Champions League quarter-final with a 4-3 aggregate win. Milan won the first leg 4-0 at San Siro before Arsenal won the return 3-0 to fall agonisingly short of a miraculous comeback. The first leg of this year&#39;s Europa League last-16 tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Kick-off times for the two matches will be confirmed on Friday afternoon. The Europa League draw threw up a heavyweight clash in AC Milan v Arsenal Credit: Uefa Three-time Champions League winner Eric Abidal made the draw and said that the AC Milan v Arsenal match-up was the pick of the last 16 ties. The draw in full was: Lazio v Dynamo Kiev RB Leipzig v Zenit St Petersburg Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow CSKA Moscow v Olympique Lyonnais Olympique de Marseille v Athletic Bilbao Sporting Lisbon v Viktoria Plzen Borussia Dortmund v FC Salzburg AC Milan v Arsenal The final in Lyon will be played on May 16. 12:23PM History repeated Arsenal and AC Milan have enjoyed a couple of thrilling knockout ties in the last decade. First there was 2008 when Arsenal knocked out the Champions League holders with a 2-0 last-16 win at San Siro before Milan exacted revenge with a 4-3 aggregate win at the same stage four years later. In that 2012 meeting, Milan won the first leg 4-0 before Arsenal so nearly pulled off a miracle comeback by winning the second leg 3-0. The first leg of this Europa League tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring for Arsenal against AC Milan in 2008 Credit: AFP 12:18PM The draw in full 12:17PM So it&#39;s AC Milan vs Arsenal! The first leg will be played at San Siro on Thursday March 8. That&#39;s a great draw. Eric Abidal picks out Milan vs Arsenal as the pick of the draw. 12:16PM Dortmund will play... not Arsenal. Dortmund vs RB Salzburg 12:15PM Arsenal and Dortmund still in the hat Sporting Lisbon vs Viktoria Plzen 12:15PM Just three pairings left now Marseille vs Athletic Bilbao 12:14PM And the other Moscow club is out CSKA Moscow vs Lyon 12:13PM Atletico are out... ...and they will face: Lokomotiv Moscow. Atletico vs Lokomotiv Moscow 12:12PM Next RB Leipzig vs Zenit 12:11PM First up Lazio vs Dynamo Kiev 12:11PM Pleasantries over We&#39;re about to get under way. The only rules are that the team drawn first will play the first leg at home, and teams from Russia and Ukraine can&#39;t play each other. Uefa must be praying Zenit and one of the Moscow clubs don&#39;t reach the final. 12:07PM The draw will be made by... ...Eric Abidal, who spent three years at Lyon where the Europa League final will be held this season. 12:04PM A sombre start The draw starts with our host (who I believe is the former CNN journalist and now Uefa&#39;s head of press Pedro Pinto) saying that Uefa &quot;strongly condemns the deplorable acts of violence&quot; that took place in Bilbao last night. 11:56AM Nearly there The draw should be getting under way in about five minutes. Though we would be wise to expect a fair amount of fluff from the Uefa dignitaries before the draw actually starts. 11:43AM A reunion of sorts? After last night&#39;s dismal defeat to Ostersunds, Arsene Wenger could be forgiven for privately hoping to avoid one of the big boys. One possible opponent is Zenit, who eliminated Celtic last night. Their striker Aleksandr Kokorin said afterwards: &quot;I guess it’s better to play the strongest sides right away to test ourselves. “Give me Arsenal!&quot; Drawing Zenit would also see former Branislav Ivanovic return to the Emirates for the first time since his Chelsea career was effectively ended there after a terrible performance in a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal 17 months ago. Credit: AP 11:28AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our coverage of this afternoon&#39;s draw for the last 16 of the Europa League, which takes place at 12pm GMT in Nyon, Switzerland. Arsenal just about kept the British flag flying with their 4-2 aggregate win over Ostersunds, but Celtic bowed out after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Zenit St Petersburg. In what is a completely open, unseeded draw, the worst possible opponents for Arsenal in the last 16 would be Atletico Madrid, while the best would probably be Viktoria Plzen. That said, whoever Arsenal face will be a big jump in quality from the pretty average opponents they&#39;ve faced in the competition so far. 11:10AM Preview What is it? It is the draw for the last-16 of the Europa League, typically when the quality of the competition begins to improve. When is it? The draw is on Friday 23 February and begins at 12pm UK time. Where is it? As always, the draw takes place at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. What TV channel is it on? Uefa will live stream the draw across their social media channels and website, while you can also watch live coverage on TV with BT Sport 2 from noon. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and return on Friday to see what ties the draw throws up with our liveblog. Who can Arsenal draw? Arsenal just about finished the job against Ostersunds at the Emirates on Thursday, so they will be in the hat for what is an entirely open draw in Nyon. There is no seeding system at this stage of the tournament nor country protection, although there are no other Premier League teams for Arsenal to draw anway. So Arsenal could be paired with: CSKA Moscow RB Leipzig Zenit St Petersburg Locomotiv Moscow Atletico Madrid Lazio Sporting Lisbon Viktoria Plzen Dynamo Kiev Lyon AC Milan Borussia Dortmund Athletic Bilbao Marseille RB Salzburg Where will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit in at Arsenal? When will the last-16 ties be played? The first leg of the next round of the Europa League will be played on Thursday 8 March and Thursday 15 March. Kick-off times will be 6pm and 8.05pm UK time, and the team drawn out of the bag first will play at home before playing the second leg away. What are the latest odds? Atletico Madrid 3/1 Arsenal 4/1 Borussia Dortmund 10/1 RB Leipzig 11/1 AC Milan 14/1 Lyon 16/1 Sporting Lisbon 22/1 Lazio 25/1 What are they saying? Arsene Wenger on defeat to Ostersunds: &quot;We were in trouble because we were complacent and not focused,&quot; Wenger said. &quot;We were open every time we lost the ball and had no ideas with the ball. That&#39;s why we were in trouble. &quot;In the second half, it was much better. &quot;We did the job to qualify. That&#39;s what you have to keep from the night and that&#39;s it.&quot; He added: &quot;The fact that we won the first leg 3-0, the fact that we have another big game on Sunday, the fact that people subconsciously think they just have to turn up to win the game. &quot;Football doesn&#39;t work like that. We played against a good side and ... you can be in trouble every time you&#39;re not 100 per cent focused.&quot;
Arsenal draw AC Milan in Europa League last 16
Arsenal have been drawn to face Italian side AC Milan in the Europa League last 16. Arsenal suffered the embarrassment of losing 2-1 at home to Swedish side Ostersund in the second leg of their first knockout round match on Thursday night, but progressed 4-2 on aggregate. They will now take on Milan, a team with great continental pedigree. The Rossoneri have won the European Cup and Champions League seven times but have struggled in recent years, and are currently seventh in Serie A. Arsenal and Milan last met in 2012, when the Italians advanced to the Champions League quarter-final with a 4-3 aggregate win. Milan won the first leg 4-0 at San Siro before Arsenal won the return 3-0 to fall agonisingly short of a miraculous comeback. The first leg of this year's Europa League last-16 tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Kick-off times for the two matches will be confirmed on Friday afternoon. The Europa League draw threw up a heavyweight clash in AC Milan v Arsenal Credit: Uefa Three-time Champions League winner Eric Abidal made the draw and said that the AC Milan v Arsenal match-up was the pick of the last 16 ties. The draw in full was: Lazio v Dynamo Kiev RB Leipzig v Zenit St Petersburg Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow CSKA Moscow v Olympique Lyonnais Olympique de Marseille v Athletic Bilbao Sporting Lisbon v Viktoria Plzen Borussia Dortmund v FC Salzburg AC Milan v Arsenal The final in Lyon will be played on May 16. 12:23PM History repeated Arsenal and AC Milan have enjoyed a couple of thrilling knockout ties in the last decade. First there was 2008 when Arsenal knocked out the Champions League holders with a 2-0 last-16 win at San Siro before Milan exacted revenge with a 4-3 aggregate win at the same stage four years later. In that 2012 meeting, Milan won the first leg 4-0 before Arsenal so nearly pulled off a miracle comeback by winning the second leg 3-0. The first leg of this Europa League tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring for Arsenal against AC Milan in 2008 Credit: AFP 12:18PM The draw in full 12:17PM So it's AC Milan vs Arsenal! The first leg will be played at San Siro on Thursday March 8. That's a great draw. Eric Abidal picks out Milan vs Arsenal as the pick of the draw. 12:16PM Dortmund will play... not Arsenal. Dortmund vs RB Salzburg 12:15PM Arsenal and Dortmund still in the hat Sporting Lisbon vs Viktoria Plzen 12:15PM Just three pairings left now Marseille vs Athletic Bilbao 12:14PM And the other Moscow club is out CSKA Moscow vs Lyon 12:13PM Atletico are out... ...and they will face: Lokomotiv Moscow. Atletico vs Lokomotiv Moscow 12:12PM Next RB Leipzig vs Zenit 12:11PM First up Lazio vs Dynamo Kiev 12:11PM Pleasantries over We're about to get under way. The only rules are that the team drawn first will play the first leg at home, and teams from Russia and Ukraine can't play each other. Uefa must be praying Zenit and one of the Moscow clubs don't reach the final. 12:07PM The draw will be made by... ...Eric Abidal, who spent three years at Lyon where the Europa League final will be held this season. 12:04PM A sombre start The draw starts with our host (who I believe is the former CNN journalist and now Uefa's head of press Pedro Pinto) saying that Uefa "strongly condemns the deplorable acts of violence" that took place in Bilbao last night. 11:56AM Nearly there The draw should be getting under way in about five minutes. Though we would be wise to expect a fair amount of fluff from the Uefa dignitaries before the draw actually starts. 11:43AM A reunion of sorts? After last night's dismal defeat to Ostersunds, Arsene Wenger could be forgiven for privately hoping to avoid one of the big boys. One possible opponent is Zenit, who eliminated Celtic last night. Their striker Aleksandr Kokorin said afterwards: "I guess it’s better to play the strongest sides right away to test ourselves. “Give me Arsenal!" Drawing Zenit would also see former Branislav Ivanovic return to the Emirates for the first time since his Chelsea career was effectively ended there after a terrible performance in a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal 17 months ago. Credit: AP 11:28AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our coverage of this afternoon's draw for the last 16 of the Europa League, which takes place at 12pm GMT in Nyon, Switzerland. Arsenal just about kept the British flag flying with their 4-2 aggregate win over Ostersunds, but Celtic bowed out after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Zenit St Petersburg. In what is a completely open, unseeded draw, the worst possible opponents for Arsenal in the last 16 would be Atletico Madrid, while the best would probably be Viktoria Plzen. That said, whoever Arsenal face will be a big jump in quality from the pretty average opponents they've faced in the competition so far. 11:10AM Preview What is it? It is the draw for the last-16 of the Europa League, typically when the quality of the competition begins to improve. When is it? The draw is on Friday 23 February and begins at 12pm UK time. Where is it? As always, the draw takes place at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. What TV channel is it on? Uefa will live stream the draw across their social media channels and website, while you can also watch live coverage on TV with BT Sport 2 from noon. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and return on Friday to see what ties the draw throws up with our liveblog. Who can Arsenal draw? Arsenal just about finished the job against Ostersunds at the Emirates on Thursday, so they will be in the hat for what is an entirely open draw in Nyon. There is no seeding system at this stage of the tournament nor country protection, although there are no other Premier League teams for Arsenal to draw anway. So Arsenal could be paired with: CSKA Moscow RB Leipzig Zenit St Petersburg Locomotiv Moscow Atletico Madrid Lazio Sporting Lisbon Viktoria Plzen Dynamo Kiev Lyon AC Milan Borussia Dortmund Athletic Bilbao Marseille RB Salzburg Where will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit in at Arsenal? When will the last-16 ties be played? The first leg of the next round of the Europa League will be played on Thursday 8 March and Thursday 15 March. Kick-off times will be 6pm and 8.05pm UK time, and the team drawn out of the bag first will play at home before playing the second leg away. What are the latest odds? Atletico Madrid 3/1 Arsenal 4/1 Borussia Dortmund 10/1 RB Leipzig 11/1 AC Milan 14/1 Lyon 16/1 Sporting Lisbon 22/1 Lazio 25/1 What are they saying? Arsene Wenger on defeat to Ostersunds: "We were in trouble because we were complacent and not focused," Wenger said. "We were open every time we lost the ball and had no ideas with the ball. That's why we were in trouble. "In the second half, it was much better. "We did the job to qualify. That's what you have to keep from the night and that's it." He added: "The fact that we won the first leg 3-0, the fact that we have another big game on Sunday, the fact that people subconsciously think they just have to turn up to win the game. "Football doesn't work like that. We played against a good side and ... you can be in trouble every time you're not 100 per cent focused."
Arsenal have been drawn to face Italian side AC Milan in the Europa League last 16. Arsenal suffered the embarrassment of losing 2-1 at home to Swedish side Ostersund in the second leg of their first knockout round match on Thursday night, but progressed 4-2 on aggregate. They will now take on Milan, a team with great continental pedigree. The Rossoneri have won the European Cup and Champions League seven times but have struggled in recent years, and are currently seventh in Serie A. Arsenal and Milan last met in 2012, when the Italians advanced to the Champions League quarter-final with a 4-3 aggregate win. Milan won the first leg 4-0 at San Siro before Arsenal won the return 3-0 to fall agonisingly short of a miraculous comeback. The first leg of this year&#39;s Europa League last-16 tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Kick-off times for the two matches will be confirmed on Friday afternoon. The Europa League draw threw up a heavyweight clash in AC Milan v Arsenal Credit: Uefa Three-time Champions League winner Eric Abidal made the draw and said that the AC Milan v Arsenal match-up was the pick of the last 16 ties. The draw in full was: Lazio v Dynamo Kiev RB Leipzig v Zenit St Petersburg Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow CSKA Moscow v Olympique Lyonnais Olympique de Marseille v Athletic Bilbao Sporting Lisbon v Viktoria Plzen Borussia Dortmund v FC Salzburg AC Milan v Arsenal The final in Lyon will be played on May 16. 12:23PM History repeated Arsenal and AC Milan have enjoyed a couple of thrilling knockout ties in the last decade. First there was 2008 when Arsenal knocked out the Champions League holders with a 2-0 last-16 win at San Siro before Milan exacted revenge with a 4-3 aggregate win at the same stage four years later. In that 2012 meeting, Milan won the first leg 4-0 before Arsenal so nearly pulled off a miracle comeback by winning the second leg 3-0. The first leg of this Europa League tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring for Arsenal against AC Milan in 2008 Credit: AFP 12:18PM The draw in full 12:17PM So it&#39;s AC Milan vs Arsenal! The first leg will be played at San Siro on Thursday March 8. That&#39;s a great draw. Eric Abidal picks out Milan vs Arsenal as the pick of the draw. 12:16PM Dortmund will play... not Arsenal. Dortmund vs RB Salzburg 12:15PM Arsenal and Dortmund still in the hat Sporting Lisbon vs Viktoria Plzen 12:15PM Just three pairings left now Marseille vs Athletic Bilbao 12:14PM And the other Moscow club is out CSKA Moscow vs Lyon 12:13PM Atletico are out... ...and they will face: Lokomotiv Moscow. Atletico vs Lokomotiv Moscow 12:12PM Next RB Leipzig vs Zenit 12:11PM First up Lazio vs Dynamo Kiev 12:11PM Pleasantries over We&#39;re about to get under way. The only rules are that the team drawn first will play the first leg at home, and teams from Russia and Ukraine can&#39;t play each other. Uefa must be praying Zenit and one of the Moscow clubs don&#39;t reach the final. 12:07PM The draw will be made by... ...Eric Abidal, who spent three years at Lyon where the Europa League final will be held this season. 12:04PM A sombre start The draw starts with our host (who I believe is the former CNN journalist and now Uefa&#39;s head of press Pedro Pinto) saying that Uefa &quot;strongly condemns the deplorable acts of violence&quot; that took place in Bilbao last night. 11:56AM Nearly there The draw should be getting under way in about five minutes. Though we would be wise to expect a fair amount of fluff from the Uefa dignitaries before the draw actually starts. 11:43AM A reunion of sorts? After last night&#39;s dismal defeat to Ostersunds, Arsene Wenger could be forgiven for privately hoping to avoid one of the big boys. One possible opponent is Zenit, who eliminated Celtic last night. Their striker Aleksandr Kokorin said afterwards: &quot;I guess it’s better to play the strongest sides right away to test ourselves. “Give me Arsenal!&quot; Drawing Zenit would also see former Branislav Ivanovic return to the Emirates for the first time since his Chelsea career was effectively ended there after a terrible performance in a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal 17 months ago. Credit: AP 11:28AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our coverage of this afternoon&#39;s draw for the last 16 of the Europa League, which takes place at 12pm GMT in Nyon, Switzerland. Arsenal just about kept the British flag flying with their 4-2 aggregate win over Ostersunds, but Celtic bowed out after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Zenit St Petersburg. In what is a completely open, unseeded draw, the worst possible opponents for Arsenal in the last 16 would be Atletico Madrid, while the best would probably be Viktoria Plzen. That said, whoever Arsenal face will be a big jump in quality from the pretty average opponents they&#39;ve faced in the competition so far. 11:10AM Preview What is it? It is the draw for the last-16 of the Europa League, typically when the quality of the competition begins to improve. When is it? The draw is on Friday 23 February and begins at 12pm UK time. Where is it? As always, the draw takes place at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. What TV channel is it on? Uefa will live stream the draw across their social media channels and website, while you can also watch live coverage on TV with BT Sport 2 from noon. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and return on Friday to see what ties the draw throws up with our liveblog. Who can Arsenal draw? Arsenal just about finished the job against Ostersunds at the Emirates on Thursday, so they will be in the hat for what is an entirely open draw in Nyon. There is no seeding system at this stage of the tournament nor country protection, although there are no other Premier League teams for Arsenal to draw anway. So Arsenal could be paired with: CSKA Moscow RB Leipzig Zenit St Petersburg Locomotiv Moscow Atletico Madrid Lazio Sporting Lisbon Viktoria Plzen Dynamo Kiev Lyon AC Milan Borussia Dortmund Athletic Bilbao Marseille RB Salzburg Where will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit in at Arsenal? When will the last-16 ties be played? The first leg of the next round of the Europa League will be played on Thursday 8 March and Thursday 15 March. Kick-off times will be 6pm and 8.05pm UK time, and the team drawn out of the bag first will play at home before playing the second leg away. What are the latest odds? Atletico Madrid 3/1 Arsenal 4/1 Borussia Dortmund 10/1 RB Leipzig 11/1 AC Milan 14/1 Lyon 16/1 Sporting Lisbon 22/1 Lazio 25/1 What are they saying? Arsene Wenger on defeat to Ostersunds: &quot;We were in trouble because we were complacent and not focused,&quot; Wenger said. &quot;We were open every time we lost the ball and had no ideas with the ball. That&#39;s why we were in trouble. &quot;In the second half, it was much better. &quot;We did the job to qualify. That&#39;s what you have to keep from the night and that&#39;s it.&quot; He added: &quot;The fact that we won the first leg 3-0, the fact that we have another big game on Sunday, the fact that people subconsciously think they just have to turn up to win the game. &quot;Football doesn&#39;t work like that. We played against a good side and ... you can be in trouble every time you&#39;re not 100 per cent focused.&quot;
Arsenal draw AC Milan in Europa League last 16
Arsenal have been drawn to face Italian side AC Milan in the Europa League last 16. Arsenal suffered the embarrassment of losing 2-1 at home to Swedish side Ostersund in the second leg of their first knockout round match on Thursday night, but progressed 4-2 on aggregate. They will now take on Milan, a team with great continental pedigree. The Rossoneri have won the European Cup and Champions League seven times but have struggled in recent years, and are currently seventh in Serie A. Arsenal and Milan last met in 2012, when the Italians advanced to the Champions League quarter-final with a 4-3 aggregate win. Milan won the first leg 4-0 at San Siro before Arsenal won the return 3-0 to fall agonisingly short of a miraculous comeback. The first leg of this year's Europa League last-16 tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Kick-off times for the two matches will be confirmed on Friday afternoon. The Europa League draw threw up a heavyweight clash in AC Milan v Arsenal Credit: Uefa Three-time Champions League winner Eric Abidal made the draw and said that the AC Milan v Arsenal match-up was the pick of the last 16 ties. The draw in full was: Lazio v Dynamo Kiev RB Leipzig v Zenit St Petersburg Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow CSKA Moscow v Olympique Lyonnais Olympique de Marseille v Athletic Bilbao Sporting Lisbon v Viktoria Plzen Borussia Dortmund v FC Salzburg AC Milan v Arsenal The final in Lyon will be played on May 16. 12:23PM History repeated Arsenal and AC Milan have enjoyed a couple of thrilling knockout ties in the last decade. First there was 2008 when Arsenal knocked out the Champions League holders with a 2-0 last-16 win at San Siro before Milan exacted revenge with a 4-3 aggregate win at the same stage four years later. In that 2012 meeting, Milan won the first leg 4-0 before Arsenal so nearly pulled off a miracle comeback by winning the second leg 3-0. The first leg of this Europa League tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring for Arsenal against AC Milan in 2008 Credit: AFP 12:18PM The draw in full 12:17PM So it's AC Milan vs Arsenal! The first leg will be played at San Siro on Thursday March 8. That's a great draw. Eric Abidal picks out Milan vs Arsenal as the pick of the draw. 12:16PM Dortmund will play... not Arsenal. Dortmund vs RB Salzburg 12:15PM Arsenal and Dortmund still in the hat Sporting Lisbon vs Viktoria Plzen 12:15PM Just three pairings left now Marseille vs Athletic Bilbao 12:14PM And the other Moscow club is out CSKA Moscow vs Lyon 12:13PM Atletico are out... ...and they will face: Lokomotiv Moscow. Atletico vs Lokomotiv Moscow 12:12PM Next RB Leipzig vs Zenit 12:11PM First up Lazio vs Dynamo Kiev 12:11PM Pleasantries over We're about to get under way. The only rules are that the team drawn first will play the first leg at home, and teams from Russia and Ukraine can't play each other. Uefa must be praying Zenit and one of the Moscow clubs don't reach the final. 12:07PM The draw will be made by... ...Eric Abidal, who spent three years at Lyon where the Europa League final will be held this season. 12:04PM A sombre start The draw starts with our host (who I believe is the former CNN journalist and now Uefa's head of press Pedro Pinto) saying that Uefa "strongly condemns the deplorable acts of violence" that took place in Bilbao last night. 11:56AM Nearly there The draw should be getting under way in about five minutes. Though we would be wise to expect a fair amount of fluff from the Uefa dignitaries before the draw actually starts. 11:43AM A reunion of sorts? After last night's dismal defeat to Ostersunds, Arsene Wenger could be forgiven for privately hoping to avoid one of the big boys. One possible opponent is Zenit, who eliminated Celtic last night. Their striker Aleksandr Kokorin said afterwards: "I guess it’s better to play the strongest sides right away to test ourselves. “Give me Arsenal!" Drawing Zenit would also see former Branislav Ivanovic return to the Emirates for the first time since his Chelsea career was effectively ended there after a terrible performance in a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal 17 months ago. Credit: AP 11:28AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our coverage of this afternoon's draw for the last 16 of the Europa League, which takes place at 12pm GMT in Nyon, Switzerland. Arsenal just about kept the British flag flying with their 4-2 aggregate win over Ostersunds, but Celtic bowed out after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Zenit St Petersburg. In what is a completely open, unseeded draw, the worst possible opponents for Arsenal in the last 16 would be Atletico Madrid, while the best would probably be Viktoria Plzen. That said, whoever Arsenal face will be a big jump in quality from the pretty average opponents they've faced in the competition so far. 11:10AM Preview What is it? It is the draw for the last-16 of the Europa League, typically when the quality of the competition begins to improve. When is it? The draw is on Friday 23 February and begins at 12pm UK time. Where is it? As always, the draw takes place at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. What TV channel is it on? Uefa will live stream the draw across their social media channels and website, while you can also watch live coverage on TV with BT Sport 2 from noon. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and return on Friday to see what ties the draw throws up with our liveblog. Who can Arsenal draw? Arsenal just about finished the job against Ostersunds at the Emirates on Thursday, so they will be in the hat for what is an entirely open draw in Nyon. There is no seeding system at this stage of the tournament nor country protection, although there are no other Premier League teams for Arsenal to draw anway. So Arsenal could be paired with: CSKA Moscow RB Leipzig Zenit St Petersburg Locomotiv Moscow Atletico Madrid Lazio Sporting Lisbon Viktoria Plzen Dynamo Kiev Lyon AC Milan Borussia Dortmund Athletic Bilbao Marseille RB Salzburg Where will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit in at Arsenal? When will the last-16 ties be played? The first leg of the next round of the Europa League will be played on Thursday 8 March and Thursday 15 March. Kick-off times will be 6pm and 8.05pm UK time, and the team drawn out of the bag first will play at home before playing the second leg away. What are the latest odds? Atletico Madrid 3/1 Arsenal 4/1 Borussia Dortmund 10/1 RB Leipzig 11/1 AC Milan 14/1 Lyon 16/1 Sporting Lisbon 22/1 Lazio 25/1 What are they saying? Arsene Wenger on defeat to Ostersunds: "We were in trouble because we were complacent and not focused," Wenger said. "We were open every time we lost the ball and had no ideas with the ball. That's why we were in trouble. "In the second half, it was much better. "We did the job to qualify. That's what you have to keep from the night and that's it." He added: "The fact that we won the first leg 3-0, the fact that we have another big game on Sunday, the fact that people subconsciously think they just have to turn up to win the game. "Football doesn't work like that. We played against a good side and ... you can be in trouble every time you're not 100 per cent focused."
Arsenal have been drawn to face Italian side AC Milan in the Europa League last 16. Arsenal suffered the embarrassment of losing 2-1 at home to Swedish side Ostersund in the second leg of their first knockout round match on Thursday night, but progressed 4-2 on aggregate. They will now take on Milan, a team with great continental pedigree. The Rossoneri have won the European Cup and Champions League seven times but have struggled in recent years, and are currently seventh in Serie A. Arsenal and Milan last met in 2012, when the Italians advanced to the Champions League quarter-final with a 4-3 aggregate win. Milan won the first leg 4-0 at San Siro before Arsenal won the return 3-0 to fall agonisingly short of a miraculous comeback. The first leg of this year&#39;s Europa League last-16 tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Kick-off times for the two matches will be confirmed on Friday afternoon. The Europa League draw threw up a heavyweight clash in AC Milan v Arsenal Credit: Uefa Three-time Champions League winner Eric Abidal made the draw and said that the AC Milan v Arsenal match-up was the pick of the last 16 ties. The draw in full was: Lazio v Dynamo Kiev RB Leipzig v Zenit St Petersburg Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow CSKA Moscow v Olympique Lyonnais Olympique de Marseille v Athletic Bilbao Sporting Lisbon v Viktoria Plzen Borussia Dortmund v FC Salzburg AC Milan v Arsenal The final in Lyon will be played on May 16. 12:23PM History repeated Arsenal and AC Milan have enjoyed a couple of thrilling knockout ties in the last decade. First there was 2008 when Arsenal knocked out the Champions League holders with a 2-0 last-16 win at San Siro before Milan exacted revenge with a 4-3 aggregate win at the same stage four years later. In that 2012 meeting, Milan won the first leg 4-0 before Arsenal so nearly pulled off a miracle comeback by winning the second leg 3-0. The first leg of this Europa League tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring for Arsenal against AC Milan in 2008 Credit: AFP 12:18PM The draw in full 12:17PM So it&#39;s AC Milan vs Arsenal! The first leg will be played at San Siro on Thursday March 8. That&#39;s a great draw. Eric Abidal picks out Milan vs Arsenal as the pick of the draw. 12:16PM Dortmund will play... not Arsenal. Dortmund vs RB Salzburg 12:15PM Arsenal and Dortmund still in the hat Sporting Lisbon vs Viktoria Plzen 12:15PM Just three pairings left now Marseille vs Athletic Bilbao 12:14PM And the other Moscow club is out CSKA Moscow vs Lyon 12:13PM Atletico are out... ...and they will face: Lokomotiv Moscow. Atletico vs Lokomotiv Moscow 12:12PM Next RB Leipzig vs Zenit 12:11PM First up Lazio vs Dynamo Kiev 12:11PM Pleasantries over We&#39;re about to get under way. The only rules are that the team drawn first will play the first leg at home, and teams from Russia and Ukraine can&#39;t play each other. Uefa must be praying Zenit and one of the Moscow clubs don&#39;t reach the final. 12:07PM The draw will be made by... ...Eric Abidal, who spent three years at Lyon where the Europa League final will be held this season. 12:04PM A sombre start The draw starts with our host (who I believe is the former CNN journalist and now Uefa&#39;s head of press Pedro Pinto) saying that Uefa &quot;strongly condemns the deplorable acts of violence&quot; that took place in Bilbao last night. 11:56AM Nearly there The draw should be getting under way in about five minutes. Though we would be wise to expect a fair amount of fluff from the Uefa dignitaries before the draw actually starts. 11:43AM A reunion of sorts? After last night&#39;s dismal defeat to Ostersunds, Arsene Wenger could be forgiven for privately hoping to avoid one of the big boys. One possible opponent is Zenit, who eliminated Celtic last night. Their striker Aleksandr Kokorin said afterwards: &quot;I guess it’s better to play the strongest sides right away to test ourselves. “Give me Arsenal!&quot; Drawing Zenit would also see former Branislav Ivanovic return to the Emirates for the first time since his Chelsea career was effectively ended there after a terrible performance in a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal 17 months ago. Credit: AP 11:28AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our coverage of this afternoon&#39;s draw for the last 16 of the Europa League, which takes place at 12pm GMT in Nyon, Switzerland. Arsenal just about kept the British flag flying with their 4-2 aggregate win over Ostersunds, but Celtic bowed out after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Zenit St Petersburg. In what is a completely open, unseeded draw, the worst possible opponents for Arsenal in the last 16 would be Atletico Madrid, while the best would probably be Viktoria Plzen. That said, whoever Arsenal face will be a big jump in quality from the pretty average opponents they&#39;ve faced in the competition so far. 11:10AM Preview What is it? It is the draw for the last-16 of the Europa League, typically when the quality of the competition begins to improve. When is it? The draw is on Friday 23 February and begins at 12pm UK time. Where is it? As always, the draw takes place at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. What TV channel is it on? Uefa will live stream the draw across their social media channels and website, while you can also watch live coverage on TV with BT Sport 2 from noon. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and return on Friday to see what ties the draw throws up with our liveblog. Who can Arsenal draw? Arsenal just about finished the job against Ostersunds at the Emirates on Thursday, so they will be in the hat for what is an entirely open draw in Nyon. There is no seeding system at this stage of the tournament nor country protection, although there are no other Premier League teams for Arsenal to draw anway. So Arsenal could be paired with: CSKA Moscow RB Leipzig Zenit St Petersburg Locomotiv Moscow Atletico Madrid Lazio Sporting Lisbon Viktoria Plzen Dynamo Kiev Lyon AC Milan Borussia Dortmund Athletic Bilbao Marseille RB Salzburg Where will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit in at Arsenal? When will the last-16 ties be played? The first leg of the next round of the Europa League will be played on Thursday 8 March and Thursday 15 March. Kick-off times will be 6pm and 8.05pm UK time, and the team drawn out of the bag first will play at home before playing the second leg away. What are the latest odds? Atletico Madrid 3/1 Arsenal 4/1 Borussia Dortmund 10/1 RB Leipzig 11/1 AC Milan 14/1 Lyon 16/1 Sporting Lisbon 22/1 Lazio 25/1 What are they saying? Arsene Wenger on defeat to Ostersunds: &quot;We were in trouble because we were complacent and not focused,&quot; Wenger said. &quot;We were open every time we lost the ball and had no ideas with the ball. That&#39;s why we were in trouble. &quot;In the second half, it was much better. &quot;We did the job to qualify. That&#39;s what you have to keep from the night and that&#39;s it.&quot; He added: &quot;The fact that we won the first leg 3-0, the fact that we have another big game on Sunday, the fact that people subconsciously think they just have to turn up to win the game. &quot;Football doesn&#39;t work like that. We played against a good side and ... you can be in trouble every time you&#39;re not 100 per cent focused.&quot;
Arsenal draw AC Milan in Europa League last 16
Arsenal have been drawn to face Italian side AC Milan in the Europa League last 16. Arsenal suffered the embarrassment of losing 2-1 at home to Swedish side Ostersund in the second leg of their first knockout round match on Thursday night, but progressed 4-2 on aggregate. They will now take on Milan, a team with great continental pedigree. The Rossoneri have won the European Cup and Champions League seven times but have struggled in recent years, and are currently seventh in Serie A. Arsenal and Milan last met in 2012, when the Italians advanced to the Champions League quarter-final with a 4-3 aggregate win. Milan won the first leg 4-0 at San Siro before Arsenal won the return 3-0 to fall agonisingly short of a miraculous comeback. The first leg of this year's Europa League last-16 tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Kick-off times for the two matches will be confirmed on Friday afternoon. The Europa League draw threw up a heavyweight clash in AC Milan v Arsenal Credit: Uefa Three-time Champions League winner Eric Abidal made the draw and said that the AC Milan v Arsenal match-up was the pick of the last 16 ties. The draw in full was: Lazio v Dynamo Kiev RB Leipzig v Zenit St Petersburg Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow CSKA Moscow v Olympique Lyonnais Olympique de Marseille v Athletic Bilbao Sporting Lisbon v Viktoria Plzen Borussia Dortmund v FC Salzburg AC Milan v Arsenal The final in Lyon will be played on May 16. 12:23PM History repeated Arsenal and AC Milan have enjoyed a couple of thrilling knockout ties in the last decade. First there was 2008 when Arsenal knocked out the Champions League holders with a 2-0 last-16 win at San Siro before Milan exacted revenge with a 4-3 aggregate win at the same stage four years later. In that 2012 meeting, Milan won the first leg 4-0 before Arsenal so nearly pulled off a miracle comeback by winning the second leg 3-0. The first leg of this Europa League tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring for Arsenal against AC Milan in 2008 Credit: AFP 12:18PM The draw in full 12:17PM So it's AC Milan vs Arsenal! The first leg will be played at San Siro on Thursday March 8. That's a great draw. Eric Abidal picks out Milan vs Arsenal as the pick of the draw. 12:16PM Dortmund will play... not Arsenal. Dortmund vs RB Salzburg 12:15PM Arsenal and Dortmund still in the hat Sporting Lisbon vs Viktoria Plzen 12:15PM Just three pairings left now Marseille vs Athletic Bilbao 12:14PM And the other Moscow club is out CSKA Moscow vs Lyon 12:13PM Atletico are out... ...and they will face: Lokomotiv Moscow. Atletico vs Lokomotiv Moscow 12:12PM Next RB Leipzig vs Zenit 12:11PM First up Lazio vs Dynamo Kiev 12:11PM Pleasantries over We're about to get under way. The only rules are that the team drawn first will play the first leg at home, and teams from Russia and Ukraine can't play each other. Uefa must be praying Zenit and one of the Moscow clubs don't reach the final. 12:07PM The draw will be made by... ...Eric Abidal, who spent three years at Lyon where the Europa League final will be held this season. 12:04PM A sombre start The draw starts with our host (who I believe is the former CNN journalist and now Uefa's head of press Pedro Pinto) saying that Uefa "strongly condemns the deplorable acts of violence" that took place in Bilbao last night. 11:56AM Nearly there The draw should be getting under way in about five minutes. Though we would be wise to expect a fair amount of fluff from the Uefa dignitaries before the draw actually starts. 11:43AM A reunion of sorts? After last night's dismal defeat to Ostersunds, Arsene Wenger could be forgiven for privately hoping to avoid one of the big boys. One possible opponent is Zenit, who eliminated Celtic last night. Their striker Aleksandr Kokorin said afterwards: "I guess it’s better to play the strongest sides right away to test ourselves. “Give me Arsenal!" Drawing Zenit would also see former Branislav Ivanovic return to the Emirates for the first time since his Chelsea career was effectively ended there after a terrible performance in a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal 17 months ago. Credit: AP 11:28AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our coverage of this afternoon's draw for the last 16 of the Europa League, which takes place at 12pm GMT in Nyon, Switzerland. Arsenal just about kept the British flag flying with their 4-2 aggregate win over Ostersunds, but Celtic bowed out after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Zenit St Petersburg. In what is a completely open, unseeded draw, the worst possible opponents for Arsenal in the last 16 would be Atletico Madrid, while the best would probably be Viktoria Plzen. That said, whoever Arsenal face will be a big jump in quality from the pretty average opponents they've faced in the competition so far. 11:10AM Preview What is it? It is the draw for the last-16 of the Europa League, typically when the quality of the competition begins to improve. When is it? The draw is on Friday 23 February and begins at 12pm UK time. Where is it? As always, the draw takes place at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. What TV channel is it on? Uefa will live stream the draw across their social media channels and website, while you can also watch live coverage on TV with BT Sport 2 from noon. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and return on Friday to see what ties the draw throws up with our liveblog. Who can Arsenal draw? Arsenal just about finished the job against Ostersunds at the Emirates on Thursday, so they will be in the hat for what is an entirely open draw in Nyon. There is no seeding system at this stage of the tournament nor country protection, although there are no other Premier League teams for Arsenal to draw anway. So Arsenal could be paired with: CSKA Moscow RB Leipzig Zenit St Petersburg Locomotiv Moscow Atletico Madrid Lazio Sporting Lisbon Viktoria Plzen Dynamo Kiev Lyon AC Milan Borussia Dortmund Athletic Bilbao Marseille RB Salzburg Where will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit in at Arsenal? When will the last-16 ties be played? The first leg of the next round of the Europa League will be played on Thursday 8 March and Thursday 15 March. Kick-off times will be 6pm and 8.05pm UK time, and the team drawn out of the bag first will play at home before playing the second leg away. What are the latest odds? Atletico Madrid 3/1 Arsenal 4/1 Borussia Dortmund 10/1 RB Leipzig 11/1 AC Milan 14/1 Lyon 16/1 Sporting Lisbon 22/1 Lazio 25/1 What are they saying? Arsene Wenger on defeat to Ostersunds: "We were in trouble because we were complacent and not focused," Wenger said. "We were open every time we lost the ball and had no ideas with the ball. That's why we were in trouble. "In the second half, it was much better. "We did the job to qualify. That's what you have to keep from the night and that's it." He added: "The fact that we won the first leg 3-0, the fact that we have another big game on Sunday, the fact that people subconsciously think they just have to turn up to win the game. "Football doesn't work like that. We played against a good side and ... you can be in trouble every time you're not 100 per cent focused."
Arsenal have been drawn to face Italian side AC Milan in the Europa League last 16. Arsenal suffered the embarrassment of losing 2-1 at home to Swedish side Ostersund in the second leg of their first knockout round match on Thursday night, but progressed 4-2 on aggregate. They will now take on Milan, a team with great continental pedigree. The Rossoneri have won the European Cup and Champions League seven times but have struggled in recent years, and are currently seventh in Serie A. Arsenal and Milan last met in 2012, when the Italians advanced to the Champions League quarter-final with a 4-3 aggregate win. Milan won the first leg 4-0 at San Siro before Arsenal won the return 3-0 to fall agonisingly short of a miraculous comeback. The first leg of this year&#39;s Europa League last-16 tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Kick-off times for the two matches will be confirmed on Friday afternoon. The Europa League draw threw up a heavyweight clash in AC Milan v Arsenal Credit: Uefa Three-time Champions League winner Eric Abidal made the draw and said that the AC Milan v Arsenal match-up was the pick of the last 16 ties. The draw in full was: Lazio v Dynamo Kiev RB Leipzig v Zenit St Petersburg Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow CSKA Moscow v Olympique Lyonnais Olympique de Marseille v Athletic Bilbao Sporting Lisbon v Viktoria Plzen Borussia Dortmund v FC Salzburg AC Milan v Arsenal The final in Lyon will be played on May 16. 12:23PM History repeated Arsenal and AC Milan have enjoyed a couple of thrilling knockout ties in the last decade. First there was 2008 when Arsenal knocked out the Champions League holders with a 2-0 last-16 win at San Siro before Milan exacted revenge with a 4-3 aggregate win at the same stage four years later. In that 2012 meeting, Milan won the first leg 4-0 before Arsenal so nearly pulled off a miracle comeback by winning the second leg 3-0. The first leg of this Europa League tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring for Arsenal against AC Milan in 2008 Credit: AFP 12:18PM The draw in full 12:17PM So it&#39;s AC Milan vs Arsenal! The first leg will be played at San Siro on Thursday March 8. That&#39;s a great draw. Eric Abidal picks out Milan vs Arsenal as the pick of the draw. 12:16PM Dortmund will play... not Arsenal. Dortmund vs RB Salzburg 12:15PM Arsenal and Dortmund still in the hat Sporting Lisbon vs Viktoria Plzen 12:15PM Just three pairings left now Marseille vs Athletic Bilbao 12:14PM And the other Moscow club is out CSKA Moscow vs Lyon 12:13PM Atletico are out... ...and they will face: Lokomotiv Moscow. Atletico vs Lokomotiv Moscow 12:12PM Next RB Leipzig vs Zenit 12:11PM First up Lazio vs Dynamo Kiev 12:11PM Pleasantries over We&#39;re about to get under way. The only rules are that the team drawn first will play the first leg at home, and teams from Russia and Ukraine can&#39;t play each other. Uefa must be praying Zenit and one of the Moscow clubs don&#39;t reach the final. 12:07PM The draw will be made by... ...Eric Abidal, who spent three years at Lyon where the Europa League final will be held this season. 12:04PM A sombre start The draw starts with our host (who I believe is the former CNN journalist and now Uefa&#39;s head of press Pedro Pinto) saying that Uefa &quot;strongly condemns the deplorable acts of violence&quot; that took place in Bilbao last night. 11:56AM Nearly there The draw should be getting under way in about five minutes. Though we would be wise to expect a fair amount of fluff from the Uefa dignitaries before the draw actually starts. 11:43AM A reunion of sorts? After last night&#39;s dismal defeat to Ostersunds, Arsene Wenger could be forgiven for privately hoping to avoid one of the big boys. One possible opponent is Zenit, who eliminated Celtic last night. Their striker Aleksandr Kokorin said afterwards: &quot;I guess it’s better to play the strongest sides right away to test ourselves. “Give me Arsenal!&quot; Drawing Zenit would also see former Branislav Ivanovic return to the Emirates for the first time since his Chelsea career was effectively ended there after a terrible performance in a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal 17 months ago. Credit: AP 11:28AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our coverage of this afternoon&#39;s draw for the last 16 of the Europa League, which takes place at 12pm GMT in Nyon, Switzerland. Arsenal just about kept the British flag flying with their 4-2 aggregate win over Ostersunds, but Celtic bowed out after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Zenit St Petersburg. In what is a completely open, unseeded draw, the worst possible opponents for Arsenal in the last 16 would be Atletico Madrid, while the best would probably be Viktoria Plzen. That said, whoever Arsenal face will be a big jump in quality from the pretty average opponents they&#39;ve faced in the competition so far. 11:10AM Preview What is it? It is the draw for the last-16 of the Europa League, typically when the quality of the competition begins to improve. When is it? The draw is on Friday 23 February and begins at 12pm UK time. Where is it? As always, the draw takes place at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. What TV channel is it on? Uefa will live stream the draw across their social media channels and website, while you can also watch live coverage on TV with BT Sport 2 from noon. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and return on Friday to see what ties the draw throws up with our liveblog. Who can Arsenal draw? Arsenal just about finished the job against Ostersunds at the Emirates on Thursday, so they will be in the hat for what is an entirely open draw in Nyon. There is no seeding system at this stage of the tournament nor country protection, although there are no other Premier League teams for Arsenal to draw anway. So Arsenal could be paired with: CSKA Moscow RB Leipzig Zenit St Petersburg Locomotiv Moscow Atletico Madrid Lazio Sporting Lisbon Viktoria Plzen Dynamo Kiev Lyon AC Milan Borussia Dortmund Athletic Bilbao Marseille RB Salzburg Where will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit in at Arsenal? When will the last-16 ties be played? The first leg of the next round of the Europa League will be played on Thursday 8 March and Thursday 15 March. Kick-off times will be 6pm and 8.05pm UK time, and the team drawn out of the bag first will play at home before playing the second leg away. What are the latest odds? Atletico Madrid 3/1 Arsenal 4/1 Borussia Dortmund 10/1 RB Leipzig 11/1 AC Milan 14/1 Lyon 16/1 Sporting Lisbon 22/1 Lazio 25/1 What are they saying? Arsene Wenger on defeat to Ostersunds: &quot;We were in trouble because we were complacent and not focused,&quot; Wenger said. &quot;We were open every time we lost the ball and had no ideas with the ball. That&#39;s why we were in trouble. &quot;In the second half, it was much better. &quot;We did the job to qualify. That&#39;s what you have to keep from the night and that&#39;s it.&quot; He added: &quot;The fact that we won the first leg 3-0, the fact that we have another big game on Sunday, the fact that people subconsciously think they just have to turn up to win the game. &quot;Football doesn&#39;t work like that. We played against a good side and ... you can be in trouble every time you&#39;re not 100 per cent focused.&quot;
Arsenal draw AC Milan in Europa League last 16
Arsenal have been drawn to face Italian side AC Milan in the Europa League last 16. Arsenal suffered the embarrassment of losing 2-1 at home to Swedish side Ostersund in the second leg of their first knockout round match on Thursday night, but progressed 4-2 on aggregate. They will now take on Milan, a team with great continental pedigree. The Rossoneri have won the European Cup and Champions League seven times but have struggled in recent years, and are currently seventh in Serie A. Arsenal and Milan last met in 2012, when the Italians advanced to the Champions League quarter-final with a 4-3 aggregate win. Milan won the first leg 4-0 at San Siro before Arsenal won the return 3-0 to fall agonisingly short of a miraculous comeback. The first leg of this year's Europa League last-16 tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Kick-off times for the two matches will be confirmed on Friday afternoon. The Europa League draw threw up a heavyweight clash in AC Milan v Arsenal Credit: Uefa Three-time Champions League winner Eric Abidal made the draw and said that the AC Milan v Arsenal match-up was the pick of the last 16 ties. The draw in full was: Lazio v Dynamo Kiev RB Leipzig v Zenit St Petersburg Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow CSKA Moscow v Olympique Lyonnais Olympique de Marseille v Athletic Bilbao Sporting Lisbon v Viktoria Plzen Borussia Dortmund v FC Salzburg AC Milan v Arsenal The final in Lyon will be played on May 16. 12:23PM History repeated Arsenal and AC Milan have enjoyed a couple of thrilling knockout ties in the last decade. First there was 2008 when Arsenal knocked out the Champions League holders with a 2-0 last-16 win at San Siro before Milan exacted revenge with a 4-3 aggregate win at the same stage four years later. In that 2012 meeting, Milan won the first leg 4-0 before Arsenal so nearly pulled off a miracle comeback by winning the second leg 3-0. The first leg of this Europa League tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring for Arsenal against AC Milan in 2008 Credit: AFP 12:18PM The draw in full 12:17PM So it's AC Milan vs Arsenal! The first leg will be played at San Siro on Thursday March 8. That's a great draw. Eric Abidal picks out Milan vs Arsenal as the pick of the draw. 12:16PM Dortmund will play... not Arsenal. Dortmund vs RB Salzburg 12:15PM Arsenal and Dortmund still in the hat Sporting Lisbon vs Viktoria Plzen 12:15PM Just three pairings left now Marseille vs Athletic Bilbao 12:14PM And the other Moscow club is out CSKA Moscow vs Lyon 12:13PM Atletico are out... ...and they will face: Lokomotiv Moscow. Atletico vs Lokomotiv Moscow 12:12PM Next RB Leipzig vs Zenit 12:11PM First up Lazio vs Dynamo Kiev 12:11PM Pleasantries over We're about to get under way. The only rules are that the team drawn first will play the first leg at home, and teams from Russia and Ukraine can't play each other. Uefa must be praying Zenit and one of the Moscow clubs don't reach the final. 12:07PM The draw will be made by... ...Eric Abidal, who spent three years at Lyon where the Europa League final will be held this season. 12:04PM A sombre start The draw starts with our host (who I believe is the former CNN journalist and now Uefa's head of press Pedro Pinto) saying that Uefa "strongly condemns the deplorable acts of violence" that took place in Bilbao last night. 11:56AM Nearly there The draw should be getting under way in about five minutes. Though we would be wise to expect a fair amount of fluff from the Uefa dignitaries before the draw actually starts. 11:43AM A reunion of sorts? After last night's dismal defeat to Ostersunds, Arsene Wenger could be forgiven for privately hoping to avoid one of the big boys. One possible opponent is Zenit, who eliminated Celtic last night. Their striker Aleksandr Kokorin said afterwards: "I guess it’s better to play the strongest sides right away to test ourselves. “Give me Arsenal!" Drawing Zenit would also see former Branislav Ivanovic return to the Emirates for the first time since his Chelsea career was effectively ended there after a terrible performance in a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal 17 months ago. Credit: AP 11:28AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our coverage of this afternoon's draw for the last 16 of the Europa League, which takes place at 12pm GMT in Nyon, Switzerland. Arsenal just about kept the British flag flying with their 4-2 aggregate win over Ostersunds, but Celtic bowed out after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Zenit St Petersburg. In what is a completely open, unseeded draw, the worst possible opponents for Arsenal in the last 16 would be Atletico Madrid, while the best would probably be Viktoria Plzen. That said, whoever Arsenal face will be a big jump in quality from the pretty average opponents they've faced in the competition so far. 11:10AM Preview What is it? It is the draw for the last-16 of the Europa League, typically when the quality of the competition begins to improve. When is it? The draw is on Friday 23 February and begins at 12pm UK time. Where is it? As always, the draw takes place at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. What TV channel is it on? Uefa will live stream the draw across their social media channels and website, while you can also watch live coverage on TV with BT Sport 2 from noon. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and return on Friday to see what ties the draw throws up with our liveblog. Who can Arsenal draw? Arsenal just about finished the job against Ostersunds at the Emirates on Thursday, so they will be in the hat for what is an entirely open draw in Nyon. There is no seeding system at this stage of the tournament nor country protection, although there are no other Premier League teams for Arsenal to draw anway. So Arsenal could be paired with: CSKA Moscow RB Leipzig Zenit St Petersburg Locomotiv Moscow Atletico Madrid Lazio Sporting Lisbon Viktoria Plzen Dynamo Kiev Lyon AC Milan Borussia Dortmund Athletic Bilbao Marseille RB Salzburg Where will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit in at Arsenal? When will the last-16 ties be played? The first leg of the next round of the Europa League will be played on Thursday 8 March and Thursday 15 March. Kick-off times will be 6pm and 8.05pm UK time, and the team drawn out of the bag first will play at home before playing the second leg away. What are the latest odds? Atletico Madrid 3/1 Arsenal 4/1 Borussia Dortmund 10/1 RB Leipzig 11/1 AC Milan 14/1 Lyon 16/1 Sporting Lisbon 22/1 Lazio 25/1 What are they saying? Arsene Wenger on defeat to Ostersunds: "We were in trouble because we were complacent and not focused," Wenger said. "We were open every time we lost the ball and had no ideas with the ball. That's why we were in trouble. "In the second half, it was much better. "We did the job to qualify. That's what you have to keep from the night and that's it." He added: "The fact that we won the first leg 3-0, the fact that we have another big game on Sunday, the fact that people subconsciously think they just have to turn up to win the game. "Football doesn't work like that. We played against a good side and ... you can be in trouble every time you're not 100 per cent focused."
Arsenal have been drawn to face Italian side AC Milan in the Europa League last 16. Arsenal suffered the embarrassment of losing 2-1 at home to Swedish side Ostersund in the second leg of their first knockout round match on Thursday night, but progressed 4-2 on aggregate. They will now take on Milan, a team with great continental pedigree. The Rossoneri have won the European Cup and Champions League seven times but have struggled in recent years, and are currently seventh in Serie A. Arsenal and Milan last met in 2012, when the Italians advanced to the Champions League quarter-final with a 4-3 aggregate win. Milan won the first leg 4-0 at San Siro before Arsenal won the return 3-0 to fall agonisingly short of a miraculous comeback. The first leg of this year&#39;s Europa League last-16 tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Kick-off times for the two matches will be confirmed on Friday afternoon. The Europa League draw threw up a heavyweight clash in AC Milan v Arsenal Credit: Uefa Three-time Champions League winner Eric Abidal made the draw and said that the AC Milan v Arsenal match-up was the pick of the last 16 ties. The draw in full was: Lazio v Dynamo Kiev RB Leipzig v Zenit St Petersburg Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow CSKA Moscow v Olympique Lyonnais Olympique de Marseille v Athletic Bilbao Sporting Lisbon v Viktoria Plzen Borussia Dortmund v FC Salzburg AC Milan v Arsenal The final in Lyon will be played on May 16. 12:23PM History repeated Arsenal and AC Milan have enjoyed a couple of thrilling knockout ties in the last decade. First there was 2008 when Arsenal knocked out the Champions League holders with a 2-0 last-16 win at San Siro before Milan exacted revenge with a 4-3 aggregate win at the same stage four years later. In that 2012 meeting, Milan won the first leg 4-0 before Arsenal so nearly pulled off a miracle comeback by winning the second leg 3-0. The first leg of this Europa League tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring for Arsenal against AC Milan in 2008 Credit: AFP 12:18PM The draw in full 12:17PM So it&#39;s AC Milan vs Arsenal! The first leg will be played at San Siro on Thursday March 8. That&#39;s a great draw. Eric Abidal picks out Milan vs Arsenal as the pick of the draw. 12:16PM Dortmund will play... not Arsenal. Dortmund vs RB Salzburg 12:15PM Arsenal and Dortmund still in the hat Sporting Lisbon vs Viktoria Plzen 12:15PM Just three pairings left now Marseille vs Athletic Bilbao 12:14PM And the other Moscow club is out CSKA Moscow vs Lyon 12:13PM Atletico are out... ...and they will face: Lokomotiv Moscow. Atletico vs Lokomotiv Moscow 12:12PM Next RB Leipzig vs Zenit 12:11PM First up Lazio vs Dynamo Kiev 12:11PM Pleasantries over We&#39;re about to get under way. The only rules are that the team drawn first will play the first leg at home, and teams from Russia and Ukraine can&#39;t play each other. Uefa must be praying Zenit and one of the Moscow clubs don&#39;t reach the final. 12:07PM The draw will be made by... ...Eric Abidal, who spent three years at Lyon where the Europa League final will be held this season. 12:04PM A sombre start The draw starts with our host (who I believe is the former CNN journalist and now Uefa&#39;s head of press Pedro Pinto) saying that Uefa &quot;strongly condemns the deplorable acts of violence&quot; that took place in Bilbao last night. 11:56AM Nearly there The draw should be getting under way in about five minutes. Though we would be wise to expect a fair amount of fluff from the Uefa dignitaries before the draw actually starts. 11:43AM A reunion of sorts? After last night&#39;s dismal defeat to Ostersunds, Arsene Wenger could be forgiven for privately hoping to avoid one of the big boys. One possible opponent is Zenit, who eliminated Celtic last night. Their striker Aleksandr Kokorin said afterwards: &quot;I guess it’s better to play the strongest sides right away to test ourselves. “Give me Arsenal!&quot; Drawing Zenit would also see former Branislav Ivanovic return to the Emirates for the first time since his Chelsea career was effectively ended there after a terrible performance in a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal 17 months ago. Credit: AP 11:28AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our coverage of this afternoon&#39;s draw for the last 16 of the Europa League, which takes place at 12pm GMT in Nyon, Switzerland. Arsenal just about kept the British flag flying with their 4-2 aggregate win over Ostersunds, but Celtic bowed out after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Zenit St Petersburg. In what is a completely open, unseeded draw, the worst possible opponents for Arsenal in the last 16 would be Atletico Madrid, while the best would probably be Viktoria Plzen. That said, whoever Arsenal face will be a big jump in quality from the pretty average opponents they&#39;ve faced in the competition so far. 11:10AM Preview What is it? It is the draw for the last-16 of the Europa League, typically when the quality of the competition begins to improve. When is it? The draw is on Friday 23 February and begins at 12pm UK time. Where is it? As always, the draw takes place at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. What TV channel is it on? Uefa will live stream the draw across their social media channels and website, while you can also watch live coverage on TV with BT Sport 2 from noon. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and return on Friday to see what ties the draw throws up with our liveblog. Who can Arsenal draw? Arsenal just about finished the job against Ostersunds at the Emirates on Thursday, so they will be in the hat for what is an entirely open draw in Nyon. There is no seeding system at this stage of the tournament nor country protection, although there are no other Premier League teams for Arsenal to draw anway. So Arsenal could be paired with: CSKA Moscow RB Leipzig Zenit St Petersburg Locomotiv Moscow Atletico Madrid Lazio Sporting Lisbon Viktoria Plzen Dynamo Kiev Lyon AC Milan Borussia Dortmund Athletic Bilbao Marseille RB Salzburg Where will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit in at Arsenal? When will the last-16 ties be played? The first leg of the next round of the Europa League will be played on Thursday 8 March and Thursday 15 March. Kick-off times will be 6pm and 8.05pm UK time, and the team drawn out of the bag first will play at home before playing the second leg away. What are the latest odds? Atletico Madrid 3/1 Arsenal 4/1 Borussia Dortmund 10/1 RB Leipzig 11/1 AC Milan 14/1 Lyon 16/1 Sporting Lisbon 22/1 Lazio 25/1 What are they saying? Arsene Wenger on defeat to Ostersunds: &quot;We were in trouble because we were complacent and not focused,&quot; Wenger said. &quot;We were open every time we lost the ball and had no ideas with the ball. That&#39;s why we were in trouble. &quot;In the second half, it was much better. &quot;We did the job to qualify. That&#39;s what you have to keep from the night and that&#39;s it.&quot; He added: &quot;The fact that we won the first leg 3-0, the fact that we have another big game on Sunday, the fact that people subconsciously think they just have to turn up to win the game. &quot;Football doesn&#39;t work like that. We played against a good side and ... you can be in trouble every time you&#39;re not 100 per cent focused.&quot;
Arsenal draw AC Milan in Europa League last 16
Arsenal have been drawn to face Italian side AC Milan in the Europa League last 16. Arsenal suffered the embarrassment of losing 2-1 at home to Swedish side Ostersund in the second leg of their first knockout round match on Thursday night, but progressed 4-2 on aggregate. They will now take on Milan, a team with great continental pedigree. The Rossoneri have won the European Cup and Champions League seven times but have struggled in recent years, and are currently seventh in Serie A. Arsenal and Milan last met in 2012, when the Italians advanced to the Champions League quarter-final with a 4-3 aggregate win. Milan won the first leg 4-0 at San Siro before Arsenal won the return 3-0 to fall agonisingly short of a miraculous comeback. The first leg of this year's Europa League last-16 tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Kick-off times for the two matches will be confirmed on Friday afternoon. The Europa League draw threw up a heavyweight clash in AC Milan v Arsenal Credit: Uefa Three-time Champions League winner Eric Abidal made the draw and said that the AC Milan v Arsenal match-up was the pick of the last 16 ties. The draw in full was: Lazio v Dynamo Kiev RB Leipzig v Zenit St Petersburg Atletico Madrid v Lokomotiv Moscow CSKA Moscow v Olympique Lyonnais Olympique de Marseille v Athletic Bilbao Sporting Lisbon v Viktoria Plzen Borussia Dortmund v FC Salzburg AC Milan v Arsenal The final in Lyon will be played on May 16. 12:23PM History repeated Arsenal and AC Milan have enjoyed a couple of thrilling knockout ties in the last decade. First there was 2008 when Arsenal knocked out the Champions League holders with a 2-0 last-16 win at San Siro before Milan exacted revenge with a 4-3 aggregate win at the same stage four years later. In that 2012 meeting, Milan won the first leg 4-0 before Arsenal so nearly pulled off a miracle comeback by winning the second leg 3-0. The first leg of this Europa League tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring for Arsenal against AC Milan in 2008 Credit: AFP 12:18PM The draw in full 12:17PM So it's AC Milan vs Arsenal! The first leg will be played at San Siro on Thursday March 8. That's a great draw. Eric Abidal picks out Milan vs Arsenal as the pick of the draw. 12:16PM Dortmund will play... not Arsenal. Dortmund vs RB Salzburg 12:15PM Arsenal and Dortmund still in the hat Sporting Lisbon vs Viktoria Plzen 12:15PM Just three pairings left now Marseille vs Athletic Bilbao 12:14PM And the other Moscow club is out CSKA Moscow vs Lyon 12:13PM Atletico are out... ...and they will face: Lokomotiv Moscow. Atletico vs Lokomotiv Moscow 12:12PM Next RB Leipzig vs Zenit 12:11PM First up Lazio vs Dynamo Kiev 12:11PM Pleasantries over We're about to get under way. The only rules are that the team drawn first will play the first leg at home, and teams from Russia and Ukraine can't play each other. Uefa must be praying Zenit and one of the Moscow clubs don't reach the final. 12:07PM The draw will be made by... ...Eric Abidal, who spent three years at Lyon where the Europa League final will be held this season. 12:04PM A sombre start The draw starts with our host (who I believe is the former CNN journalist and now Uefa's head of press Pedro Pinto) saying that Uefa "strongly condemns the deplorable acts of violence" that took place in Bilbao last night. 11:56AM Nearly there The draw should be getting under way in about five minutes. Though we would be wise to expect a fair amount of fluff from the Uefa dignitaries before the draw actually starts. 11:43AM A reunion of sorts? After last night's dismal defeat to Ostersunds, Arsene Wenger could be forgiven for privately hoping to avoid one of the big boys. One possible opponent is Zenit, who eliminated Celtic last night. Their striker Aleksandr Kokorin said afterwards: "I guess it’s better to play the strongest sides right away to test ourselves. “Give me Arsenal!" Drawing Zenit would also see former Branislav Ivanovic return to the Emirates for the first time since his Chelsea career was effectively ended there after a terrible performance in a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal 17 months ago. Credit: AP 11:28AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our coverage of this afternoon's draw for the last 16 of the Europa League, which takes place at 12pm GMT in Nyon, Switzerland. Arsenal just about kept the British flag flying with their 4-2 aggregate win over Ostersunds, but Celtic bowed out after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Zenit St Petersburg. In what is a completely open, unseeded draw, the worst possible opponents for Arsenal in the last 16 would be Atletico Madrid, while the best would probably be Viktoria Plzen. That said, whoever Arsenal face will be a big jump in quality from the pretty average opponents they've faced in the competition so far. 11:10AM Preview What is it? It is the draw for the last-16 of the Europa League, typically when the quality of the competition begins to improve. When is it? The draw is on Friday 23 February and begins at 12pm UK time. Where is it? As always, the draw takes place at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. What TV channel is it on? Uefa will live stream the draw across their social media channels and website, while you can also watch live coverage on TV with BT Sport 2 from noon. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and return on Friday to see what ties the draw throws up with our liveblog. Who can Arsenal draw? Arsenal just about finished the job against Ostersunds at the Emirates on Thursday, so they will be in the hat for what is an entirely open draw in Nyon. There is no seeding system at this stage of the tournament nor country protection, although there are no other Premier League teams for Arsenal to draw anway. So Arsenal could be paired with: CSKA Moscow RB Leipzig Zenit St Petersburg Locomotiv Moscow Atletico Madrid Lazio Sporting Lisbon Viktoria Plzen Dynamo Kiev Lyon AC Milan Borussia Dortmund Athletic Bilbao Marseille RB Salzburg Where will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit in at Arsenal? When will the last-16 ties be played? The first leg of the next round of the Europa League will be played on Thursday 8 March and Thursday 15 March. Kick-off times will be 6pm and 8.05pm UK time, and the team drawn out of the bag first will play at home before playing the second leg away. What are the latest odds? Atletico Madrid 3/1 Arsenal 4/1 Borussia Dortmund 10/1 RB Leipzig 11/1 AC Milan 14/1 Lyon 16/1 Sporting Lisbon 22/1 Lazio 25/1 What are they saying? Arsene Wenger on defeat to Ostersunds: "We were in trouble because we were complacent and not focused," Wenger said. "We were open every time we lost the ball and had no ideas with the ball. That's why we were in trouble. "In the second half, it was much better. "We did the job to qualify. That's what you have to keep from the night and that's it." He added: "The fact that we won the first leg 3-0, the fact that we have another big game on Sunday, the fact that people subconsciously think they just have to turn up to win the game. "Football doesn't work like that. We played against a good side and ... you can be in trouble every time you're not 100 per cent focused."
12:23PM History repeated Arsenal and AC Milan have enjoyed a couple of thrilling knockout ties in the last decade. First there was 2008 when Arsenal knocked out the Champions League holders with a 2-0 last-16 win at San Siro before Milan exacted revenge with a 4-3 aggregate win at the same stage four years later. In that 2012 meeting, Milan won the first leg 4-0 before Arsenal so nearly pulled off a miracle comeback by winning the second leg 3-0. The first leg of this Europa League tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring for Arsenal against AC Milan in 2008 Credit: AFP 12:18PM The draw in full 12:17PM So it&#39;s AC Milan vs Arsenal! The first leg will be played at San Siro on Thursday March 8. That&#39;s a great draw. Eric Abidal picks out Milan vs Arsenal as the pick of the draw. 12:16PM Dortmund will play... not Arsenal. Dortmund vs RB Salzburg 12:15PM Arsenal and Dortmund still in the hat Sporting Lisbon vs Viktoria Plzen 12:15PM Just three pairings left now Marseille vs Athletic Bilbao 12:14PM And the other Moscow club is out CSKA Moscow vs Lyon 12:13PM Atletico are out... ...and they will face: Lokomotiv Moscow. Atletico vs Lokomotiv Moscow 12:12PM Next RB Leipzig vs Zenit 12:11PM First up Lazio vs Dynamo Kiev 12:11PM Pleasantries over We&#39;re about to get under way. The only rules are that the team drawn first will play the first leg at home, and teams from Russia and Ukraine can&#39;t play each other. Uefa must be praying Zenit and one of the Moscow clubs don&#39;t reach the final. 12:07PM The draw will be made by... ...Eric Abidal, who spent three years at Lyon where the Europa League final will be held this season. 12:04PM A sombre start The draw starts with our host (who I believe is the former CNN journalist and now Uefa&#39;s head of press Pedro Pinto) saying that Uefa &quot;strongly condemns the deplorable acts of violence&quot; that took place in Bilbao last night. 11:56AM Nearly there The draw should be getting under way in about five minutes. Though we would be wise to expect a fair amount of fluff from the Uefa dignitaries before the draw actually starts. 11:43AM A reunion of sorts? After last night&#39;s dismal defeat to Ostersunds, Arsene Wenger could be forgiven for privately hoping to avoid one of the big boys. One possible opponent is Zenit, who eliminated Celtic last night. Their striker Aleksandr Kokorin said afterwards: &quot;I guess it’s better to play the strongest sides right away to test ourselves. “Give me Arsenal!&quot; Drawing Zenit would also see former Branislav Ivanovic return to the Emirates for the first time since his Chelsea career was effectively ended there after a terrible performance in a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal 17 months ago. Credit: AP 11:28AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our coverage of this afternoon&#39;s draw for the last 16 of the Europa League, which takes place at 12pm GMT in Nyon, Switzerland. Arsenal just about kept the British flag flying with their 4-2 aggregate win over Ostersunds, but Celtic bowed out after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Zenit St Petersburg. In what is a completely open, unseeded draw, the worst possible opponents for Arsenal in the last 16 would be Atletico Madrid, while the best would probably be Viktoria Plzen. That said, whoever Arsenal face will be a big jump in quality from the pretty average opponents they&#39;ve faced in the competition so far. 11:10AM Preview What is it? It is the draw for the last-16 of the Europa League, typically when the quality of the competition begins to improve. When is it? The draw is on Friday 23 February and begins at 12pm UK time. Where is it? As always, the draw takes place at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. What TV channel is it on? Uefa will live stream the draw across their social media channels and website, while you can also watch live coverage on TV with BT Sport 2 from noon. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and return on Friday to see what ties the draw throws up with our liveblog. Who can Arsenal draw? Arsenal just about finished the job against Ostersunds at the Emirates on Thursday, so they will be in the hat for what is an entirely open draw in Nyon. There is no seeding system at this stage of the tournament nor country protection, although there are no other Premier League teams for Arsenal to draw anway. So Arsenal could be paired with: CSKA Moscow RB Leipzig Zenit St Petersburg Locomotiv Moscow Atletico Madrid Lazio Sporting Lisbon Viktoria Plzen Dynamo Kiev Lyon AC Milan Borussia Dortmund Athletic Bilbao Marseille RB Salzburg Where will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit in at Arsenal? When will the last-16 ties be played? The first leg of the next round of the Europa League will be played on Thursday 8 March and Thursday 15 March. Kick-off times will be 6pm and 8.05pm UK time, and the team drawn out of the bag first will play at home before playing the second leg away. What are the latest odds? Atletico Madrid 3/1 Arsenal 4/1 Borussia Dortmund 10/1 RB Leipzig 11/1 AC Milan 14/1 Lyon 16/1 Sporting Lisbon 22/1 Lazio 25/1 What are they saying? Arsene Wenger on defeat to Ostersunds: &quot;We were in trouble because we were complacent and not focused,&quot; Wenger said. &quot;We were open every time we lost the ball and had no ideas with the ball. That&#39;s why we were in trouble. &quot;In the second half, it was much better. &quot;We did the job to qualify. That&#39;s what you have to keep from the night and that&#39;s it.&quot; He added: &quot;The fact that we won the first leg 3-0, the fact that we have another big game on Sunday, the fact that people subconsciously think they just have to turn up to win the game. &quot;Football doesn&#39;t work like that. We played against a good side and ... you can be in trouble every time you&#39;re not 100 per cent focused.&quot;
Arsenal draw AC Milan in Europa League last 16
12:23PM History repeated Arsenal and AC Milan have enjoyed a couple of thrilling knockout ties in the last decade. First there was 2008 when Arsenal knocked out the Champions League holders with a 2-0 last-16 win at San Siro before Milan exacted revenge with a 4-3 aggregate win at the same stage four years later. In that 2012 meeting, Milan won the first leg 4-0 before Arsenal so nearly pulled off a miracle comeback by winning the second leg 3-0. The first leg of this Europa League tie will be played on Thursday March 8 at San Siro, with the return a week later on March 15 at the Emirates. Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring for Arsenal against AC Milan in 2008 Credit: AFP 12:18PM The draw in full 12:17PM So it's AC Milan vs Arsenal! The first leg will be played at San Siro on Thursday March 8. That's a great draw. Eric Abidal picks out Milan vs Arsenal as the pick of the draw. 12:16PM Dortmund will play... not Arsenal. Dortmund vs RB Salzburg 12:15PM Arsenal and Dortmund still in the hat Sporting Lisbon vs Viktoria Plzen 12:15PM Just three pairings left now Marseille vs Athletic Bilbao 12:14PM And the other Moscow club is out CSKA Moscow vs Lyon 12:13PM Atletico are out... ...and they will face: Lokomotiv Moscow. Atletico vs Lokomotiv Moscow 12:12PM Next RB Leipzig vs Zenit 12:11PM First up Lazio vs Dynamo Kiev 12:11PM Pleasantries over We're about to get under way. The only rules are that the team drawn first will play the first leg at home, and teams from Russia and Ukraine can't play each other. Uefa must be praying Zenit and one of the Moscow clubs don't reach the final. 12:07PM The draw will be made by... ...Eric Abidal, who spent three years at Lyon where the Europa League final will be held this season. 12:04PM A sombre start The draw starts with our host (who I believe is the former CNN journalist and now Uefa's head of press Pedro Pinto) saying that Uefa "strongly condemns the deplorable acts of violence" that took place in Bilbao last night. 11:56AM Nearly there The draw should be getting under way in about five minutes. Though we would be wise to expect a fair amount of fluff from the Uefa dignitaries before the draw actually starts. 11:43AM A reunion of sorts? After last night's dismal defeat to Ostersunds, Arsene Wenger could be forgiven for privately hoping to avoid one of the big boys. One possible opponent is Zenit, who eliminated Celtic last night. Their striker Aleksandr Kokorin said afterwards: "I guess it’s better to play the strongest sides right away to test ourselves. “Give me Arsenal!" Drawing Zenit would also see former Branislav Ivanovic return to the Emirates for the first time since his Chelsea career was effectively ended there after a terrible performance in a 3-0 defeat to Arsenal 17 months ago. Credit: AP 11:28AM Preamble Morning all, Welcome to our coverage of this afternoon's draw for the last 16 of the Europa League, which takes place at 12pm GMT in Nyon, Switzerland. Arsenal just about kept the British flag flying with their 4-2 aggregate win over Ostersunds, but Celtic bowed out after a 3-1 aggregate defeat to Zenit St Petersburg. In what is a completely open, unseeded draw, the worst possible opponents for Arsenal in the last 16 would be Atletico Madrid, while the best would probably be Viktoria Plzen. That said, whoever Arsenal face will be a big jump in quality from the pretty average opponents they've faced in the competition so far. 11:10AM Preview What is it? It is the draw for the last-16 of the Europa League, typically when the quality of the competition begins to improve. When is it? The draw is on Friday 23 February and begins at 12pm UK time. Where is it? As always, the draw takes place at Uefa headquarters in Nyon, Switzerland. What TV channel is it on? Uefa will live stream the draw across their social media channels and website, while you can also watch live coverage on TV with BT Sport 2 from noon. Alternatively, you can bookmark this page and return on Friday to see what ties the draw throws up with our liveblog. Who can Arsenal draw? Arsenal just about finished the job against Ostersunds at the Emirates on Thursday, so they will be in the hat for what is an entirely open draw in Nyon. There is no seeding system at this stage of the tournament nor country protection, although there are no other Premier League teams for Arsenal to draw anway. So Arsenal could be paired with: CSKA Moscow RB Leipzig Zenit St Petersburg Locomotiv Moscow Atletico Madrid Lazio Sporting Lisbon Viktoria Plzen Dynamo Kiev Lyon AC Milan Borussia Dortmund Athletic Bilbao Marseille RB Salzburg Where will Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fit in at Arsenal? When will the last-16 ties be played? The first leg of the next round of the Europa League will be played on Thursday 8 March and Thursday 15 March. Kick-off times will be 6pm and 8.05pm UK time, and the team drawn out of the bag first will play at home before playing the second leg away. What are the latest odds? Atletico Madrid 3/1 Arsenal 4/1 Borussia Dortmund 10/1 RB Leipzig 11/1 AC Milan 14/1 Lyon 16/1 Sporting Lisbon 22/1 Lazio 25/1 What are they saying? Arsene Wenger on defeat to Ostersunds: "We were in trouble because we were complacent and not focused," Wenger said. "We were open every time we lost the ball and had no ideas with the ball. That's why we were in trouble. "In the second half, it was much better. "We did the job to qualify. That's what you have to keep from the night and that's it." He added: "The fact that we won the first leg 3-0, the fact that we have another big game on Sunday, the fact that people subconsciously think they just have to turn up to win the game. "Football doesn't work like that. We played against a good side and ... you can be in trouble every time you're not 100 per cent focused."
Europa League review: Arsenal, Celtic suffer defeat as Zenit stand up
Europa League review: Arsenal, Celtic suffer defeat as Zenit stand up
Europa League review: Arsenal, Celtic suffer defeat as Zenit stand up
Soccer Football - Europa League Round of 32 Second Leg - Zenit Saint Petersburg vs Celtic - Stadium St. Petersburg, Saint Petersburg, Russia - February 22, 2018 Zenit St. Petersburg fans REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Europa League Round of 32 Second Leg - Zenit Saint Petersburg vs Celtic
Soccer Football - Europa League Round of 32 Second Leg - Zenit Saint Petersburg vs Celtic - Stadium St. Petersburg, Saint Petersburg, Russia - February 22, 2018 Zenit St. Petersburg fans REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Soccer Football - Europa League Round of 32 Second Leg - Zenit Saint Petersburg vs Celtic - Stadium St. Petersburg, Saint Petersburg, Russia - February 22, 2018 Celtic’s Scott Brown in action with Zenit St. Petersburg&#39;s Branislav Ivanovic REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Europa League Round of 32 Second Leg - Zenit Saint Petersburg vs Celtic
Soccer Football - Europa League Round of 32 Second Leg - Zenit Saint Petersburg vs Celtic - Stadium St. Petersburg, Saint Petersburg, Russia - February 22, 2018 Celtic’s Scott Brown in action with Zenit St. Petersburg's Branislav Ivanovic REUTERS/Maxim Shemetov TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
Villarreal , Celtic e Nizza eliminate, passano agli ottavi di finale Zenit, Lione, Atletico Madrid, Sporting, Arsenal, Marsiglia e Dinamo Kiev.
Europa League, i risultati: Arsenal, Atletico e Zenit agli ottavi
Villarreal , Celtic e Nizza eliminate, passano agli ottavi di finale Zenit, Lione, Atletico Madrid, Sporting, Arsenal, Marsiglia e Dinamo Kiev.
Zenit St Petersburg 3 Celtic 0 (Zenit win 3-1 on agg): Branislav Ivanovic begins the demolition job
Zenit St Petersburg 3 Celtic 0 (Zenit win 3-1 on agg): Branislav Ivanovic begins the demolition job
Zenit St Petersburg 3 Celtic 0 (Zenit win 3-1 on agg): Branislav Ivanovic begins the demolition job
Celtic crashed out of the Europa League in calamitous style with a 3-0 defeat by Zenit St Petersburg in Russia. The Hoops&#39; deserved 1-0 lead from the first leg of the last-32 clash at Parkhead last week was wiped out before half an hour had been played with Brendan Rodgers&#39; side culpable. Returning defender Branislav Ivanovic, celebrating his 34th birthday, put Zenit in front with a header from a poorly defended corner in the eighth minute before attacker Daler Kuzyaev fired in a long-range drive in the 27th minute which had Celtic&#39;s keeper Dorus de Vries grasping air. Still, a goal was all Celtic needed to go through to the last 16 but in the 61st minute striker Aleksandr Kokorin, who had previously scored against the visitors for Dinamo Moscow, made it 3-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate. An expensively-assembled Zenit side had looked rusty in Glasgow in their first competitive game in two months due to Russia&#39;s winter break. However, despite looking no better than decent they were fit enough and good enough to recover the tie although they were given some help by the visitors. Zenit&#39;s fans braved the elements with the roof closed Credit: Pavel Golovkin/AP The stadium&#39;s roof was closed which was good news for the players and 50,492 supporters, including several hundred in green and white, in light of the sub-zero temperatures outside. Celtic were unchanged from the first leg while Zenit brought back former Chelsea defender Ivanovic and midfielder Matias Kranevitter. The Scottish champions looked at ease from kick-off in a subdued atmosphere only to be stunned by the loss of the early goal. De Vries made a decent save turning a long-distance drive from Leandro Paredes past the post for a corner but when the Argentinean delivered his set piece into the box, Ivanovic rose to bullet in his header with centre-backs Jozo Simunovic and Kristoffer Ajer unable to get in a real challenge. Aleksandr Kokorin scoops in the third Credit: REUTERS/Anton Vagano Moments later, Kokorin drove a weak shot at De Vries when he could have taken the ball in closer, before Paredes fired a 30-yard free-kick just over the bar. Zenit&#39;s second goal also appeared avoidable as Kuzyaev, after taking an Anton Zabolotny pass, fired high past De Vries from 25 yards with the Dutchman appearing to misjudge the flight of the ball. Tom Rogic replaced Eboue Kouassi for the start of the second half, the Australia midfielder sending a shot over the bar within a minute of the restart. However, there was more woe for the Hoops when, with the Parkhead defence in disarray again, Kokorin got in front of right-back Mikael Lustig and bundled in number three from just a few yards out, Ivanovic supplying the cross. Celtic tried to fight back but they looked all out of hope. Zenit keeper Andrei Lunev saved an Olivier Ntcham shot and there was plenty of Celtic hustle and bustle in the final stages but there was no way back from a night in Russia which ended with plenty of regret. Brendan Rodgers was disappointed with the goals his side conceded, telling BT Sport: &quot;Last week I think we showed that when our concentration is at its best and we defend forward we can defend really well. &quot;Tonight I thought, in particular in the first half, we weren&#39;t aggressive enough and a little bit passive. &quot;The goals we gave away were really disappointing goals from that aspect. &quot;So yeah, a disappointing end - a bit better in the second half - but defensively we gave away three very poor goals.&quot;
Zenit St Petersburg 3 Celtic 0 (Zenit win 3-1 on agg): Branislav Ivanovic begins the demolition job
Celtic crashed out of the Europa League in calamitous style with a 3-0 defeat by Zenit St Petersburg in Russia. The Hoops' deserved 1-0 lead from the first leg of the last-32 clash at Parkhead last week was wiped out before half an hour had been played with Brendan Rodgers' side culpable. Returning defender Branislav Ivanovic, celebrating his 34th birthday, put Zenit in front with a header from a poorly defended corner in the eighth minute before attacker Daler Kuzyaev fired in a long-range drive in the 27th minute which had Celtic's keeper Dorus de Vries grasping air. Still, a goal was all Celtic needed to go through to the last 16 but in the 61st minute striker Aleksandr Kokorin, who had previously scored against the visitors for Dinamo Moscow, made it 3-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate. An expensively-assembled Zenit side had looked rusty in Glasgow in their first competitive game in two months due to Russia's winter break. However, despite looking no better than decent they were fit enough and good enough to recover the tie although they were given some help by the visitors. Zenit's fans braved the elements with the roof closed Credit: Pavel Golovkin/AP The stadium's roof was closed which was good news for the players and 50,492 supporters, including several hundred in green and white, in light of the sub-zero temperatures outside. Celtic were unchanged from the first leg while Zenit brought back former Chelsea defender Ivanovic and midfielder Matias Kranevitter. The Scottish champions looked at ease from kick-off in a subdued atmosphere only to be stunned by the loss of the early goal. De Vries made a decent save turning a long-distance drive from Leandro Paredes past the post for a corner but when the Argentinean delivered his set piece into the box, Ivanovic rose to bullet in his header with centre-backs Jozo Simunovic and Kristoffer Ajer unable to get in a real challenge. Aleksandr Kokorin scoops in the third Credit: REUTERS/Anton Vagano Moments later, Kokorin drove a weak shot at De Vries when he could have taken the ball in closer, before Paredes fired a 30-yard free-kick just over the bar. Zenit's second goal also appeared avoidable as Kuzyaev, after taking an Anton Zabolotny pass, fired high past De Vries from 25 yards with the Dutchman appearing to misjudge the flight of the ball. Tom Rogic replaced Eboue Kouassi for the start of the second half, the Australia midfielder sending a shot over the bar within a minute of the restart. However, there was more woe for the Hoops when, with the Parkhead defence in disarray again, Kokorin got in front of right-back Mikael Lustig and bundled in number three from just a few yards out, Ivanovic supplying the cross. Celtic tried to fight back but they looked all out of hope. Zenit keeper Andrei Lunev saved an Olivier Ntcham shot and there was plenty of Celtic hustle and bustle in the final stages but there was no way back from a night in Russia which ended with plenty of regret. Brendan Rodgers was disappointed with the goals his side conceded, telling BT Sport: "Last week I think we showed that when our concentration is at its best and we defend forward we can defend really well. "Tonight I thought, in particular in the first half, we weren't aggressive enough and a little bit passive. "The goals we gave away were really disappointing goals from that aspect. "So yeah, a disappointing end - a bit better in the second half - but defensively we gave away three very poor goals."
Zenit St Petersburg 3 Celtic 0 (Zenit win 3-1 on agg): Branislav Ivanovic begins the demolition job
Zenit St Petersburg 3 Celtic 0 (Zenit win 3-1 on agg): Branislav Ivanovic begins the demolition job
Zenit St Petersburg 3 Celtic 0 (Zenit win 3-1 on agg): Branislav Ivanovic begins the demolition job
Celtic crashed out of the Europa League in calamitous style with a 3-0 defeat by Zenit St Petersburg in Russia. The Hoops&#39; deserved 1-0 lead from the first leg of the last-32 clash at Parkhead last week was wiped out before half an hour had been played with Brendan Rodgers&#39; side culpable. Returning defender Branislav Ivanovic, celebrating his 34th birthday, put Zenit in front with a header from a poorly defended corner in the eighth minute before attacker Daler Kuzyaev fired in a long-range drive in the 27th minute which had Celtic&#39;s keeper Dorus de Vries grasping air. Still, a goal was all Celtic needed to go through to the last 16 but in the 61st minute striker Aleksandr Kokorin, who had previously scored against the visitors for Dinamo Moscow, made it 3-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate. An expensively-assembled Zenit side had looked rusty in Glasgow in their first competitive game in two months due to Russia&#39;s winter break. However, despite looking no better than decent they were fit enough and good enough to recover the tie although they were given some help by the visitors. Zenit&#39;s fans braved the elements with the roof closed Credit: Pavel Golovkin/AP The stadium&#39;s roof was closed which was good news for the players and 50,492 supporters, including several hundred in green and white, in light of the sub-zero temperatures outside. Celtic were unchanged from the first leg while Zenit brought back former Chelsea defender Ivanovic and midfielder Matias Kranevitter. The Scottish champions looked at ease from kick-off in a subdued atmosphere only to be stunned by the loss of the early goal. De Vries made a decent save turning a long-distance drive from Leandro Paredes past the post for a corner but when the Argentinean delivered his set piece into the box, Ivanovic rose to bullet in his header with centre-backs Jozo Simunovic and Kristoffer Ajer unable to get in a real challenge. Aleksandr Kokorin scoops in the third Credit: REUTERS/Anton Vagano Moments later, Kokorin drove a weak shot at De Vries when he could have taken the ball in closer, before Paredes fired a 30-yard free-kick just over the bar. Zenit&#39;s second goal also appeared avoidable as Kuzyaev, after taking an Anton Zabolotny pass, fired high past De Vries from 25 yards with the Dutchman appearing to misjudge the flight of the ball. Tom Rogic replaced Eboue Kouassi for the start of the second half, the Australia midfielder sending a shot over the bar within a minute of the restart. However, there was more woe for the Hoops when, with the Parkhead defence in disarray again, Kokorin got in front of right-back Mikael Lustig and bundled in number three from just a few yards out, Ivanovic supplying the cross. Celtic tried to fight back but they looked all out of hope. Zenit keeper Andrei Lunev saved an Olivier Ntcham shot and there was plenty of Celtic hustle and bustle in the final stages but there was no way back from a night in Russia which ended with plenty of regret. Brendan Rodgers was disappointed with the goals his side conceded, telling BT Sport: &quot;Last week I think we showed that when our concentration is at its best and we defend forward we can defend really well. &quot;Tonight I thought, in particular in the first half, we weren&#39;t aggressive enough and a little bit passive. &quot;The goals we gave away were really disappointing goals from that aspect. &quot;So yeah, a disappointing end - a bit better in the second half - but defensively we gave away three very poor goals.&quot;
Zenit St Petersburg 3 Celtic 0 (Zenit win 3-1 on agg): Branislav Ivanovic begins the demolition job
Celtic crashed out of the Europa League in calamitous style with a 3-0 defeat by Zenit St Petersburg in Russia. The Hoops' deserved 1-0 lead from the first leg of the last-32 clash at Parkhead last week was wiped out before half an hour had been played with Brendan Rodgers' side culpable. Returning defender Branislav Ivanovic, celebrating his 34th birthday, put Zenit in front with a header from a poorly defended corner in the eighth minute before attacker Daler Kuzyaev fired in a long-range drive in the 27th minute which had Celtic's keeper Dorus de Vries grasping air. Still, a goal was all Celtic needed to go through to the last 16 but in the 61st minute striker Aleksandr Kokorin, who had previously scored against the visitors for Dinamo Moscow, made it 3-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate. An expensively-assembled Zenit side had looked rusty in Glasgow in their first competitive game in two months due to Russia's winter break. However, despite looking no better than decent they were fit enough and good enough to recover the tie although they were given some help by the visitors. Zenit's fans braved the elements with the roof closed Credit: Pavel Golovkin/AP The stadium's roof was closed which was good news for the players and 50,492 supporters, including several hundred in green and white, in light of the sub-zero temperatures outside. Celtic were unchanged from the first leg while Zenit brought back former Chelsea defender Ivanovic and midfielder Matias Kranevitter. The Scottish champions looked at ease from kick-off in a subdued atmosphere only to be stunned by the loss of the early goal. De Vries made a decent save turning a long-distance drive from Leandro Paredes past the post for a corner but when the Argentinean delivered his set piece into the box, Ivanovic rose to bullet in his header with centre-backs Jozo Simunovic and Kristoffer Ajer unable to get in a real challenge. Aleksandr Kokorin scoops in the third Credit: REUTERS/Anton Vagano Moments later, Kokorin drove a weak shot at De Vries when he could have taken the ball in closer, before Paredes fired a 30-yard free-kick just over the bar. Zenit's second goal also appeared avoidable as Kuzyaev, after taking an Anton Zabolotny pass, fired high past De Vries from 25 yards with the Dutchman appearing to misjudge the flight of the ball. Tom Rogic replaced Eboue Kouassi for the start of the second half, the Australia midfielder sending a shot over the bar within a minute of the restart. However, there was more woe for the Hoops when, with the Parkhead defence in disarray again, Kokorin got in front of right-back Mikael Lustig and bundled in number three from just a few yards out, Ivanovic supplying the cross. Celtic tried to fight back but they looked all out of hope. Zenit keeper Andrei Lunev saved an Olivier Ntcham shot and there was plenty of Celtic hustle and bustle in the final stages but there was no way back from a night in Russia which ended with plenty of regret. Brendan Rodgers was disappointed with the goals his side conceded, telling BT Sport: "Last week I think we showed that when our concentration is at its best and we defend forward we can defend really well. "Tonight I thought, in particular in the first half, we weren't aggressive enough and a little bit passive. "The goals we gave away were really disappointing goals from that aspect. "So yeah, a disappointing end - a bit better in the second half - but defensively we gave away three very poor goals."
Zenit St Petersburg 3 Celtic 0 (Zenit win 3-1 on agg): Branislav Ivanovic begins the demolition job
Zenit St Petersburg 3 Celtic 0 (Zenit win 3-1 on agg): Branislav Ivanovic begins the demolition job
Zenit St Petersburg 3 Celtic 0 (Zenit win 3-1 on agg): Branislav Ivanovic begins the demolition job
Celtic crashed out of the Europa League in calamitous style with a 3-0 defeat by Zenit St Petersburg in Russia. The Hoops&#39; deserved 1-0 lead from the first leg of the last-32 clash at Parkhead last week was wiped out before half an hour had been played with Brendan Rodgers&#39; side culpable. Returning defender Branislav Ivanovic, celebrating his 34th birthday, put Zenit in front with a header from a poorly defended corner in the eighth minute before attacker Daler Kuzyaev fired in a long-range drive in the 27th minute which had Celtic&#39;s keeper Dorus de Vries grasping air. Still, a goal was all Celtic needed to go through to the last 16 but in the 61st minute striker Aleksandr Kokorin, who had previously scored against the visitors for Dinamo Moscow, made it 3-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate. An expensively-assembled Zenit side had looked rusty in Glasgow in their first competitive game in two months due to Russia&#39;s winter break. However, despite looking no better than decent they were fit enough and good enough to recover the tie although they were given some help by the visitors. Zenit&#39;s fans braved the elements with the roof closed Credit: Pavel Golovkin/AP The stadium&#39;s roof was closed which was good news for the players and 50,492 supporters, including several hundred in green and white, in light of the sub-zero temperatures outside. Celtic were unchanged from the first leg while Zenit brought back former Chelsea defender Ivanovic and midfielder Matias Kranevitter. The Scottish champions looked at ease from kick-off in a subdued atmosphere only to be stunned by the loss of the early goal. De Vries made a decent save turning a long-distance drive from Leandro Paredes past the post for a corner but when the Argentinean delivered his set piece into the box, Ivanovic rose to bullet in his header with centre-backs Jozo Simunovic and Kristoffer Ajer unable to get in a real challenge. Aleksandr Kokorin scoops in the third Credit: REUTERS/Anton Vagano Moments later, Kokorin drove a weak shot at De Vries when he could have taken the ball in closer, before Paredes fired a 30-yard free-kick just over the bar. Zenit&#39;s second goal also appeared avoidable as Kuzyaev, after taking an Anton Zabolotny pass, fired high past De Vries from 25 yards with the Dutchman appearing to misjudge the flight of the ball. Tom Rogic replaced Eboue Kouassi for the start of the second half, the Australia midfielder sending a shot over the bar within a minute of the restart. However, there was more woe for the Hoops when, with the Parkhead defence in disarray again, Kokorin got in front of right-back Mikael Lustig and bundled in number three from just a few yards out, Ivanovic supplying the cross. Celtic tried to fight back but they looked all out of hope. Zenit keeper Andrei Lunev saved an Olivier Ntcham shot and there was plenty of Celtic hustle and bustle in the final stages but there was no way back from a night in Russia which ended with plenty of regret. Brendan Rodgers was disappointed with the goals his side conceded, telling BT Sport: &quot;Last week I think we showed that when our concentration is at its best and we defend forward we can defend really well. &quot;Tonight I thought, in particular in the first half, we weren&#39;t aggressive enough and a little bit passive. &quot;The goals we gave away were really disappointing goals from that aspect. &quot;So yeah, a disappointing end - a bit better in the second half - but defensively we gave away three very poor goals.&quot;
Zenit St Petersburg 3 Celtic 0 (Zenit win 3-1 on agg): Branislav Ivanovic begins the demolition job
Celtic crashed out of the Europa League in calamitous style with a 3-0 defeat by Zenit St Petersburg in Russia. The Hoops' deserved 1-0 lead from the first leg of the last-32 clash at Parkhead last week was wiped out before half an hour had been played with Brendan Rodgers' side culpable. Returning defender Branislav Ivanovic, celebrating his 34th birthday, put Zenit in front with a header from a poorly defended corner in the eighth minute before attacker Daler Kuzyaev fired in a long-range drive in the 27th minute which had Celtic's keeper Dorus de Vries grasping air. Still, a goal was all Celtic needed to go through to the last 16 but in the 61st minute striker Aleksandr Kokorin, who had previously scored against the visitors for Dinamo Moscow, made it 3-0 on the night and 3-1 on aggregate. An expensively-assembled Zenit side had looked rusty in Glasgow in their first competitive game in two months due to Russia's winter break. However, despite looking no better than decent they were fit enough and good enough to recover the tie although they were given some help by the visitors. Zenit's fans braved the elements with the roof closed Credit: Pavel Golovkin/AP The stadium's roof was closed which was good news for the players and 50,492 supporters, including several hundred in green and white, in light of the sub-zero temperatures outside. Celtic were unchanged from the first leg while Zenit brought back former Chelsea defender Ivanovic and midfielder Matias Kranevitter. The Scottish champions looked at ease from kick-off in a subdued atmosphere only to be stunned by the loss of the early goal. De Vries made a decent save turning a long-distance drive from Leandro Paredes past the post for a corner but when the Argentinean delivered his set piece into the box, Ivanovic rose to bullet in his header with centre-backs Jozo Simunovic and Kristoffer Ajer unable to get in a real challenge. Aleksandr Kokorin scoops in the third Credit: REUTERS/Anton Vagano Moments later, Kokorin drove a weak shot at De Vries when he could have taken the ball in closer, before Paredes fired a 30-yard free-kick just over the bar. Zenit's second goal also appeared avoidable as Kuzyaev, after taking an Anton Zabolotny pass, fired high past De Vries from 25 yards with the Dutchman appearing to misjudge the flight of the ball. Tom Rogic replaced Eboue Kouassi for the start of the second half, the Australia midfielder sending a shot over the bar within a minute of the restart. However, there was more woe for the Hoops when, with the Parkhead defence in disarray again, Kokorin got in front of right-back Mikael Lustig and bundled in number three from just a few yards out, Ivanovic supplying the cross. Celtic tried to fight back but they looked all out of hope. Zenit keeper Andrei Lunev saved an Olivier Ntcham shot and there was plenty of Celtic hustle and bustle in the final stages but there was no way back from a night in Russia which ended with plenty of regret. Brendan Rodgers was disappointed with the goals his side conceded, telling BT Sport: "Last week I think we showed that when our concentration is at its best and we defend forward we can defend really well. "Tonight I thought, in particular in the first half, we weren't aggressive enough and a little bit passive. "The goals we gave away were really disappointing goals from that aspect. "So yeah, a disappointing end - a bit better in the second half - but defensively we gave away three very poor goals."
Although Zenit impressed in a 3-0 win against Celtic in the Europa League, Roberto Mancini says they are not contenders.
Mancini: Zenit not Europa League contenders
Although Zenit impressed in a 3-0 win against Celtic in the Europa League, Roberto Mancini says they are not contenders.
Celtic Glasgow hat das Achtelfinale verpasst
Celtic Glasgow hat das Achtelfinale verpasst
Celtic Glasgow hat das Achtelfinale verpasst
<p>Ivanovic stars as Zenit dump Celtic out of Europe</p>
Ivanovic stars as Zenit dump Celtic out of Europe

Ivanovic stars as Zenit dump Celtic out of Europe

<p>Ivanovic stars as Zenit dump Celtic out of Europe</p>
Ivanovic stars as Zenit dump Celtic out of Europe

Ivanovic stars as Zenit dump Celtic out of Europe

<p>Ivanovic stars as Zenit dump Celtic out of Europe</p>
Ivanovic stars as Zenit dump Celtic out of Europe

Ivanovic stars as Zenit dump Celtic out of Europe

<p>Ivanovic stars as Zenit dump Celtic out of Europe</p>
Ivanovic stars as Zenit dump Celtic out of Europe

Ivanovic stars as Zenit dump Celtic out of Europe

Branislav Ivanovic scored and set up another goal as Zenit knocked out Celtic
Branislav Ivanovic scored and set up another goal as Zenit knocked out Celtic
Branislav Ivanovic scored and set up another goal as Zenit knocked out Celtic
Branislav Ivanovic scored and set up another goal as Zenit knocked out Celtic
Branislav Ivanovic scored and set up another goal as Zenit knocked out Celtic
Branislav Ivanovic scored and set up another goal as Zenit knocked out Celtic
Branislav Ivanovic scored and set up another goal as Zenit knocked out Celtic (AFP Photo/Yuri KADOBNOV)
Branislav Ivanovic scored and set up another goal as Zenit knocked out Celtic
Branislav Ivanovic scored and set up another goal as Zenit knocked out Celtic (AFP Photo/Yuri KADOBNOV)

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