Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was delighted with the way his side performed against Milan and regards a goalless draw as a useful result against the holders.
“We played the game we wanted to play and overall we were playing at a high tempo for 90 minutes,” said Wenger. “The positives are that we put them under pressure for a big part of the game and for a whole 45 minutes in the second half. Also, we didn’t concede a goal but we didn’t take advantage of the chances we created because we were a bit too forceful and nervous in the final third with our final ball.
“Milan defended with a lot of experience and they adapted to the situation in thinking ‘tonight we will be under pressure and we have to defend’, and that’s what they did.
“We had plenty of chances, but overall we were a bit nervous and when we had shots we didn’t test the keeper enough as most of the shots were in the middle of the goal where the keeper didn’t have a real problem. We played a fantastic game and it’s a shame a game like that doesn’t get a goal because on a night when everything goes for you I think we could have finished with two or three.
“The spirit was fantastic, you could see on Saturday the minds were already on this game tonight. We were not effective as we maybe wanted to force the decision too much and we were not relaxed enough in the final third, but it promises a very interesting game in the second leg. But unfortunately we cannot transfer our pitch to the San Siro.
“I feel they will have to come out anyway in the second leg, because tonight they didn’t create any chances and defensively they were very good. Overall with the experience I have I can say that 0-0 at home is not a bad result. I didn’t dream of a 0-0 frankly but overall not to concede is not a bad result.”
His Milan counterpart, Carlo Ancelotti, was also satisfied with the outcome but admits his side will have to improve if they are to maintain their hopes of retaining the trophy.
“We got a good result here but we’re not sure to go through and our progress into the next stage is still in doubt,” he said.
“Arsenal are a team of great players and they have a lot of determination. I’m sure they’ll feel as if they can still do this in the return and we’ll have to improve our condition in the next 13 days to give ourselves a real chance to go through.”
“We arrived in perfect condition but we were nervous and we paid a lot of attention to the defence. I think Arsenal played a good game, proving everything we know about them – they have great players, quality and determination.
“Qualification is still in doubt, we have achieved a good result but we are not safe for the return match. Pato had cramp and Nesta a muscle problem. There was a lot of pressure on Pirlo in the midfield and they didn’t allow him to play with quality. No we are not sure [about going through], Arsenal have great quality and I’m sure they can do it in the return leg also.