Abbiati - I got lucky

Milan keeper admits fortune favoured him at the Emirates

Christian Abbiati: Pulled off a crucial save to deny Robin van Persie

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Christian Abbiati admits he enjoyed a sizeable slice of good fortune as he helped AC Milan edge past Arsenal on Tuesday evening.

The Italian keeper pulled off a remarkable second-half save to deny Robin van Persie and dash the Gunners' European dreams.

The hosts led 3-0 at Emirates Stadium at the time of his smart reflex stop, with one more goal all they required to cancel out Milan's 4-0 first leg lead.

Van Persie appeared destined to score when the ball dropped his way six yards out, but Abbiati stuck up an arm and prevented the Dutchman from notching his second effort of the night.

Explaining his stop, the 34-year-old said: "My save? I just raised my arm and I was lucky Van Persie tried to chip it."

He added: "It's extremely important that we got through to the next round. It was a two-faced round this one. The first was an extraordinary game and then tonight, we almost gifted them the first half.

"They're good games to be involved in against teams that are used to playing at this level.


"Maybe in the first half we tried to hold onto possession more than we should have. Then in the second half we were a different team and they were tired. We held onto the ball well and tried to score as well.

"This shows that two-legged games are never over until the whistle goes. We should have ended the first game, not 4-0 but five or six."

Massimiliano Allegri has also given his take on an eventful night in north London, with the Milan coach relieved to have seen his side book their place in the quarter-finals of Europe's premier club competition.

He said: "We're back among the best eight in Europe and next season we'll have a better seeding as well.

"Perhaps after the 4-0 in the first leg some thought it would be easy but that's not what happened.

"The important thing was to get through to the next round."