Flamini eyes Milan progress

Frenchman confident of claiming victory at White Hart Lane

Flamini: Determined

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Mathieu Flamini is confident AC Milan will beat Tottenham in their UEFA Champions League clash after declaring that Italian football is just as strong as the English game.

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Milan lost 1-0 at the San Siro in the first leg of their last-16 tie in February as Peter Crouch scored a superb late goal following Aaron Lennon's fast break.

Spurs manager Harry Redknapp suggested after the game that the Premier League was superior to Serie A, but that is not an opinion Flamini shares.

Having played for Arsenal from 2004 to 2008, the Frenchman is well placed to consider the relative merits of the respective competitions.

He feels Milan, currently top of their domestic standings, can prove in Wednesday's match at White Hart Lane that Italian football is up there with the best in the continent.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion and I respect his opinion, but I don't think he's right to say that," Flamini told the Daily Mail about Redknapp.

"It was only last season that Inter Milan won the Champions League. And this is a club with great history, great success and some great players.

Fast and furious

"I have played in both England and Italy and the football is different. The Premier League is fast and furious from the first minute to the last. It is very strong, very quick.

"The Italian league is slower but more tactical. There is less space, and because of that it is harder to score goals.

"It is easier to beat the teams at the bottom of the league in England than it is in Italy. The Italian league is strong too.

"We lost 1-0 to Tottenham but I don't think we deserved to lose that game. We will go there and fight for the place in the quarter-finals and I am very confident we can do that.

"Like I said, I respect him (Redknapp) as a manager and as a person. Everyone has his opinion. But I have mine and, from what I have seen from the first leg, I am very confident we can win the game."

Flamini admits he relished the chance to resume his rivalry with Tottenham after spending so long with Arsenal.

"We knew Tottenham were a good team. We had seen their games against Inter and I had watched them against Arsenal," he said.

"They had a good first half but in the second half we were bossing the game in the middle. We were much the better team after the interval.

"It was special for me. Games with Spurs were always big battles."

Who will make it to the last eight of the UEFA Champions League?

  • Arsenal
  • Barcelona

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