By Joe Brewin

AC Milan manager Massimiliano Allegri believes the first hour of Tuesday night’s second leg will be vital for his side.

Milan bring a commanding lead to Emirates Stadium after blowing away Arsenal at the San Siro with a four-goal salvo three weeks ago.

And Allegri has warned his star men that they must attend to their defensive duties to avert an early Arsenal onslaught.

“I think it is obvious [that Arsenal will attack],” he said. “But the result is still an important one for us.

“We know what English football is like and how English teams play so it is going to be important to have the right approach to the game.

“It is going to be a great pace but I know they will try and raise it tomorrow as they try to find a goal. I think the first 60 minutes are going to be crucial.

“I believe that having a full back into the line of midfield is not going to be the right choice. If you are Robinho or [Zlatan] Ibrahimovic up front you must feel more responsible to cover in behind.”

Ibrahimovic has been in imperious form for Milan this season, scoring 18 goals in 20 Serie A matches for the Rossoneri.

Robin van Persie has hit the headlines with his own goalscoring for Arsenal this season but Allegri insists it would be foolish to focus on just one player.

“He is just the player who finalises the moves created by the other players,” he said. “At home it will be a completely different team to what we saw in Milan.

“I think the first leg the whole team put in a great performance, not only Ibrahimovic. These kind of games bring a lot of motivation and a lot of determination.

“Ibrahimovic, like any other player, knows exactly how important this game is. They know this is a great chance and that they have a big opportunity to qualify for the quarter-finals, especially because in the last three years we have failed to do that.

“My team cannot have the wrong approach to the game.”

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
5 Mar 2012