Baresi admits Milan got ‘lucky’ with draw but insists Slavia must not be ‘underestimated’

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan’s honorary vice-president Franco Baresi has admitted that there is a bit of relief regarding the Europa League last 16 draw, but he is not expecting an easy tie by any means.

The draw for the last 16 took place on 23 February at 12:00 CET in Nyon, and there were seven group winners that awaited as potential opponents for Stefano Pioli’s side: Brighton, Leverkusen, Liverpool, Rangers, Slavia Prague, Villarreal and West Ham.

Milan were the second-last ball to be drawn out of the pot in their side of the draw, with only Slavia Praha or Leverkusen remaining, and it was the Czech side they got.

Baresi spoke on Sky immediately after the draw to reveal his reactions to the opponent that Milan got, and his comments were relayed by MilanNews.

“We found ourselves with a 50% chance of meeting Bayer Leverkusen or Slavia Prague, in this sense we were lucky. However, Slavia are not a team to be underestimated as they won their group, putting Roma in difficulty,” he said.

“Yesterday we made some mistakes, certainly having won 3-0 in the first leg we lacked a bit of attention but now in the round of 16 no distractions are allowed if you want to get through.

“When you concede goals, everyone needs to do something extra. You need to be more careful because when you suffer it means that you thought and did something too late. In the defensive phase, a spirit of sacrifice and collaboration is needed.

“Going forward we showed that we know how to create many opportunities and that we have the right men to be able to do badly.

“Milan must always be ambitious, we are halfway through the season and we know that when we are well we can compete with everyone. We must believe in ourselves and believe in ourselves because we have all the qualities to get to the end.”

At the moment Slavia are second to their bitter rivals Sparta Praha in the battle for the title, but they have won 16 out of 21 games and have scored 43 goals, conceding just 17.

They won five out of six group stage games to finish ahead of Roma, including a 2-0 home victory against the Giallorossi, a 6-0 demolition of Sheriff Tiraspol and a 4-0 win over Servette to seal top spot.


Tags AC Milan Franco Baresi


  1. We need to close this tie in San Siro.
    Their pitch is potato field (or garden).
    They are taking advantage of that pitch in Europe games.

  2. To win it you must be ready to play against anyone, on their night they could beat psg or newcastle, there is no reason to duck anyone, if you have what it takes you will win, if you dont have enough you will be beaten even by a team you think its weak, the “lucky” headlines dont mean anything in sports, just win your games, else you will be booted out, this season’s coppa italia should tell you that there is no lucky draw in football, the team in the best condition will win the europa, irregardless of the draws to the final, thats how directors should think and say

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