Going into the Champions League quarter-final draw in Switzerland today the possibility of drawing a fellow Italian side was there, and that’s exactly what happened.
Rather than pair Stefano Pioli’s side up with one of the true elite like Bayern Munich, Real Madrid or Manchester City, the draw pitted Milan against Napoli while Inter have been drawn against Benfica. Moreover, the winners of each tie will face each other in the semi-finals.
Of course Luciano Spalletti’s side are the runaway Serie A leaders and they have also been in excellent form in Europe too topping a group involving Liverpool, Ajax and Rangers, but there is a stat that smiles at Milan.
The Rossoneri, have lost only one of their nine meetings against Italian sides in European competitions and that was a 2-0 defeat against Parma in the second leg of the 1993 European Supercup.
Milan have won five of those games – with one being the penalty shoot-out in the 2003 Champions League final against Juventus – and three have been draws. The quarter-final (5-0 on aggregate) and semi-final (1-1, away goals win) meetings with Inter spring to mind.