AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri welcomes Champions League progress


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The Independent Football

AC Milan coach Massimiliano Allegri believes his team will build on the success of reaching the last eight in the Champions League by getting even stronger in future seasons. 

Milan suffered a 3-0 defeat in the second leg of their last 16 tie against Arsenal at Emirates Stadium last night but went through 4-3 on aggregate after dominating the first leg.

And Allegri believes that, despite losing to first-half goals from Laurent Koscielny, Tomas Rosicky and Robin van Persie, they deserve their place amongst the elite of Europe.

Allegri told the club website, "After four years of going out at the last 16 of the competition, I think making it to the quarter-finals was important for the club.

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

Allegri did not expect last night's game to be easy despite the manner of the first leg win which was secured with goals by Robinho (two), Kevin-Prince Boateng and Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

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

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

Allegri praised Arsenal for their approach to the second leg and also admitted his own players were cautious.

"They played a good first half, we were a little, not really nervous it was more our control of the play rather than trying to score.

"In the second half we found more courage and their play fell a bit. (Last night) was the game of the season.

"Real Madrid and Barcelona at the moment are the best teams in Europe but this team when we're at full strength we can have our say as well."