Christian Abbiati thankful for 'lucky' save


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The Independent Football

AC Milan goalkeeper Christian Abbiati admitted he was lucky to deny Arsenal striker Robin van Persie the goal which would have tied the sides' Champions League last-16 clash last night.

Milan went through 4-3 on aggregate after the Gunners won last night's second leg 3-0 with goals from Laurent Koscielny and Tomas Rosicky and a Van Persie penalty.

The Dutchman was denied a crucial second goal, which would have levelled the tie on aggregate, when he tried to chip Abbiati from close range.

The keeper, who was on the ground, stuck out a hand to keep his effort out.

Abbiati explained: "My save? I just raised my arm and I was lucky Van Persie tried to chip it."

He added: "It's extremely important that we got through to the next round. It was a two-faced round this one. The first was an extraordinary game and then tonight, we almost gifted them the first half.

"They're good games to be involved in against teams that are used to playing at this level.

"Maybe in the first half we tried to hold into to possession more than we should have. Then in the second half we were a different team and they were tired. We held onto the ball well and tried to score as well.

"This shows that two legged games are never over until the whistle goes. We should have ended the first game, not 4-0 but five or six."