Ramsey eyes San Siro goals
Aaron Ramsey has urged Arsenal to go for goals as they seek to maintain their 100 per goal record at the San Siro in Wednesday night's UEFA Champions League clash with AC Milan. The Gunners travel to Italy tomorrow ahead of the first leg of their mouthwatering last-16 showdown with the Italian champions, who also went top of Serie A at the weekend.
Manager Arsene Wenger could be forgiven for playing it safe on Wednesday night considering his own side's Jekyll-and-Hyde performances this season. But Arsenal famously won on their two previous visits to the San Siro and midfielder Ramsey believes away goals could prove crucial to the outcome of the tie.
He told Arsenal TV Online: "If we can go there and get a few goals and then come back to the Emirates then that's going to be a fantastic result for us. Hopefully, we can get a couple of goals and keep them out as well."
The Gunners have certainly not struggled to find the net in the past couple of weeks, netting 11 times in four matches to bounce back from a mini-slump. The turnaround has coincided with the return of the legendary Thierry Henry for a loan spell which expires after Wednesday night's game.
The 34-year-old has scored three goals - two of them winners - since answering an SOS from manager Arsene Wenger last month. Henry also bagged a brace on the Gunners' first ever visit to the San Siro, 2003's iconic 5-1 thrashing of Inter Milan.
But the Frenchman was coy on whether he was dreaming of signing off in style with another goal there on Wednesday. "I have not thought about it," he said. "I just want to help Arsenal on the night. I am an Arsenal player for one more game. Milan is Milan. It is another type of game and it is never easy to win away in the Champions League."
Henry, who said he would always be around to answer Arsenal's call, admitted the impact of his second coming would not sink in until he returns to New York Red Bulls. He added: "I will look back on it afterwards and see what happened. It has all been kind of unreal."
Ramsey had no doubt about the difference Henry had made. "It's been a fantastic period for him coming back to the club that he supports and has done so much for," he said. "It's a great story for him so far."
Ramsey admitted his own goalscoring exploits had not lived up to expectations after netting for just the third time this season in Saturday's 2-1 Premier League victory at Sunderland. The 21-year-old, who equalised at the Stadium of Light before fellow substitute Henry snatched the winner, said: "I set myself targets at the beginning of the season which I haven't quite achieved yet. But there are still a few games left and hopefully I can get a few more now."
Ramsey's strike helped move Arsenal above Chelsea into fourth place on goals scored as the race to qualify for next season's Champions League took another dramatic twist. Ramsey said: "It's nice to be level on points in fourth place and back in a Champions League place, where we want to be. We're going to take each game as it comes. Now we'll concentrate on the big game on Wednesday."
Indeed, league concerns are very much on the back burner for almost a fortnight, with the Milan clash followed by Saturday's FA Cup fifth-round tie at Sunderland. Ramsey said: "We have a few more big games this week now. Milan's the first and hopefully we can go there and get a really good result and then it's all wide open."