Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has stated that Atletico Madrid striker Diego Costa could make the difference at the end of their semi-final encounter in the Europa League. The former Chelsea man has been a nemesis for the Gunners when he played in the Premier League and could be the one to see his side through to the Europa League final.
Back at the Emirates Stadium a week ago, Arsenal was in a position they would have dreamed of being in but they just could not take full advantage of that situation. A man up after Sime Vrsaljko received two red cards in quick succession less than 10 minutes into the game, Arsenal would have managed to control the game and possibly end the tie in North London.
Following the Croatian’s dismissal, Atleti manager Diego Simeone was also sent to the stands for dissent. Arsenal began to play their normal way, bossing possession and starting to open up one of the most stubborn defenses in the continent. They pestered, fought and created a bunch of chances, playing most of their football just outside the Atleti penalty box, but the first halt still remained locked at 0-0 with Madrid shot-stopper Jan Oblak keeping the visitors in the contest pulling off a string of stunning saves in the first interval.
But Arsenal came out sharper and with more precision and Atletico felt the strain. The Spanish side that ‘thrives of suffering(without the ball)’ got what was coming and French forward Alexandre Lacazette opened the scoring to ease the frustrations in the Emirates and bring joy to Arsene Wenger, who is set to depart with the Gunners following 22 years at the club. Arsenal continued to flow forward and was also wary of the Spanish side’s pace on the counter-attack, looking to put the game and tie possibly beyond Madrid as they were a man down.
In the 82nd minute, a costly error at the back from Laurent Koscielny cost the home side their treasured advantage and handed the tie to Madrid as Griezmann snatched an away goal.
Despite that, Wenger has now stated that there is another man who can cause problems to his weak defense and that man is Brazilian-born Spaniard Diego Costa.
In a recent interview, the French boss revealed that the 29-year-old always has an impact on the field, when he faced them back in the days with his former club Chelsea and that is why he could be a threat to their cause.
Wenger stated, “In history, he has shown he can make differences. It’s our job to keep him quiet, maybe the best way is to play in our half and not in the half of Atletico Madrid.”
Costa was an unused substitute in the game against Arsenal at the Emirates but could surely play a part in aiding Madrid to qualify in the all-important final.
In a total of 19 appearances so far this season, Costa has scored six goals since leaving Stamford Bridge. Despite that, the Gunners will have to be careful of the forward’s nature and behavior as he is renowned to be a wild-man who can do anything to win games.