Arsenal’s Laurent Koscielny wary of ‘special’ ex-Man Utd striker

Laurent Koscielny says Arsenal will respect Monaco in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff

Laurent Koscielny has highlighted Dimitar Berbatov as a special threat ahead of Arsenal’s clash against Monaco at The Emirates.

The France international is expected to be tasked with keeping the former Manchester United and Tottenham striker quiet in the first leg of their last-16 tie.

Berbatov scored thee goals at Emirates Stadium during his Premier League career, before the retired Bulgaria international joined the Ligue 1 side in 2014.

While Koscielny warned Arsenal that Monaco will provide a threat across all positions, the Gunners centre-half highlighted Berbatov as a particular danger man.

“They have a good team with experienced players like Dimitar Berbatov, Joao Moutinho and Ricardo Calrvalho,” Koscielny told Arsenal’s website. “They also have some young players with a lot of quality because I play with some [of their] players for the national team.

“They defend well because they didn’t concede a lot of goals in the group stage and in the French league they haven’t conceded a lot of goals either. They also have some good players on the flanks with pace and quality to make the difference one against one.

“After you have Berbatov up front and you know that with just one ball he can create something special. We need to be focused on this. We respect this team but we need to play our game and that’s why we can win.”

The Bulgarian played against Arsenal in seven north London derbies for Tottenham (2006–08), scoring once and winning just once – a 5-1 home triumph in the 2007-08 English League Cup semi-finals.

The north London side have a good record against French opposition, having only lost twice in 16 Champions League meetings, while Arsene Wenger’s side have remarkably never lost in France.

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