Arsene Wenger warned about Arsenal weakness ahead of Atletico Madrid semi-final
Luis Garcia tells Arsenal to be wary of Atletico Madrid's ability on the counter attack
Luis Garcia believes Arsenal need to prevent Atletico Madrid exploiting their weakness on the break in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final at The Emirates on Thursday night.
The Gunners will host the Spanish giants in the Europa League last four with a place in the final in Lyon up for grabs for the winner of the tie.
Arsenal have managed to ease past Serie A side AC Milan and Russian outfit CSKA Moscow in the previous two rounds of the competition to reach their first-ever Europa League semi-final.
However, Atletico are the only team left in the competition that have previously won the Europa League.
Indeed, Diego Simeone’s men have also reached two Champions League finals in the last four seasons to underline their pedigree in Uefa competitions.
Former Liverpool FC star Garcia warned Arsenal that they will pay a heavy price if they allow themselves to be exposed on the break.
“The counter-attack is a weakness for Arsenal,” Garcia told BetStars.
“When you try to build up and bring the ball up, you have to bring players up the pitch and that’s going to make Arsenal open up at the back and give space for Griezmann, Costa, Correa and other players who play up front. They like to have those spaces and they will use the pockets that the defense leave them on the counter-attack. Atletico Madrid know how to cause damage that way.”
Arsenal’s Armenian international Henrikh Mkhitaryan was a Europa League winner with Manchester United last season.
Gunners star Mesut Ozil netted four times in eight games against Atletico during his La Liga career with Real Madrid.
Arsenal have prolonged their European campaign into the knockout round for the 19th successive year under Wenger.