Frank Lampard sends warning to Arsenal about 29-year-old Atletico star
The Chelsea FC legend warns Diego Costa will be Atletico Madrid's danger man when Arsenal make the trip to the Spanish capital
Frank Lampard believes Arsenal’s prospects of reaching the Europa League final are looking slim ahead of Diego Costa’s return to the Atletico Madrid side to face the Gunners on Thursday.
The Spain international missed the first leg of the Europa League semi-final at the Emirates Stadium last week due to an injury problem.
Antoine Griezmann netted a late equaliser to cancel out Alexandre Lacazette’s opening goal and rescue a 1-1 draw for 10-man Atletico in the English capital.
Arsenal have lost 10 of their 17 games on the road in the Premier League this season to highlight their poor record away from the Emirates Stadium.
Costa had a good record against the Gunners during three seasons at Chelsea FC.
The Brazilian-born forward lined up against Arsenal five times in the Premier League, scoring twice.
The 29-year-old also found the net against the Gunners on his final Chelsea appearance in a 2-1 loss in the FA Cup final at Wembley in May 2017.
Former Chelsea FC star Lampard believes Costa will cause Arsenal problems in the second leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday evening.
“Arsenal’s task of beating Atletico Madrid was already tough, but it’s a lot harder with Diego Costa now up against them,” Lampard told the Evening Standard.
“Costa is exactly the kind of personality missing from Arsenal’s dressing room, someone with that winning mentality.”
Lampard added: “We know that Arsenal defenders don’t like being manhandled or strong-armed and Costa is a master at that. He has played well against them before in a Chelsea shirt.
“Arsenal dropped the ball when Costa wasn’t on the pitch last week. They were also gifted a chance against 10 men in the first leg, with Sime Vrsaljko’s red card in the 10th minute.”
The Gunners haven’t won a European trophy under Arsene Wenger following losses to Galatasaray and FC Barcelona in the Uefa Cup and Champion League finals.