Six years ago, Laurent Koscielny was at the San Siro stadium in Milan when Arsenal last faced AC in Europe, and we came away having suffered a 4-0 thrashing by Milan and gave ourselves little chance of progressing to the next round. Right now Gennaro Gattuso’s side have gone 12 games without defeat and Koscielny admits that today’s opponents could be just as hard to beat.
“They have a good coach and I think they give him a lot of commitment with great fighting spirit on the pitch,” Koscielny said. “They all work well together. We have a young team but still have players with lots of experience, so it’s a good mix.
“It was a different game in 2012 because they have lost a lot of players [since then]. They had big players like Ibrahimovic. We lost 4-0 here and won at home 3-0.
“In this competition we play two games. The first one is always very important to play well – but last time we didn’t. Now it’s a different competition with a good team and new players. It will be important to be focused on this game and also the second.
“Milan are an historic club so we know that they’re always going to be competitive when they’re in Europe. We think it will be a tough game and we’re also playing at the San Siro as well.
“For us, it will be important for us to stay focused. We know we have two games to qualify for the next round, so we need to be together and defend very well because they have a lot of quality up front.”
Listening to him it sounds like Arsenal are going to defend in numbers to try and have a chance when the Milanese come to the Emirates in a couple of week’s time. Considering that we can’t play either Lacazette or Aubameyang in today’s match it seems like the sensible thing to do, but I’m just trying to remember the last time we kept a clean sheet. Koscielny is right to be worried, I certainly am!