Francis Coquelin: Arsenal lack intensity when playing away
Francis Coquelin has warned his former club Arsenal that Valencia are ready to exploit their fragility away from home and pull off another stirring fightback in their Europa League semi-final tomorrow morning (Singapore time).
- Arsenal lead 3-1 after 1st leg
Valencia trail 3-1 heading into the second leg at the Mestalla after Alexandre Lacazette's double and a late volley from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang put Arsenal firmly in charge of the tie.
Coquelin was suspended for the opener at the Emirates but will return to face the club where he spent 10 years after joining as a 17-year-old in 2008.
"It would be a very special feeling to win against Arsenal, especially because I couldn't play in the first game," the Frenchman said yesterday.
"But even more, it would be special to reach the final and make another small bit of history with this club."
Coquelin left Arsenal in January 2018 after struggling to get first-team football under Arsene Wenger and the Frenchman has been revitalised this season, having been handed a more creative role in midfield by Marcelino.
Despite the appointment of Unai Emery as coach, Arsenal's weakness in away games has continued. Their away record this season is the 10th best in the English Premier League.
"Away from home, they are a different team," Coquelin said.
"They drop the intensity a little bit and that means we can score goals and do damage, especially with the attack that we have."
Valencia have shown themselves capable of a cup comeback this season
In the Copa del Rey, they trailed Getafe and Real Betis before beating both en route to the final, which they will play against Barcelona on May 25.
"The team are ready to make a comeback," said Coquelin.
"The goal we scored there helps us a lot. It will be a difficult game but with the quality we have, we believe we can do it."
Teammate Rodrigo Moreno, meanwhile, believes Arsenal's approach could suit his side.
"They have a style of play that can help us in some ways because they are an exciting team that likes to play,"said the Spain striker.
" I don't believe they will put seven players in front of the goal." - AFP
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