Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger knows that keeping 11 players on the pitch will be crucial if his side are to overcome rivals Chelsea and, in particular, their fractious striker Diego Costa.
Arsenal must keep their cool v Chelsea, Costa – Wenger
SENDING WITH FULL SCRIPT
SHOWS: LONDON COLNEY, NEAR LONDON, ENGLAND, UK (SEPTEMBER 23, 2016) (ITN – SEE RESTRICTIONS ABOVE)
1. ARSENAL MANAGER ARSENE WENGER ARRIVING AT NEWS CONFERENCE
2. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ARSENAL MANAGER, ARSENE WENGER, SAYING: (SOUNDBITE STARTING OVER SHOT OF JOURNALISTS)
“We talked about that (discipline) because in the last two games we played against Chelsea with ten men so, of course, for the result tomorrow it will be important how we play football but as well the way we behave because discipline and results are strongly linked. The regret from the last two games is that we couldn’t play with 11 against 11.”
3. WHITE FLASH
4. (SOUNDBITE) (English) ARSENAL MANAGER, ARSENE WENGER, TALKING ABOUT HOW TO DEAL WITH CHELSEA STRIKER DIEGO COSTA, SAYING:
“By being completely cold-blooded and just focus on your game, not respond, just try and annihilate his qualities and his game. You need to be committed but by respecting the rules of the game and not responding.”
STORY: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has urged his players to avoid being drawn into needless confrontations with their Chelsea opponents when the London rivals meet at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday (September 24).
Arsenal were beaten home and away by Chelsea in the Premier League last season, and had three players sent off over the two games, with Chelsea’s combative striker Diego Costa involved in two of the three incidents.
“In the last two games we played with 10 men so for the result tomorrow it’s important the way we play football but also the way we behave,” Wenger told a news conference on Friday (September 23).
“We have to be cold blooded and respect the rules of the game.”
When the teams met last September, Arsenal centre back Gabriel was dismissed for scuffling with Costa and although the red card was later rescinded, the defender was given a one-match ban for failing to immediately leave the pitch.
Costa, who has scored twice in three games against Arsenal, was retrospectively banned for his involvement in the incident, and Arsenal ended the 2-0 defeat with nine men after midfielder Santi Cazorla picked up a second yellow card late on.
Arsenal then lost 1-0 to Chelsea when the teams met in January, a game in which defender Per Mertesacker was shown a red card for a foul on Costa.
Wenger, whose side have not beaten Chelsea in nine league encounters, urged his team to channel their emotions in the right way.