Published: Fri, December 14, 2018
Sport | By Joe Gonzales

Laurent Koscielny return brightens up Arsenal's drab victory over Qarabag

Laurent Koscielny return brightens up Arsenal's drab victory over Qarabag

Emery had a number of youngsters on the bench for this concluding Group E match, watched by a third-full Emirates Stadium, but he held off from using any of them until 25 minutes from the end when Zech Medley was brought on for his home debut.

He probably should have capped his performance with a goal as well when he had a gilt-edged chance to double Arsenal's lead but fired nearly straight at the goalkeeper.

Gunners captain Laurent Koscielny started for the first time since suffering a serious achilles injury at Atletico Madrid since May - while the head coach also fielded starlets Eddie Nketiah, Joe Willock and Bukayo Saka.

And, with this in mind, Emery, as quoted by Football365, admitted: "I think if we can take one player to help us at centre-back, I think it's a good option".

That could mean Koscielny will be asked to play twice in four days.

"Every young player, we have the responsibility to give them chances, first to train with us and to be demanding with their performances", he said after the victory.

Meanwhile, Rob Holding is out for the season and Konstantinos Mavropanos is out with a groin injury.

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"Today is another step for [Koscielny]", Emery told reporters. "When he is coming back like today with us, I think every Arsenal supporter is happy, and so is the player".

"He can take confidence again, take rhythm and then we are going to continue our process".

"I don't know. Tomorrow he is in the group, there are 18 players in the squad for this match and I am going to decide if he plays tomorrow from the beginning or during the match in the 90 minutes".

So, it seems as if Laurent Koscielny will definitely start but there are doubts about Nacho Monreal and Mesut Ozil.

It will be a big boost for Koscielny to return to first team action tomorrow night but let's hope he manages to come through the Qarabag game without issue as we could certainly do with him starting against Southampton on Sunday. Because [the youngsters] can play better if you have with you also players to help you on the pitch.

"For example Sokratis, he cannot play Sunday and he could play today".

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