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Arsenal tip-toe into the Diego Zone: the ogre of Stamford Bridge awaits | Barney Ronay

If Wembley really is the end for Diego Costa after 57 goals, almost 400 fouls and a relentless concatenation of outrage, he couldn’t have chosen better opponents

Arsenal fans riled by the Groundhog Day-style repetitions of the last few years have at least been treated to something more immediate before Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea. Faced with the prospect of another tangle with Diego Costa Arsenal’s centre-backs have been cutting straight to the chase. Shkodran Mustafi is already concussed. Laurent Koscielny has already been red-carded and banned. Gabriel got in there early with his injured knee. Entering the Diego Zone? They’re way ahead of you.

Arsenal have generally seen the best and the worst of Costa during three seasons of mischief and fury in the Premier League, a centre-forward who does not so much play on the edge as appear at times to be completely unaware the edge exists in the first place. Even at full strength successive Wenger-issue centre-halves have been bruised and bullied through a head-to-head record of three kidney-punching defeats and a single, ultimately fruitless, victory last September, the 3-0 win at the Emirates that acted as a spark for Chelsea’s title charge.

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Arsenal tip-toe into the Diego Zone: the ogre of Stamford Bridge awaits | Barney Ronay

If Wembley really is the end for Diego Costa after 57 goals, almost 400 fouls and a relentless concatenation of outrage, he couldn’t have chosen better opponents

Arsenal fans riled by the Groundhog Day-style repetitions of the last few years have at least been treated to something more immediate before Saturday’s FA Cup final against Chelsea. Faced with the prospect of another tangle with Diego Costa Arsenal’s centre-backs have been cutting straight to the chase. Shkodran Mustafi is already concussed. Laurent Koscielny has already been red-carded and banned. Gabriel got in there early with his injured knee. Entering the Diego Zone? They’re way ahead of you.

Arsenal have generally seen the best and the worst of Costa during three seasons of mischief and fury in the Premier League, a centre-forward who does not so much play on the edge as appear at times to be completely unaware the edge exists in the first place. Even at full strength successive Wenger-issue centre-halves have been bruised and bullied through a head-to-head record of three kidney-punching defeats and a single, ultimately fruitless, victory last September, the 3-0 win at the Emirates that acted as a spark for Chelsea’s title charge.

Continue reading...

About the Author

Comments are closed.