Arsenal may face an uphill battle when they step out at the Camp Nou tomorrow night, but Laurent Koscielny says the two-goal deficit from the first leg defeat to Barcelona means they can play without pressure.
The Frenchman, who is set to return to Arsene Wenger’s squad after three games on the sidelines, believes that taking to the pitch with a ‘nothing to lose’ attitude can help the Gunners find the necessary freedom to spark a surprise result.
“We don’t have pressure like in the first game, because we play against the best team in the world,” the defender told Arsenal Player.
“Now we need to play the second leg away at Barca and we have nothing to lose. People always talk about the statistics and I think we have maybe a five per cent chance to qualify.
“You know when you play against the best players in the world, the best team with a good collective side, it’s very important for us. It can be very important if we can have a [good] result.
“They have a lot of quality, they can have a lot of possession during the game and when they accelerate with their top players, they create chances.
“We need to play with freedom and believe in our quality because we did well during the first six months of this season. I don’t see why we can’t [play like that] against Barcelona and for the rest of the season.
“You know we are in a difficult period and we need to stay like a unit to be stronger. We will fight until the end of the season.”
Obviously, you’re as aware as we are that the line between ‘playing with freedom’ and playing like suicidal lemmings is a fine one…a line often crossed by this current squad.
Laurent’s got the right idea – Arseblog News would most definitely love to see us express ourselves in one of football’s greatest cathedrals – we’re just going to have to get the ball first.