Former Swansea manager Michael Laudrup reckons that Arsenal will struggle to cope with the pace of Barcelona in the second leg of the Champions League match between the two teams.
Arsenal are at a serious disadvantage after suffering a 2-0 loss in the first leg at the Emirates. Few teams have managed to overcome a home defeat in the first leg and gone on to qualify for the next round of the Champions League. Arsenal’s work is made even tougher by Barcelona’s impeccable record of more than 30 matches unbeaten in all competitions. They are overwhelming favourites to retain the title for the first time in the hisory of the competition.
Laudrup has played for Barcelona and the knows a thing or two about the club. He told CityCard that Arsenal have very little chance of making this unlikely comeback in the tie. The gunners looked like being in contention for three major titles a few weeks ago. However, they have fallen short in the Premier League after three matches without a win. The Champions League offers little hope in this regard. Laudrup says that one of the primary reasons for Arsenal getting poor result against the top teams is due to their inability to defend against pace.
Per Mertesacker is one of the slowest defenders in football although he has other desirable qualities. “I have seen Arsenal quite a few times this season. When they have a good day they are the best team in the Premier League. They have talent, especially in midfield with Mesut Ozil, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott on the wing, but it is hard for them because Barcelona are so strong in attack. Arsenal have problems in defence because they haven’t enough speed and if they attack too much Barcelona will kill them on the counter,” said Laudrup.