CSKA Moscow manager Viktor Goncharenko is aware of the threat possessed from Henrikh Mkhitaryan and his Arsenal teammates. The Russian outfit have been pitted against the Gunners in the quarter-final stage of the Europa League with the first-leg of the competition due to be played at the Emirates Stadium next month.
Mkhitaryan has already faced CSKA previously on the road with Manchester United in the Champions League. On that occasion, he managed to create havoc in a 59-minute performance, and contributed a goal in a comfortable 4-1 win for Jose Mourinho’s side. Now at Arsenal, Mkhitaryan has been in fine form of late with two goals and assist in the last three games, but Goncharenko is determined to neutralise the Gunners’ attack front. Speaking in a press conference, he said:“I know Mkhitaryan’s abilities very well. We will make maximum efforts to neutralize not solely Henrikh, but the entire attacking line of the opponent.”
The Gunners had come through a poor month of February which saw their losing streak extend to four matches, but they managed to turn their fortunes around during the last 16 stage of the Europa League, where they progressed at the expense of AC Milan by a 5-1 aggregate scoreline. The club have still shown vulnerabilities at the back this term, and this could come on to haunt them, if they are to take it easy against their Russian opponents.
Arsenal are pretty much out of the running for a Champions League spot via their league table after falling 13 points behind fourth-placed Tottenham Hotspur. On the contrary, CSKA are hanging onto third position in their respective league, and this would assure them of Champions League football via a qualification phase. The first-leg and second-leg of the matches are slated for April 5 and April 12 respectively.