Koscielny: What My Friends Wanted Me to Have Done to Diego Costa

Laurent Koscielny has revealed that his friends told him he should have retaliated when Diego Costa slapped him during Arsenal's game with Chelsea.

The Gunners met with Jose Mourinho's side at Stamford Bridge in September and during that match, Costa tried as much as possible to annoy Koscielny but the Arsenal defender kept calm. He however succeeded in getting Gabriel Paulista sent off thereby giving Chelsea the edge as Arsenal were reduced to 10 men before Santi Cazorla's dismissal made it 9.

He has not said anything ever since that ugly incident but has now come out to admit that those very close to him were surprised that he did not hit back at the troublesome Spaniard.

In an interview with L'Equipe, Koscielny said: "At the time, when he gives me a slap on the face, I don’t pay attention.

“We’re in a defensive situation and I continue to play.

“After he pushes me, I fall and get up because I’m not the type of player who drops down like that. Sure, I could have had a reaction but I managed to keep my nerves.

“He wants to blow a defender’s fuse but you have to stay calm.

“I received a lot of messages telling me: ‘Well done because I would have hit him’.

“It’s five years that I’ve been at Arsenal, I have over 200 matches with my team, some very important. I played a World Cup and the Euros. All this experience helps my serenity and allows me to not be overwhelmed by the emotions of an encounter.”

The 2-0 loss Arsenal recorded in that game have not had much negative effect on them so far. They are currently second in the league, tied on points with Manchester City while Chelsea sit in 16th position, just two steps away from the relegation zone.

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