Champions League: PSG's Laurent Blanc wary of 'provocative' Diego Costa in Chelsea clash
Paris St Germain coach Laurent Blanc has described Chelsea striker Diego Costa as provocative and warned his players not to rise to the bait in their Champions League game on Wednesday.
London: Paris St Germain coach Laurent Blanc has described Chelsea striker Diego Costa as provocative and warned his players not to rise to the bait in their Champions League game on Wednesday.
Blanc`s side visit Stamford Bridge for the second leg of their last-16 clash with the tie in the balance after the two teams drew 1-1 in Paris three weeks ago.
The former France coach is wary that the combative Costa could prove pivotal and pointed to the Brazil-born Spain international`s provocative style as something they will have to cope with if they want to reach the quarter-finals.
“He is someone who loves the contact, loves the duels, and is very suited to the English game," Blanc told reporters on Tuesday.
“He likes going into a challenge, the contact, and provokes opposition players. That is part of his game. It`s something he needs. He thrives off that.
“It`s important not to get caught up in that. I watched the game (League Cup final) against Tottenham and, right from the start, he was looking to do that.
“So the centre backs playing around him have to be effective in stopping him.
"He`s got good physicality, is technically good, but he tries to provoke a reaction. Always. Away from home, we have to be as effective as possible in trying to stop him.”
After drawing the away leg, Chelsea will start as favourites to knock PSG out for the second season in a row, after they reached the semi-finals at the French club`s expense last season.
PSG`s own talismanic forward Zlatan Ibrahimovic was missing through injury when they were beaten on away goals last year, but the Sweden striker is fit this time round.
“Chelsea start with a slight advantage, and we have to take some risks but not too many. We`ve only had the first act of this tie," Blanc added.
“Now we need to stand up and be counted, but also stay in the game. We need to stay solid as well as attack and create chances.”
PSG are unbeaten in their last 14 games in all competitions and are second in Ligue 1 after 28 games, one point behind Olympique Lyonnais.