Koscielny reveals the ONE club he could leave England to play for

The 31-year-old centre-back has been linked with Paris Saint-Germain but would only quit the Premier League in order to end his career with his former club Lorient

Laurent Koscielny has revealed he will only leave the Premier League if he gets the chance to return to his former club Lorient.

Cazorla absence felt as Boro stifle Arsenal

The 31-year-old France centre-back has become a key member of the Arsenal defence since joining the Gunners from the Ligue 1 side in 2010.

His impressive form has seen him linked with a host of top European clubs including Paris Saint-Germain, but Koscielny says he would be happy to see out his career in England.

In an interview with L’Equipe, he said: “Move to Paris?! I’ll never live or play there! I’ll finish my career in England or with Lorient.”

Koscielny has made seven Premier League appearances for Arsenal this season, scoring two goals to help them to first place.

Karanka declares Cech man-of-the-match as Middlesbrough make their point at Arsenal

Boro asked plenty of questions of the Gunners keeper, with the Czech helping his side to a goalless draw at the Emirates

Aitor Karanka hailed an “amazing” performance from his Middlesbrough side and felt Petr Cech was Arsenal’s best player in their 0-0 draw at Emirates Stadium.

Boro remain fourth from bottom and winless since beating basement boys Sunderland in August, but six of their seven points to date have now come away from the Riverside Stadium.

Adama Traore and Gaston Ramirez both drew superb saves from Cech in north London on Saturday, while the latter rattled the angle of post and bar from a first-half free-kick.

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Mesut Ozil had an injury-time goal ruled out for offside for the hosts but Arsene Wenger’s side struggled for clear-cut chances and their usual fluency.

“I think it was an amazing performance from my team because, especially after the last defeat at home [to Watford] it was tough for us,” Karanka said.

“The plan from the training ground worked well for me and for us. It’s really good when you are coming the Emirates and the best payer of Arsenal is Petr Cech.

“We showed everyone we could compete against the best teams in the Premier League.

“We knew we would have to work hard without the ball. They have a lot of quality players and you have to defend. We were really, really organised. Our transitions were really good and I’m really pleased.

“This team and this crowd deserves to live these kind of moments.

“In the Premier League every game is important. We can enjoy it for a few hours but tomorrow I will start to work for [next weekend’s match against] Bournemouth. We can’t stop if it is just one point.

“We have to grow, we have to learn from the experience. The best thing to grow and to add to that experience is by adding points, showing everyone we can compete against every single team.”

Wenger: Cech saved us

Former Barcelona youngster Traore made his first start for Middlesbrough, and the winger’s electric pace posed regular questions of Arsenal’s backline.

“He is a player who can make an impact. He is not here just to make an impact [from the bench], he is here to play from the beginning,” Karanka added.

“He is young, he needs to learn. It has been a tough week working with him on the video and on the training ground but he is learning quick and he is a good player for the future for us.”

Cech saved Arsenal against Middlesbrough, admits Wenger

The Frenchman praised his goalkeeper after the Gunners were held and says his team lacked their usual creativity and were not as sharp as usual at the Emirates

Arsene Wenger says Arsenal have Petr Cech to thank for saving them from defeat against Middlesbrough after a 0-0 draw at the Emirates.

Arsenal feel Cazorla absence

Boro are without a win since beating basement boys Sunderland in August but asked plenty of questions of Arsenal, who were indebted to three fine saves from Cech.

Wenger turned 67 on Saturday but was left to bemoan a performance lacking the attacking verve of Wednesday’s 6-0 Champions League romp against Ludogorets.

“We tried. You don’t win on command though,” Wenger said, as quoted by BBC Sport. “We lacked our creative potential around the box. That is part of it.

“At least you can have a drink on your birthday. When you win you deserve it, when you don’t you need it.”

Arsenal’s point took them ahead of Manchester City, with the leaders before the start of the weekend action facing Southampton at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday.

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Wenger felt Arsenal lacked sharpness and paid tribute to Cech for preventing an unlikely Middlesbrough victory.

“It is a game where you had a lot of possession but there were tired legs and you are prone to counter-attacks,” he explained.

“You make it difficult for yourself. You have 75 per cent possession but you could have lost the game; that is modern football. 

“When you are not sharp, you lack creativity in the final third. I must say, we gave everything but we did not have the legs.

“The energy levels were a bit down but we were intelligent enough not to lose it. We were exposed at times. When you cannot win, you must not lose.

“They had chances but our goalkeeper saved us. Petr Cech had a good performance in decisive phases.”

Oliver Giroud could return from his toe injury to feature against Reading in the EFL Cup on Tuesday and Wenger conceded the France striker’s aerial ability might have been useful against a stubborn Boro defence.

“We didn’t make enough from our set pieces so the first thing that comes in mind is a guy with physical presence would have helped,” he added at his post-match news conference.

“We have just come out of six [seven] straight wins so I wouldn’t want to jump on this kind of excuse. We are used to scoring as we are an offensive team but in the end we didn’t score.

“It’s part of the Premier League. We have to find a way to be efficient when the games are like that.”

Cech: Arsenal needed to keep our cool better against Middlesbrough

The goalkeeper says his side were rushed in the final third and needed to calm down but insists they are still in good shape despite dropping points on Saturday

Petr Cech conceded a draw was a fair result after a busier-than-expected afternoon for the veteran Arsenal goalkeeper concluded with Middlesbrough taking a 0-0 away from Emirates Stadium.

Cazorla absence felt as Arsenal held

Cech was at his familiar best to thwart livewire winger Adama Traore in each half, while he produced a close-range stop from Gaston Ramirez after the playmaker rattled the angle of post and bar with a rasping free-kick.

The goalkeeping workload after half-time was more evenly split between Cech and Victor Valdes, but the free-scoring form that demolished Ludogorets on Wednesday deserted Arsenal on manager Arsene Wenger’s 67th birthday.

“I think that we had a lot of possession but we rushed a little bit in the final third and we could have kept our cool better to have a better opportunity to score,” Cech told BBC Sport after the match.

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“We had a few shots where the goalkeeper did very well and in the end we didn’t find the goal.

“Overall they had plenty of chances as well, so I have to say the draw is a fair result.

“When they had their chances and didn’t take them I thought we were going to punish them for that.

“We lost a little bit of our calm in the last third of the pitch. We rushed passes too quickly and that’s unlike us.”

The point edges Arsenal to the top of the Premier League, although Liverpool and Manchester City could climb above them by the end of the weekend.

“There’s a long way to go, we’ve only played 10 games so far so there are plenty of games to play and we look in good shape,” Cech added.

“We just need to go back to work and carry on.”

Arsenal 0-0 Middlesbrough: Gunners frustrated by resilient Boro

Arsene Wenger’s side saw their eight-match winning run in all competitions come to an end on the coach’s birthday at the hands of Aitor Karanka’s newly promoted outfit

Arsenal edged to the top of the Premier League but there was little else to cheer for Arsene Wenger on his 67th birthday as his team played out a goalless draw against Middlesbrough at the Emirates Stadium.

Winless since beating north-east rivals Sunderland in August, Boro could feel aggrieved not to lead at the break after Petr Cech pulled off impressive saves to deny Adama Traore and Gaston Ramirez either side of the latter clattering the angle of post and crossbar with a brilliant free-kick.

So fluent in recent weeks, Arsenal were fitful in attack and Victor Valdes’ best save in the Boro goal came as he athletically thwarted Alexis Sanchez from distance.

Theo Walcott scored for the seventh time in six matches in the 6-0 Champions League demolition of Ludogorets on Wednesday but he fell well short of those standards and midweek hat-trick hero Mesut Ozil had a goal correctly ruled out for offside in stoppage time.

Aitor Karanka’s fourth-bottom side once again proved a tough nut to crack on their travels – six of their seven points this season have now come away from the Riverside Stadium.

Arsenal began confidently in pursuit of an eighth consecutive win in all competitions, pushing Middlesbrough deep into their own territory as Ozil lifted a free-kick over and Mohamed Elneny – into a midfield missing Santi Cazorla and Granit Xhaka through injury and suspension respectively – fired wide.

Ozil had a penalty appeal rejected after a coming together with Marten de Roon before a pair of scares for the hosts.

Alvaro Negredo won a 19th-minute flick-on from Daniel Ayala’s raking pass and Traore darted in behind Laurent Koscielny but Cech stood firm.

The Arsenal goalkeeper was helpless a minute later when Ramirez came agonisingly close with his vicious, swerving free-kick, while opposite number Valdes was called upon to keep out a Sanchez set piece.

In the 33rd minute, a clear chance again fell Middlesbrough’s way as Koscielny blocked Negredo’s header from Traore’s cross and Cech was out superbly to deny Ramirez from point-blank range on the rebound.

Wenger’s men resumed with renewed purpose and Valdes should have been punished when he fumbled in the area and Koscielny could not convert Sanchez’s hook across goal.

The 34-year-old then showed some of the form that helped to establish him as Barcelona’s long-time number one by sprawling to keep out a dipping low Sanchez drive.

But this wave of pressure did not put Boro into survival mode and Hector Bellerin had to make a challenge to deny De Roon before Cech tipped wide at full stretch after Traore’s electric pace cut the Arsenal defence to ribbons before the hour.

An untimely error from the impressive Ramirez almost allowed Walcott to open the scoring but the England man shot too close to Valdes.

The former Spain international remained relatively unthreatened during the closing stages bar one disappointing effort from Sanchez, while Koscielny needed to make a last-ditch tackle to prevent Negredo stealing the points.

Arsenal briefly thought Ozil had pilfered a victory but their stay at the summit will be short-lived if Liverpool beat West Brom by two goals in Saturday’s late kick-off.