Not many will have expected CSKA Moscow to progress to the Europa League quarter-final when they were beaten 1-0 at home by Lyon in their last-16 first leg.
But an impressive second-leg showing in France resulted in a 3-2 win and a subsequent place in the last eight.
The Russian side travel to Emirates Stadium as underdogs again on Thursday evening, but Granit Xhaka says we must see their performance at Lyon as a warning.
“I’d have preferred to have the first game away from home, but hopefully we can take a big step towards qualifying at the Emirates,” the midfielder told Arsenal Player.
“We’re looking forward to it and we know it will be tough, because CSKA showed a lot of character to beat Lyon in the last round. They won 3-2 away from home and that’s a good warning for us. We’ll need to remain focused throughout.
“I think we showed character [at home to AC Milan in the last round], especially when we went 1-0 down. You could sense that our confidence had returned, especially after we also won the previous two games. We’re happy to have progressed.”
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