Arsenal's defensive woes mount after double injury blow
January 26, 2019 08:09 AM NPT
Soccer Football - FA Cup Fourth Round - Arsenal v Manchester United - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - January 25, 2019 Arsenal's Mesut Ozil looks dejected after Manchester United's third goal REUTERS/Hannah McKay
LONDON, Jan 26: Arsenal face an injury crisis after a suspected broken jaw for captain Laurent Koscielny and ankle problem for Sokratis in Friday’s FA Cup fourth-round defeat by Manchester United left them with only one fit recognized central defender.
Manager Unai Emery was already struggling for options at the back before Friday’s 3-1 loss after cruciate knee ligament injuries ruled out two of his other defenders, Rob Holding in December and Hector Bellerin on Sunday, for the season.
Asked how bad the injuries were, Emery said: “I think this is not a big injury to Sokratis, it is his ankle, and Laurent Koscielny is going to the hospital to do the analysis.”
“Maybe he has broken here,” Emery added pointing to his jaw, “I hope not, but we have to wait.”
Emery also said the injury problems contributed to the defeat against a United side who have now won all eight matches under new manager and former player Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The visitors took a two-goal lead through former Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez and Jesse Lingard before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang pulled a goal back ahead of the break.
“At 1-2 I think we were in this moment with the possibility to draw or to take the possibility to win today,” said Emery, “but I think these injuries, above all the second injury with Koscielny, didn’t help us.
“Two injuries change a lot our possibilities.”
United substitute Anthony Martial wrapped up the victory with a late goal on the counter-attack at The Emirates.