Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger was left sweating over the fitness of several of his first team players after his team battled to a bruising 1-1 draw with Norwich City at Carrow Road.
Lewis Grabban equalised for Norwich City on the stroke of half time after Mesut Ozil had given Arsenal the lead midway through the first half. The 1-1 draw against Norwich has left Arsenal in 4th position on 27 points — 2 adrift of league leaders Manchester City.
More than the result however, Arsene Wenger will be more concerned about the injuries suffered by 3 of his first team players on an ill fated night for the Gunners at Carrow Road.
Chilean superstar Alexis Sanchez got subbed off on the hour mark after injuring his hamstring in the Norwich penalty box. Wenger had expressed reservations about the fitness of Sanchez before the match kicked off and his worst fears were realized when the Chilean hobbled off to leave Arsenal severely depleted in attack.
French centre back Laurent Koscielny, who suffered a hip injury virtually 10 minutes into the first half, was replaced by former Villarreal defender Gabriel. It was Gabriel’s error that led to Norwich’s equalizer in the first half.
Santi Cazorla, who suffered a suspected ligament injury during the second half, had to soldier on till the final whistle was blown as Wenger had made all 3 substitutions.
Arsene Wenger: Bad Afternoon for us on the injury front
Speaking to the media after his side’s battling 1-1 draw with Norwich, a somber looking Arsene Wenger gave an injury update on Sanchez, Cazorla and Koscielny.
“He [Sanchez] says it is a kick on his hamstring,” said Wenger (as quoted by the club’s official website). “I fear the reality is worse than that.”
“Nobody is scientifically developed enough, not even the press, to predict exactly when a guy would be injured. I must say that with all humility we are not position to predict that, despite all our test he looked alright.”
“We checked him and when you have no force and no middle stretch in your hamstring then there is no problem and he had that.”
On the injuries suffered by Cazorla and Koscielny, Wenger revealed, “In the first half he got a kick on the knee and it got worse. I dona t know if he has jaded his knee ligament or he it was just a kick on the nerve but the worrying thing was it got worse during the game.”
“Koscielny it was a kick on his hip and he could not move at all. We have to assess all of that.”
a Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) November 29, 2015
Injuries to Sanchez, Koscielny and Cazorla come at the worst possible time for Arsenal
Pending further assessment of their injuries, Arsene Wenger has lost the services of Alexis Sanchez, Laurent Koscielny and Santi Cazorla at the worst possible time in Arsenal’s season. Arsenal travel to Greek club Olympiakos in a do or die Champions League clash next Wednesday and the absence of these three stellar names from the starting lineup will be a major blow to their qualifying ambitions.
Already reeling with injuries suffered by several other players in the squad such as Theo Walcott, Jack Wilshere, Francis Coquelin, Mikel Arteta, Thomas Rosicky and Danny Welbeck, the injuries suffered by the trio may also prove to be detrimental to Arsenal’s hopes of winning the Premier Leagie title — especially with the hectic Christmas period coming up.
Unfortunately, the injury crisis that the Gunners currently find themselves in, is an all too familiar territory for the Arsenal faithful.