Strangely enough, Arsenal finally have a good day for our strikers with both Giroud and Walcott scoring twice each, but despite our clean sheet our defence now has even bigger problems for the crucial Premiership run-in.
After losing Laurent Koscielny to a calf problem a couple of weeks ago, we were not too worried as we had Gabriel waiting to take over as Mertesacker’s partner until the Frenchman returns, but that cushion has now been removed after the Brazilian came on last night after Per Mertesacker cut his head, but Gabriel lasted just 20 minutes before he himself had to be go straight to the treatment room. To make it even worse, his replacement Aaron Ramsey also only lasted 16 minutes and was taken off with a much more worrying problem!
Wenger described the injuries after the game. “We lost two centre backs in the game and when you play away from home that is not easy to cope with.” Le Prof said. “We did quite well because Monreal came on as a centre back where he has played a few times last year and Chambers was moved in. I thought they coped well.
“Mertesacker is just a cut on his eye and looks to be very short. Gabriel is a hamstring and Ramsey is a thigh problem. To me, the most serious looks to be Ramsey. He has a thigh problem, I think it is a thigh strain.”
Obviously losing Petr Cech for a while has already weakened the defence and Koscielny won’t be around this weekend, but hopefully Mertesacker will be patched up for Sunday’s game against Watford.
Wenger’s choices are limited, but it looks like Chambers will have to be Per’s partner in the middle, or Monreal will move there with Gibbs back on the left wing.
Our defensive stability is normally the mainstay of our good games this season, but it is starting to look like the injury gods are not smiling on us again. I especially would feel much more confident if Cech was behind any makeshift defence, but you never know. Ospina was perfect last season…