MX23RW : Wednesday, December 19 12:06:39
Nov 8, 2018 at 8pm UK at ​Emirates Stadium (London)
Arsenal
0-0
Sporting Lisbon
FT

Mathieu (87')

Arsenal boss Unai Emery believes Danny Welbeck's injury affected his players

Arsenal boss Unai Emery believes Danny Welbeck's injury affected his players
© Reuters
The Gunners qualified for the Europa League knockout stages despite a draw.

Unai Emery admitted the horror injury suffered by Danny Welbeck affected Arsenal's players in their goalless Europa League draw with Sporting Lisbon.

England striker Welbeck was taken to hospital after sustaining a suspected broken ankle in the first half when he challenged for a header in the box before crumpling onto the pitch.

Many of Welbeck's team-mates appeared distressed as he received lengthy treatment and needed an oxygen mask before being carried off on a stretcher.

Gunners boss Emery said: "It's the worst news tonight, this injury. It's clear that we are with him in these minutes.

Danny Welbeck was stretchered off in the first half at the Emirates
Danny Welbeck was stretchered off in the first half at the Emirates (Nick Potts/PA)

"He was working well and he was having a good match. He had some chances too.

"His injury was with the mentality of the players. They saw it was a big injury.

"When you are playing football, when you are playing in competitive matches, it can happen. You don't want it to happen but this is our profession.

"Now he is at the hospital. The news is that we are going to wait – but we think it's a serious injury."

Welbeck is out of contract at the end of the season, and Emery added: "He's a very good person.

"His commitment with us is very big. He's helped us with his behaviour, with his quality and his capacity.

"It's a very big injury for him, for us, for all people who like and love him as a person."

The incident seemed to affect both sets of players for the rest of the game, with little in the way of goalscoring opportunities.

The game only really opened up in the 88th minute when Jeremy Mathieu was shown a straight red for a foul on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the striker raced through on goal.

But Arsenal could not take advantage as Aubameyang blasted the resulting free-kick well over the crossbar.

Nevertheless, a point was enough to secure Arsenal's qualification from the group stages, although Emery insists he wants to finish top.

He added: "Our mind is to be first in the group. Then every match we want the best performance from every player.

"We want to use the players that we think are right for each match, and think about the next one."

Caretaker Sporting boss Tiago Fernandes said: "The players did exactly what I asked them to do. In our game plan we know we had to be rigorous and they were almost perfect on that.

"We were aware of the opponent's quality but we, knowing our capacity and being creative and aggressive with and without ball, could try to surprise here."


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Danny Welbeck celebrates scoring during the Europa League group game between Sporting Lisbon and Arsenal on October 25, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool1714303773045
2Manchester CityMan City17142148103844
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs17130431161539
4Chelsea17114235142137
5Arsenal17104337231434
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd177552929026
7Wolverhampton WanderersWolves177461919025
8Everton176652422224
9West Ham UnitedWest Ham177372525024
10Watford177372325-224
11Bournemouth177282528-323
12Leicester CityLeicester176472121022
13Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton176382024-421
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle174491422-816
15Crystal Palace1743101423-915
16Cardiff CityCardiff1742111733-1614
17Southampton172691632-1612
18Burnley1733111533-1812
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield1724111028-1810
20Fulham1723121642-269

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