Wenger faces dou­ble in­jury sweat af­ter Nor­wich set­back

The Herald - Sport - - FOOTBALL - GIANNI RUSSO AT CARROW ROAD

NOR­WICH 1 ARSE­NAL 1

ARSENE WENGER fears Alexis Sanchez is play­ing down a ham­string in­jury that he suf­fered in Arse­nal’s draw at Nor­wich.

The Chile in­ter­na­tional was forced off dur­ing the sec­ond half of the 1-1 draw at Carrow Road as the Gun­ners missed the op­por­tu­nity to join Manch­ester City and Le­ices­ter at the top of the Bar­clays Premier League ta­ble.

Sanchez as­sisted the open­ing goal for Me­sut Ozil be­fore re­called Lewis Grab­ban lev­elled for Nor­wich, who then cre­ated the bet­ter chances af­ter the vis­i­tors had lost their tal­is­man to a ham­string in­jury.

Hav­ing al­ready seen Lau­rent Ko­scielny forced off with a hip com­plaint and Santi Ca­zorla fin­ish the game “on one leg” af­ter tak­ing a knock to his knee, los­ing Sanchez for any length of time will be seen as a big blow.

The 26-year-old has scored nine goals this sea­son and, al­though Wenger re­vealed on Thurs­day the for­mer Barcelona man had felt his ham­string af­ter net­ting a brace the 3-0 win over Di­namo Za­greb, he felt he was fit enough to start in Nor­folk.

“The play­ers are there to play foot­ball and not to be rested and not for the press to de­cide if they need to be rested,” Wenger replied when asked about Sanchez’s in­jury in his post-match press con­fer­ence.

“He says it is a kick on his ham­string, I be­lieve that is not re­ally the reality. I fear it is not the reality.”

The French­man also cited a lack of op­tions in at­tack­ing ar­eas as a rea­son for why Sanchez was se­lected and, af­ter prais­ing him for be­ing aware of how far he can push him­self in the build up to the game, was happy to trust his play­ers’ own opin­ion.

“At the mo­ment we have not much choice. Maybe the trav­el­ling as well to South Amer­ica... I would have rested him to­day but he felt per­fectly all right be­fore the game and he de­clared that he had no prob­lem,” he said.

“We checked it ( S a nche z ’ s ham­string). When you have nor­mal force and nor­mal stretch there is no prob­lem and he had that.

It was, on the in­jury-front, a bad af­ter­noon for us.”

Wenger con­firmed Ko­scielny was strug­gling to move af­ter the game and that he is wor­ried Ca­zorla may have suf­fered lig­a­ment dam­age, while Kieran Gibbs was left out with a calf prob­lem.”

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