Fabregas fears leg break after Arsenal comeback
Captain scores late penalty to earn his side thrilling 2-2 draw with Barcelona but could be out of World Cup
Thursday 01 April 2010
Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas admitted he fears he has broken his leg and will miss the rest of the season after scoring the equaliser in his side's remarkable 2-2 draw with European champions Barcelona in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final.
The 22-year-old was carrying an injury from the weekend, and left The Emirates on crutches. He will undergo a scan today to determine the extent of the damage but voiced his concerns that he will not play again for Arsenal this season, and could also miss this summer's World Cup in South Africa.
Fabregas said: "I fear the worst which is that I broke something, but we have to wait. I took the penalty quite strong and after that that I went to get the ball and I couldn't walk anymore. I knew in my mind I was not 100 per cent and I knew in my mind there was something there. But until the penalty I was feeling quite good. It was a gamble worth taking, it was an amazing experience, an amazing game and I will remember it all my life."
In addition William Gallas was carried off with a calf injury that will keep him out for the rest of the season, and Andrei Arshavin also limped off. Fabregas will certainly miss next week's return leg in the Nou Camp as he is suspended following a first-half yellow card. Arsenal have their work cut out after going behind to two second-half goals from Zlatan Ibrahimovic before substitute Theo Walcott and Fabregas, with a penalty, levelled the scores.
Arsenal were totally outplayed in the first half which Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola admitted was the best 45 minutes his all-conquering side have played under his charge. However they fought back to claim a draw and Wenger claimed they would have won the game had they not made basic mistakes to concede two goals. "We gave away two kid's goals on tactical mistakes," he said. "If Barcelona had scored in the first 25 minutes there would have been nothing to say as they were so superior, but the goals we gave away were incredibly naive.
"We were lucky to be 0-0 at half-time. In the first part of the game they could have killed us off. But I am convinced we would have won the game had we not given away such cheap goals. The whole team was mentally unbelievable because we kept going and kept going, against an opponent that was class."
Arsenal will be without Fabregas, Gallas and probably Arshavin for the second leg, while Carles Puyol, who was sent off for a foul on Fabregas, and Gerard Pique will be suspended for Barcelona. Wenger said: "I am still convinced that we can make life difficult for them in the second tie and that we have a chance to qualify. It would be a big achievement but I believe we can do it."
Fabregas backed his team-mates to go through without him. "The team can definitely do it without me," he said. "They have lost big players like Puyol and Pique so I don't think it is the same without them. We will see but it will be tough and I think that we can make it. I think this is the best team I have faced in my life."
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