Manchester City 6 Arsenal 3: Gunners suffer a further blow with influential Laurent Koscielny suffered a 'deep laceration to the knee'

Koscielny could miss the Gunners' entire festive period after he was carried off on a stretcher late in the first half of the comprehensive defeat

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The Independent Football

If Arsenal’s 6-3 defeat wasn’t bad enough for manager Arsene Wenger to take, he could be without influential defender Laurent Koscielny for the remainder of the festive period after the Frenchman was forced off in the first half with a knee injury.

Koscielny departed on a stretcher following a collision with City striker Alvaro Negredo as the Spaniard nudged the ball home to put the hosts back in the lead at 2-1. The centre-back appeared to suffer a deep laceration to his knee in the 38 minute.

Arsenal’s important fixtures continue as they welcome London rivals Chelsea to the Emirates next Monday, but Koscielny’s participation is in serious doubt with the Gunners’ medical staff quickly calling for a substitution once he had fallen to the floor.

Club captain Thomas Vermaelen was brought on to replace his defensive team-mate, and having seen his opportunities limited this season, he could be given the chance to form a partnership with goalscorers Per Mertesacker.

It was the in-form pairing of Koscielny and Mertesacker that had seen Arsenal rise to the top of the league with the least number of goals conceded this season, although that record has been smashed apart after goals from Sergio Aguero, Negredo, David Silva, Yaya Toure and two from man-of-the-match Fernandinho.

Aguero was also forced off early in the second half, after he appeared to pick up an ankle injury that saw him head off the pitch and straight down the tunnel.