Nasri setback for Arsenal

Arsene Wenger was left counting the cost of a selection gamble which backfired in Arsenal's 2-1 FA Cup fourth-round win over Huddersfield after Samir Nasri suffered a hamstring injury which looks to have ruled the French playmaker out of the Champions League showdown with Barcelona.

The Gunners made sweeping changes from the side which had booked a place at Wembley with their midweek Carling Cup semi-final second leg win over Ipswich for the visit of the npower League One side.



However, because of concerns over the fitness of Tomas Rosicky, who has been troubled by a virus, Wenger elected to put Nasri in the starting XI.



It had all been going to plan when Nicklas Bendtner's angled shot deflected off Terriers skipper Peter Clarke to put the Gunners ahead on 22 minutes.



However, Nasri then limped off with a hamstring problem after half an hour as he chased a long kick from Manuel Almunia.



The full extent of the injury is expected to be confirmed by scans later today, but Wenger is pessimistic about the 23-year-old's chances of facing Barcelona in the first leg of their last 16 European tie at Emirates Stadium on February 16.



"Usually it is three weeks, we have to see if it is a Grade One [strain] because that can be two [weeks]," Wenger said.



"Put three weeks to Sunday's game and you will know [if he misses the Barcelona game]. I think yes."



Wenger continued: "It is a big blow, how big I do not know because the results in the future will tell.



"I have regrets now, yes, because the plan was first to play Tomas Rosicky but he was still too weak because he was sick.



"So I took the gamble on Nasri and it backfired - but it could have happened as well if he comes on.



"We are at the stage of the season where we play so many games that to lose bodies is very difficult for us."



Sebastien Squillaci will now miss tomorrow's Barclays Premier League game against Everton through suspension after he was shown a red card by referee Mark Clattenburg for blocking Jack Hunt's surging run just before half-time.



Alan Lee headed a deserved equaliser for the Terriers, but captain Cesc Fabregas came off the bench and netted a late penalty after Jamie McCombe was adjudged to have pushed Bendtner over which secured safe passage into the last 16, where the Gunners will now face another League One side after being drawn away at Leyton Orient.



Arsenal had also struggled to get past Leeds here in the third round, when Fabregas also netted a late spot-kick to earn a replay, which the Gunners went on to win comfortably.



"It was tough, tough, tough and had all the ingredients of a typical cup tie," said Wenger, who felt the red card for Squillaci, just back from a hamstring injury, was "harsh".



"We played a bit below par, and Huddersfield are a good team, they were efficient, dangerous on set-pieces and crosses.



"But we play so many games at the moment that of course sometimes we are not as sharp as you want to be."



Terriers boss Lee Clark revealed pride at his team's efforts and challenged them to now go on and secure promotion to the Championship.



"Our goal will now be to go and get promoted and take this performance into the league," he said.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones