Arsenal may have returned to the top of the Premier League following the 2-1 victory at Aston Villa on Monday night, but the three points appear to have come at some cost.
Manager Arsene Wenger has revealed that Tomas Rosicky suffered a suspected broken nose after he clashed with Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor when the two contested a header. The Czech Republic captain caught a stray elbow off the Englishman, leaving him battered and bloodied as he received treatment from the Gunners’ medical staff.
Speaking after the match, Wenger confirmed that he did not yet know if Rosicky had indeed broken his nose, although on first look it wasn’t a pretty sight.
Wenger said: “[Rosicky has] a bad nose. We don’t know if it’s broken.
“'Honestly I didn't see the elbow; I have to watch it again. He [Rosicky] told me that he got the elbow but he himself doesn't know if he did it on purpose. He doesn't know.”
Wenger suffered a further blow after Nacho Monreal injured his foot in a fairly innocuous challenged by defender Ron Vlaar, with the Spaniard set to undergo a scan on Tuesday to determine whether he has suffered a broken metatarsal.
As things stand, Kieran Gibbs has been the first choice left-back this season, although is susceptibility to injury has seen him rotated recently with Monreal. Club captain Thomas Vermaelen is also capable of covering at full-back, while Bacary Sagna has deputised there in the past.
“I think Monreal is an accident but we have to check his metatarsal tomorrow morning because he got kicked on the top of the laces,” Wenger added after the victory.
The Gunners returned to the top of the table after wins for Chelsea and Manchester City had seen them temporarily leapfrog the north London side. Despite the general opinion that their two main rivals have a stronger chance of winning the title due to their greater squad depth, Arsenal continue to defy critics and remain top of the pile – something that Wenger has stressed they are more than capable of doing until May.
“It was a big win for us. We had to give a strong response,” Wenger said.
“Everyone looks at you to see if you drop points because they have made their points over the weekend.
“You are a bit more under pressure when you play last because you know you are not allowed to drop points. You can only give one answer - to win the game.
“Maybe we were a little bit too cautious just to keep the 2-0 and it was then about fighting. Our defenders kept us in the game.
“It was a difficult game for us but I like the fact we are mentally ready for a fight.”
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