Manchester City vs Arsenal: Ilkay Gundogan tribute mocked as fans ask if midfielder has died

City's players wore shirts with Gundogan's name and number on ahead of the Premier League clash with Arsenal

Jack de Menezes
Sunday 18 December 2016 17:57
Manchester City players pay tribute to Ilkay Gundogan ahead of the clash with Arsenal
Manchester City players pay tribute to Ilkay Gundogan ahead of the clash with Arsenal

Ilkay Gundogan suffered the horrible misfortune of a season-ending knee injury during Manchester City’s 2-0 victory over Watford during the week, with the £20m summer signing injuring his cruciate ligament that requires surgery to repair.

The 26-year-old German will miss at least six months, and it comes as the third major setback of his career as he missed the entire 2013/14 season with a spinal injury, before being ruled out of the European Championship this season with a dislocated kneecap.

City’s players responded to the news of Gundogan’s injury by wearing shirts with his name and number on as they walked out at the Etihad Stadium to face Arsenal on Sunday, with the squad attempting to show solidarity with their stricken teammate.

However, somewhat unsurprisingly, the gesture quickly became an online sensation as social media users questioned the decision, with the Germany international soon trending on Twitter even though he wasn’t playing.

Many users asked if Gundogan had died, such was the tribute at the Etihad, while others touched on the precedent it sets for all injured players to receive such gestures. It could of course be a sign of Gundogan’s popularity in the City dressing room, but that didn’t see the jokes ease up online at all.

Of course, Ilkay Gundogan is not dead, and he took to Twitter on Friday to insist he will come back stronger from the injury, which is expected to come next season.

City’s day got even worse when Theo Walcott opened the scoring inside five minutes to put Arsenal ahead, and it was a poor first half from Pep Guardiola’s side as they were repeated hit on the counter by Arsenal’s electric attack.

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