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Arsenal boss Unai Emery believes Danny Welbeck's injury affected his players

The Gunners qualified for the Europa League knockout stages despite a draw.
By Andy Sims, | 6d

Unai Emery admitted the horror injury suffered by Danny Welbeck affected Arsenal's players in their goalless Europa League draw with Sporting Lisbon.

England striker Welbeck was taken to hospital after sustaining a suspected broken ankle in the first half when he challenged for a header in the box before crumpling onto the pitch.

Many of Welbeck's team-mates appeared distressed as he received lengthy treatment and needed an oxygen mask before being carried off on a stretcher.

Gunners boss Emery said: "It's the worst news tonight, this injury. It's clear that we are with him in these minutes.

Danny Welbeck was stretchered off in the first half at the Emirates (Nick Potts/PA)

"He was working well and he was having a good match. He had some chances too.

"His injury was with the mentality of the players. They saw it was a big injury.

"When you are playing football, when you are playing in competitive matches, it can happen. You don't want it to happen but this is our profession.

"Now he is at the hospital. The news is that we are going to wait – but we think it's a serious injury."

Welbeck is out of contract at the end of the season, and Emery added: "He's a very good person.

"His commitment with us is very big. He's helped us with his behaviour, with his quality and his capacity.

"It's a very big injury for him, for us, for all people who like and love him as a person."

The incident seemed to affect both sets of players for the rest of the game, with little in the way of goalscoring opportunities.

The game only really opened up in the 88th minute when Jeremy Mathieu was shown a straight red for a foul on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang as the striker raced through on goal.

But Arsenal could not take advantage as Aubameyang blasted the resulting free-kick well over the crossbar.

Nevertheless, a point was enough to secure Arsenal's qualification from the group stages, although Emery insists he wants to finish top.

He added: "Our mind is to be first in the group. Then every match we want the best performance from every player.

“It's a very big injury for him, for us, for all people who like and love him as a person”
- Unai Emery on Danny Welbeck

"We want to use the players that we think are right for each match, and think about the next one."

Caretaker Sporting boss Tiago Fernandes said: "The players did exactly what I asked them to do. In our game plan we know we had to be rigorous and they were almost perfect on that.

"We were aware of the opponent's quality but we, knowing our capacity and being creative and aggressive with and without ball, could try to surprise here."


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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1210203653132
2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
6Bournemouth126242116520
7Watford126241714320
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
10Leicester CityLeicester125251716117
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124261318-514
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205
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Select and display your favourite team's news and scores in this panel
Premier League Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City1210203653132
2Liverpool129302351830
3Chelsea128402781928
4Tottenham HotspurSpurs1290320101027
5Arsenal1273226151124
6Bournemouth126242116520
7Watford126241714320
8Manchester UnitedMan Utd126242021-120
9Everton125431915419
10Leicester CityLeicester125251716117
11Wolverhampton WanderersWolves124441213-116
12Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton124261318-514
13West Ham UnitedWest Ham123361418-412
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle12237915-69
15Burnley122371225-139
16Crystal Palace12228817-98
17Southampton12156821-138
18Cardiff CityCardiff122281125-148
19Huddersfield TownHuddersfield12147622-167
20Fulham121291131-205
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