By Richard Clarke
Mathieu Flamini has vowed to win the Premier League title for Eduardo.
The Croatian striker broke his leg in the opening minutes of Arsenal's game at Birmingham on Saturday. The incident overshadowed the first half and, though Martin Taylor had been sent off for the tackle, Arsène Wenger's side trailed at the interval.
Theo Walcott's brace saw them storm in front 10 minutes after the restart and Arsenal looked to be cruising to a vital three points until Gael Clichy was adjudged to have fouled Stuart Parnaby in the area deep into injury time. James McFadden scored from the spot.
Manchester United's subsequent win at Newcastle reduced Arsenal's lead to three points. It was a tough day all-round for Wenger's outfit but, according to Flamini, Eduardo's misfortune will spur on the side.
"We wanted to win the title before but now we want to win it also for him," said the Frenchman afterwards. "He is not going to be with us for a long time, so of course we want to win it for him.
"We are still three points clear at the top but the way we have only drawn is going to be disappointing because there was an opportunity to win this game. We came back, we showed great character and I think that was the only positive thing from the game."
Of course, the massive negative was the loss of Eduardo, who ironically celebrates his 25th birthday today.
"I genuinely didn't see the tackle," said Flamini. "But I could see it was bad because I saw the result. I have no words to describe what I saw.
"Yes, of course, it was difficult to get over in the game. He is a friend before he is a partner in the team. It upsets you but we're not going to say we conceded the goal because of that.
"We all said in the dressing room at half-time that we had to react. We want to win the title and we wanted to win this game. We came back we scored the first one very quickly and the second just behind.
"I think we should have killed the game. So, yes, we were very disappointed because it is a bad result for us, and especially when we conceded the goal 30 seconds before the end of the game.
"It is clear there was no penalty. We checked on the video so it is very frustrating. But I really don't think we deserved this result."Copyright 2013 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 25 Feb 2008