By Richard Clarke 

Arsène Wenger has explained why Manuel Almunia was not substituted at half-time against West Brom at the weekend despite having picked up the injury that will keep him out of Tuesday’s Champions League game.

The keeper damaged his elbow in the penalty incident eight minutes before the break at Emirates Stadium on Saturday. It is not certain whether it was while bringing down Peter Odemwingie for the foul or saving Chris Brunt’s spot-kick.

Almunia felt the injury at the time but was examined during the interval and was happy to go on. The manager believes that the adrenalin of matchday may have been a factor.

“We checked him at half-time,” said Wenger. “He had some pain but said he could go on, so I decided to play him on.

“If a player has just saved a penalty and says he is perfectly all right then it is difficult to take him out. I would have done if he had said ‘yes, I feel it’.

“But sometimes when you are playing and are hot, you do not feel it, then afterwards, when you stop, you do.”

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27 Sep 2010