Danny Welbeck

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Press conference

Emery - We are all with Welbeck at this moment

There was only one topic of conversation after our Europa League draw with Sporting CP: Danny Welbeck.

The England international was stretchered off in obvious distress in the first half at Emirates Stadium, and this is what Unai Emery said about it afterwards:

on Welbeck’s injury casting a shadow…
It’s the worst news tonight, this injury. It’s clear that we are with him in these minutes. 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.

on Welbeck going to hospital…
Yes, now he is at the hospital. The news is that we are going to wait - but we think it’s a serious injury.

on mood in dressing room at half-time…
When one player has an injury like that, every player on the pitch they look at this injury. First it’s in your mind - you think for the player. But I think the players were concentrated on the match and we forgot this injury the next minute on the pitch. But when the match finishes, the first thing they did was ask for him.

on if anyone has spoken to Welbeck…
No, no.

on if it’s an ankle injury…
It’s an ankle.

on how said it is to see Welbeck injured again…
Every injury is different. This [could] be a break of something in the ankle. It’s a different injury to others.

on if Welbeck’s future is here despite the injury…
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.

Interview

'Danny Welbeck is a tough lad, we'll lift him up'

Rob Holding with Danny Welbeck

Rob Holding may have been at the other end of the pitch at the time, but he knew Danny Welbeck’s injury was a serious one.

Our forward was stretchered off in obvious distress after just 26 minutes of Thursday’s Europa League game against Sporting CP, and continues to be assessed in hospital.
 
It’s a big blow for Welbeck, who had already scored five goals this season, but Holding knows his team-mate has the character to come back strongly.
 
“I didn’t see it because obviously I’m at the other end of the pitch so I didn’t see exactly what he’d done,” he said. “But Danny is a tough lad so if he’s on the floor, I know its something serious so he’s in hospital now and we’ll see what happens.
 
“He’s been so unlucky with injuries over the past few years but he’s a good character and got a good set of lads around him so we’ll lift him up and get him back as soon as we can. He can come back strong.”

We’ll be without Welbeck for Sunday’s visit of Wolves but despite the quick turnaround, Holding says we’ve got more than enough quality to cope with the packed schedule.
 
“The past three weeks have been a game, two days break, a game, two days, so it is just about getting a recovery session done, getting yourself feeling up to scratch to go again on Sunday,” he said.
 
“There’s definitely momentum about the team, we’ve rested some players who will probably come in at the weekend and we’ll go again and hopefully get the win. I want to play every minute that I can. I am feeling fit and healthy. I just want to get as much game-time as I can.”

Interview

Iwobi - We just have to encourage Danny now

Welbeck and Iwobi

Danny Welbeck's injury cast a dark shadow over our Europa League clash against Sporting CP on Thursday evening.

Afterwards, Alex Iwobi spoke to the media and admitted it had been tough to focus after seeing his team-mate in such obvious distress.

This is what he said:

on how difficult the game was…
We knew it was going to be tough considering we played them away and it wasn’t easy, so we expected a difficult game again. Unfortunately we created a lot of chances and we thought we’d go on to win the game, but it’s still a decent result and we need to remain focused going into the next two games. 

on Welbeck’s injury… 
It’s very challenging mentally, but sometimes it comes in the game and there’s been a lot of injuries, and unfortunately for Danny he’s had a few so we’re going to wish him the best. Both sets of teams were mentally challenged and we were able to continue with the game, but like I said, we wish him all the best and we will keep on encouraging and motiving him to get back. 

on what was missing in the final third… 
We have to give credit to Sporting because they were very compact and they made it difficult for us, but maybe that composure was lacking a bit today. 

on the red card after Aubameyang found himself through on goal…
It’s a bit sad, especially when you’re seeing Pierre running and he’s so fast that we knew he was going to get there, but I guess it was a smart challenge from Mathieu, but it was unfortunate for us and we were unable to get the goal. 

on Wolves at the weekend and aiming to finish top of the group…
We will go again and start analysing Wolves and that’s not going to be an easy game because they’ve been doing well this season, so onto the next one. 

Video

Watch how we qualified from Group E

A potentially-serious injury to Danny Welbeck marred our goalless Europa League Group E draw against Sporting CP - a result that saw us qualify for the last 32 of the competition.

In a game of few clear-cut chances, Welbeck was stretchered off after contesting a cross in the Sporting area just before the half hour. 

His replacement, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang went closest to giving us all three points, volleying against the bar at the start of the second half, but in truth, Sporting - who finished the game with 10 men after Jeremy Mathieu was sent off late on - limited us to few clear-cut chances.

You can now watch a short match video clip by pressing 'Play' at the top of the page.

Post-Match Report

Arsenal 0-0 Sporting CP: How it happened

Aubameyang

WHAT HAPPENED

We booked our place in the knockout stages of the Europa League with a hard-fought draw against Sporting – but the night was marred by what appears to be a serious injury to Danny Welbeck.

The England international had been handed a start in his preferred position up front but - after going close with an effort that was cleared off the line – he went down in obvious distress in the 26th minute and was stretchered off.

It was a desperately sad end to Welbeck’s evening, and the rest of the first half struggled to regain any real sense of rhythm.

But we upped the ante after the interval and almost immediately went close as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang - on for Welbeck - hit the bar from close range after meeting Henrikh Mkhitaryan’s cross from the right.

Emile Smith Rowe was next to try his luck as we continued to turn the screw, before Aubameyang took aim inside the area but could only find the sidenetting.

We were camped inside the Sporting half as we looked for a breakthrough, but the visitors were proving stubborn opponents while offering a clear threat on the break.

There was late drama as Jeremy Mathieu was sent off as he took down Aubameyang who was racing in on goal, but we couldn’t find a winner.

But with Vorskla losing at home to Qarabag, it sealed our progress – although we still need one more win to secure top spot in Group E.

HOW IT HAPPENED

See how the match unfolded and get all the standout stats in our play-by-play commentary.

WHAT IT MEANS

Group E table

WHAT’S NEXT

We play our fourth home game in the space of nine days when Wolves arrive in north London on Sunday.

We’re unbeaten in our last 19 matches against the Black Country side, since a 2-3 defeat in September 1979 under Terry Neill.

MATCH GALLERY

Press conference

Emery's press conference: Every last word

Unai Emery was understandably in reflective mood after our draw with Sporting CP on Thursday night as he discussed the game and Danny Welbeck's injury.

Read on for a full transcript of our head coach's post-match press conference:

on Welbeck’s injury casting a shadow…
It’s the worst news tonight, this injury. It’s clear that we are with him in these minutes. 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.

on Welbeck going to hospital…
Yes, now he is at the hospital. The news is that we are going to wait - but we think it’s a serious injury.

on mood in dressing room at half-time…
When one player has an injury like that, every player on the pitch they look at this injury. First it’s in your mind - you think for the player. But I think the players were concentrated on the match and we forgot this injury the next minute on the pitch. But when the match finishes, the first thing they did was ask for him.

on his assessment…
Sporting are a very big competitive team, and organised. We spoke before and at half-time. Every Portuguese team is very competitive and today their commitment in the defensive moments was big. We needed to be calm and to create chances to score, but it’s not easy on the pitch to make clear chances against them. I think this is the summary of the 90 minutes. It was difficult to create big chances against them. We created but it wasn’t enough to win tonight.

on if anyone has spoken to Welbeck…
No, no.

on if it’s an ankle injury…
It’s an ankle.

on how said it is to see Welbeck injured again…
Every injury is different. This [could] be a break of something in the ankle. It’s a different injury to others.

on if Sporting deserved a draw…
I think it’s the merit of them. They are a very competitive team, organised, and they worked very well. I’m happy for us also, because very player worked well with very good commitment. But it was a difficult game. We remember the match in Lisbon, it was also difficult. We won that and now we can say those three points away were very important for us. This point today isn’t enough for us but at the moment we are on target to be first in the group. We are first at the moment and we are going to continue on our way for that.

on if he’ll rest players for the remaining two games having qualified…
Our mind is to be first in the group. Then every match we want the best performance from every player. We want to use the players that we think [are right] for each match, and think about the next one. After this match, we think about Sunday’s game against Wolverhampton here, and continue to create our ideas. This match gave us a lot of information for continuing collectively and individually. Some players need to take responsibility and confidence. I think there were a lot of positives tonight.

on Lichtsteiner’s injury…
The Lichtsteiner injury changed our idea in the match. We wanted to bring on Eddie Nketiah and give him a chance. When Lichtsteiner had this injury, we had to play with a right back. For this reason, we played Ainsley, but for us it’s good for Ainsley to play these minutes because he needs that to take the confidence and our rhythm. We changed our idea tactically for the last 25 minutes [due to] the injury.

on if Welbeck’s future is here despite the injury…
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.

on severity of Lichtsteiner’s injury…
It’s muscular. Tomorrow we will know better.