Arsenal fear Laurent Koscielny has a broken jaw

Defender was taken off after an eccidental clash with Romelu Lukaku

Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United battles with Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal during the FA Cup Cup fourth round tie. Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

Romelu Lukaku of Manchester United battles with Laurent Koscielny of Arsenal during the FA Cup Cup fourth round tie. Photo: Mike Hewitt/Getty Images

 

Unai Emery lamented Arsenal’s worsening defensive injury crisis as Laurent Koscielny suffered a suspected broken jaw during their 3-1 defeat at the hands of a vibrant Manchester United.

“Koscielny is going to hospital for analysis, maybe a break,” Emery said with an expression that suggested he feared the worst. This comes a week after Héctor Bellerín joined Rob Holding in being out for the season and beyond after suffering a cruciate ligament injury. Arsenal lost both centre-halves during the game as Sokratis Papastathopoulos jarred his leg, but Emery sounded more optimistic that the problem is not long-term.

Defensively they were in no position to cope with the threat of United on the counterattack and an eighth successive win under Ole Gunnar Solskjær came with a confident flourish. Sweeping breakaway moves were finished with aplomb by Alexis Sánchez, Jesse Lingard and Anthony Martial.

Delighted as Solskjær was with the goals, he was even more satisfied with an overall team performance which he reckons showed notable improvement.

“A massive step forwards for us performance-wise,” the caretaker manager said. “The structure was much better compared to Tottenham, where we hung in there and David De Gea saved us. We’ve been working on that. We need to dig in and defend properly against big teams.”

Solskjær had praise for all his attackers. Romelu Lukaku was intriguingly efficient from the right.

“It’s a tactic we can use and we know how strong he is. He held the ball, ran the channel and brought other players in. It was a great finish by Alexis. For every player the more confident you get, the more you want to get out on the pitch and train and you trust yourself. “He has been injured so it’s good he got 70 minutes and he can only improve. He knows that himself. Jesse is a big-game player. We never hesitate to put him in the Man United team.

“He knows the history. He knows all the counterattack goals we have scored against Arsenal.”

United push on to the next round of the FA Cup and in this mood will be among the competition favourites. – Guardian service

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