Arsenal secured their passage into the knockout stages of the Europa League tonight after Unai Emery’s side played out a goalless draw with Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon at the Emirates.
The Gunners also extended their unbeaten run in all competitions to 15 games, although tonights game was sadly overshadowed by a horrific ankle injury suffered by Arsenal attacker Danny Welbeck in the 25th minute.
So severe was the injury that several Arsenal players looked visibly shaken by the incident and speaking after the game Gunners midfielder Alex Iwobi admitted it had been difficult to regain focus after seeing his teammate so badly hurt.
“We knew it was going to be tough as when we played them away it was not easy. It is a decent result but we have to keep the focus into the next games.’’ The Nigeria international told BT Sport.
“It is mentally challenging [playing on after a team-mate is badly injured] but sometimes it comes with the game, and Danny [Welbeck] has had a lot of injuries. We wish him the best and will keep on encouraging and motivating him to get back.
“We have to give credit to Sporting and they were compact but we lacked a bit of composure, even from myself.
Arsenal looked to have a chance to win the game late on when striker Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang raced through on goal but he was taken down by Sporting defender Jeremy Mathieu, who was duly shown a red card.
“It was sad as Pierre [Aubameyang] was through, but it was a smart challenge from [Jeremy] Mathieu and unfortunate for us as we weren’t able to get the goal.’’ Iwobi added.
“We will go again at Wolves which we know won’t be easy as they have started the season well.”
Next up for Arsenal is an away trip to Wolves this Sunday in the Premier League.