Arsenal manager Unai Emery has this evening provided an update on the fitness of Gunners’ defender Laurent Koscielny.
Blackpool 0-3 Arsenal
Arsenal travelled to Bloomfield Road for an FA Cup 3rd-round clash with Blackpool yesterday evening.
And, despite a weakened starting XI, the class of the North Londoners in the end proved too much, with Unai Emery’s men having emerged with a comfortable 3-0 win.
Youngster Joe Willock proved the star of the show, notching a brace for the visitors. Alex Iwobi, meanwhile, netted the Gunners’ 3rd late on, slotting home on the rebound after Aaron Ramsey’s initial effort was well saved by Christoffer Mafoumbi.
Joe Willock’s double ensured Unai Emery won his first ever FA Cup tie and the Gunners are safely through to the fourth round. 🔴 pic.twitter.com/4UFp9A0dQS
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) January 5, 2019
However, an otherwise positive day for the capital giants was dampened by a blow on the injury-front.
The player to have picked up the problem was Gunners’ stopper Laurent Koscielny.
French veteran Koscielny was due to start yesterday’s clash, but pulled out of the Arsenal squad ahead of kick-off due to a back injury:
🚨 Late changes to our squad for tonight’s game…
■ Laurent Koscielny is no longer in the matchday squad
■ Carl Jenkinson will take his place in the starting team
■ Emile Smith Rowe will now take Carl’s place on the bench
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) January 5, 2019
‘Hopefully he will be OK’
As such, Unai Emery was questioned on the fitness of his side’s central defender during a press conference earlier today, with the Spanish tactician having confirmed that he remains hopeful of Koscielny’s chances of being fit to face West Ham United next weekend:
‘With Laurent we need to be calm with some moments in the training sessions because we are pushing him to play a lot of matches after his big injury.’
‘Maybe he needs some time not playing but we had another player with big commitment to play in a different position today – Stephan Lichtsteiner.’
‘Today Laurent said he could not play the match but now we have one week to rest before the next game and hopefully he will be OK.’