Arsenal advanced to the quarterfinals of the FA Cup with a 4-0 victory over Hull, but the win came at a very high price. The Gunners lost Aaron Ramsey, Per Mertesacker, and Gabriel Paulista during the match. The injuries will surely affect Arsenal’s online soccer oddswhen the team faces Barcelona in the Champions League next Wednesday.
Arsene Wenger told reporters after the game that he was in shock that the team lost three key players during the match and the team now finds itself in need of a center back after losing two against Hull.
Wenger was also surprised that Ramsey, who was brought in as a substitute against Hull, got injured after only 15 minutes on the field.
At a press conference, Wenger told reporters that there was a bit of a silver lining with the injuries. According to Wenger, Mertesacker suffered a cut to the eye but shouldn’t be sidelined for too long. Paulista suffered a hamstring injury, but his injury isn’t expected to keep him out of the lineup for an extended period of time.
Wenger said the most serious of the three injuries was the injury to Ramsey which he called a thigh injury.
Arsenal had already been dealing with a few injury issues, most notably with Laurent Koscielny, who has been sidelined with a calf injury. Wenger said Koscielny has been progressing well and should be back in the lineup on Sunday when the team faces Watford in the quarterfinals of the FA Cup.
Mertesacker’s injury occurred when he clashed heads with Hull’s Nick Powell in the first half of their game last week. Mertesacker initially went down for several minutes, but he remained in the game after receiving treatment before asking to be substituted.
Early in the second half, Gabriel Paulista got hurt and limped off the field. At the time, Wenger had used the only defender left on his team to replace Mertesacker, so he pulled Mathieu Flamini from midfield and put him in the right back position.
Despite the injuries on defense, the Gunners didn’t have any trouble dispatching Hull, which was surprising after their previous meeting ended in a 0-0 draw at Emirates Stadium.
After the game, Wolcott told reporters that while the team was happy about the result, they were disappointed about the number of injuries that they picked up.
With the win over Hull, Arsenal will face Watford in the semi-finals of the FA Cup, and will have a chance to win the Cup for the third consecutive year if they can win their final two matches in the competition.
When Arsene Wenger was asked what it would mean to win the FA Cup three consecutive times, the Frenchman said, ”Look, do you know someone who has won it more than me? No, so that gives you the answer.”
Despite his team’s success in the FA Cup, Wenger hasn’t won the Premier League or Champions League in a long time, and Arsenal fans would happily trade one of their FA Cup trophies for a league title.