At his pre-Burnley presser this morning Arsene Wenger played down Danny Welbeck’s early substitution last night, and le Boss said it was planned as they decided to take it easy with the striker after a few weeks out.
Welbeck was pulled off at half time (we only used to get a cup of tea at West Ham) and rumours were rife that he’d picked up another groin injury, given it was his first game back in 4 weeks, this was the obvious conclusion, but Wenger denied it, saying his 45 minute run out was all part of the masterplan:
Wenger said via ITV Sport:
“It was planned before the game that he would only play 45 minutes, he has only just come back from injury, and we have three more games on Sunday, Wednesday and Saturday again. Medically, the risk was a bit too high to play him for longer because he has been out for a while. He has no problem. Of course, he was ready to stay on and frustrated to come off, but he’s in good shape…”
A rather contentious penalty (the 3rd in 5 games I think?!) was the only goal of the game after Debuchy got into a tangle with a German attacker, Ospina going the wrong way for the spot kick.
Anyway, we still finished top of Group H in the Europa League after Red Star Belgrade and BATE Borisov drew 0-0, despite losing with a second string XI and will go into the knockout round as a seeded team.
We return to Premier League action this weekend as we prepare for another long journey up north to face Burnley at Turf Moor where we will hoping to close the gap once more on the top teams and Spurs.