LONDON: Wolves recovered from losing top scorer Raul Jimenez to a sickening head injury to inflict Arsenal’s third consecutive home league defeat with a 2-1 win at the Emirates on Sunday. The Mexican received treatment from medics for 10 minutes on the floor after colliding with David Luiz before being stretchered from the field. Luiz continued with blood seeping into a white bandage wrapped around his head until half-time, when he was replaced by Rob Holding, leading to fresh calls for the introduction of concussion substitutes in football.
The rest of the Wolves team had combined for just five goals in their previous nine league games, but Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence struck to hand the visitors a first win away to Arsenal since 1979. Sky Sports reported Jimenez is conscious in hospital and responding to treatment. Football’s lawmakers IFAB have opened the door for concussion substitutes to be used on a trial basis with the English Football Association hoping to do so in this season’s FA Cup. Former Chelsea and Celtic striker Chris Sutton has been a campaigner for concussion subs and more investigation into the high percentage of former footballers suffering from neurodegenerative diseases.
“Sickening head clash between Jimenez and Luiz. It’s time football wised up and got up to date and immediately ratifies temporary concussion replacements,” Sutton tweeted. “Jimenez clearly in a bad way. Has David Luiz been checked adequately?” There was a sombre mood on the pitch when the action returned but Wolves quickly took the lead. Leander Dendoncker headed an Adama Traore cross against the crossbar but Neto was quickest to respond and converted the rebound. The lead was short-lived as Arsenal responded to score their first goal from open play in six league games.
Willian’s inviting cross was powered home by Gabriel Magalhaes at the back post for his second goal for the club. But the Arsenal defence that had been the bedrock of a revival under Mikel Arteta towards the end of last season as they won the FA Cup, could not cope with the pace of Traore. Another dart from the Spaniard teed up Neto and when his shot was spilled by Bernd Leno, Podence reacted fastest to turn the loose ball home. Arsenal responded after the break to pin Nuno Espirito Santo’s men back, but the home side again lacked inspiration and a clinical finish in the final third.
Bukayo Saka should have done better when he skewed wide from close range. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s wait for a Premier League goal from open play since he signed a lucrative new contract worth a reported £55 million ($73 million) over three years also goes on. The Arsenal captain had his side’s best chance for an equalizer but headed wide much to the dismay of Arteta on the sidelines. A year to the day since Unai Emery was sacked with the Gunners sitting eighth in the Premier League, Arteta’s men now sit 14th. At the other end of the table Wolves climb up to sixth and within four points of league leaders Tottenham and Liverpool. – AFP