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‘Luiz was uncomfortable after Jimenez collision’ – Arteta explains Arsenal defender’s substitution



The defender was able to play the remainder of the half after a nasty clash with the striker but was taken off before the second period

Mikel Arteta says David Luiz was substituted at half-time in Arsenal’s Premier League match against Wolves because he felt “uncomfortable” following a head collision with Raul Jimenez.

The Arsenal centre-back was left bleeding and required a bandage after he clashed heads with the striker as they challenged for a cross in the Wolves box.

Jimenez had to be stretchered off the field as a result of the injury, having been knocked unconscious, but Luiz was able to keep playing.

Arteta opted to substitute the 33-year-old during the break, however, with Rob Holding called on to take his place in the Gunners’ defence.

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The home side’s manager says Luiz was cleared to stay on by the team doctor, but admits the player was worried by the end of the half.

“I was shocked [at the collision] because I saw the reaction of the players,” he told BBC Sport. “They were asking the doctors. We knew David Luiz was OK, it was just a cut. Raul Jimenez looked pretty bad.

“The doctor did all the tests and protocols to make sure the player [Luiz] was safe to continue. David was just worried about his cut, he never lost consciousness. He couldn’t really head the ball, he was uncomfortable – nothing else – so we took him off.”

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Wolves went on to win the match 2-1, leaving Arsenal with just one point from their last three Premier League matches. 

“They had two shots on target in the first half and scored twice,” Arteta said when asked about his side’s performance.

“The team showed a real resilience, togetherness and belief to try to win in the second half. We generated the chances but didn’t score.

“We need more goals to win football matches. We need to keep supporting the players. All players go through [tough] periods. We’re creating chances but struggling to score goals. That’s the difference between winning and losing.

“When you lose matches the confidence goes down because they believe things can happen again. You need to win after a defeat. We’ve been doing this in my time here. This is the first time since we’ve been here [that they’ve had a losing run].”

Next week Arsenal take on north London rivals Tottenham, who are top of the table after drawing 0-0 with Chelsea on Sunday.

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“It would be great [to bounce back against Spurs],” Arteta added. “There’s not a bigger motivation than for us to go to Spurs and try to beat them.”



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