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Arsenal midfielder facing injury setback after 3-3 draw at Bournemouth

PUBLISHED: 12:10 04 January 2017

Francis Coquelin, Arsenal

Francis Coquelin, Arsenal

EMPICS Sport

Francis Coquelin could be facing a spell on the sidelines after limping off with a hamstring problem in Arsenal’s 3-3 draw at Bournemouth.

The French midfielder, who lasted just under half an hour of Tuesday’s game at Dean Court, was due to undergo a scan to determine the extent of his injury.

Last season a similar problem ruled Coquelin out for three months – and any lengthy absence would leave the Gunners short of defensive midfield options, with Mohamed Elneny away at the Africa Cup of Nations.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said after the game: “It is too early to tell how serious Coquelin’s injury is. We will have to wait 48 hours for the scan and the result.

“But usually when he sits down and comes off it’s not such good news. If it’s just tiredness he will try to play on but he didn’t even try to play again.”

The Gunners seemed set for their third defeat in five games after falling three goals behind, with Charlie Daniels putting Bournemouth ahead before Callum Wilson doubled their lead from the penalty spot.

Ryan Fraser added the home side’s third goal early in the second half – but Alexis Sanchez reduced the deficit 20 minutes from time and Lucas Perez then made it 3-2.

The Cherries went down to 10 men when captain Simon Francis was red-carded for a foul on Aaron Ramsey – and Olivier Giroud then glanced in Granit Xhaka’s cross to salvage a point in injury-time. Wenger felt fatigue was a factor in his side’s poor start to the contest at Dean Court, which came barely 48 hours after their 2-0 win at home to Crystal Palace.

And the Arsenal boss reiterated his criticism of the Premier League’s uneven fixture schedule around the Christmas and new year period, which afforded the Cherries an extra day’s rest.

“We had three or four players that we had to wait until the warm-up to see if they could play,” said Wenger.

“Hector Bellerin had a knock. He was uncertain to play, and that’s the problem with only 48 hours [between games] – you have to play some players again.

“Laurent Koscielny too, and we had Gabriel, who we didn’t start in the end. And then I didn’t start Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain because I didn’t take a gamble – I didn’t know who we’d have to take off.

“This complicates the job a lot, but we have to shut up and cope with it. I’m ready to play tomorrow again as long as we play against an opponent who has played today as well – that is what I call fair.

“We have to play when we are told to play. But we want to play against teams in the same time of rest and preparation as we have.”

Arsenal begin their FA Cup campaign on Saturday when they travel to Preston North End in the third round (5.30pm).

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