Arsenal head coach Unai Emery highlighted the disruption caused by injuries as one of the key factors in the Gunners’ 3-1 FA Cup defeat to Manchester United.
United went two ahead within the first half but the Gunners replied quickly to give them a fighting chance.
However, a goal from Anthony Martial sealed the win for the away side and a play in the fifth round.
Injury list lengthens
The home side were dealt an early blow when defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos was forced off through injury, and later lost captain Laurent Koscielny to a facial injury during the second half.
“Today it’s the result and the injuries. They don’t help us to be in the match, maybe when the result’s 1-2,” Emery said after the match.
“In this moment we had the possibility to grow and to win, but these injuries - especially the one to Koscielny - didn’t help us because our rhythm went down. Also, we needed to change different players to play at centre back."
On the seriousness of the injuries to his centre-backs, the Spaniard said: “I think they weren’t big injuries for Sokratis. Maybe Laurent Koscielny is going to hospital to [analyse] what injury he has. Maybe he’s broken [his cheek or jaw] but I hope not.
Visitors lethal when it counted
Manchester United’s clinical finishing was also highlighted by the Arsenal head coach.
“They were very clinical today and in the moments when we attacked, we got into the box but couldn’t produce the last action to score. We deserved more but we played against Manchester United who are in their best moment of the season, and they have a lot of players to make the difference.”
Balance still an issue
Emery also spoke on whether the balance of his team still needs to be corrected.
“We need to keep improving. I think the matches against West Ham United and Chelsea we played and worked well defensively. Today was more difficult to stop their transition.
“We need to work on attacking [too] because we wanted to win. Our idea was to go in with a good balance. I think we have a good balance in a lot of moments but they have big players with big qualities who can make the difference.”