Premier League: Wenger left to count cost of tainted victory

Frank Dalleres
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Theo Walcott scored Arsenal’s second goal against Leicester City

ARSENAL manager Arsene Wenger fears he could be without top scorer Alexis Sanchez and midfielder Aaron Ramsey for extended spells after injuries to the pair tainted the Gunners’ return to the Premier League’s top four last night.

Goals from defender Laurent Koscielny and winger Theo Walcott gave Wenger’s men a comfortable half-time cushion, though Leicester record signing Andrej Kramaric’s first for the division’s bottom club ensured a fraught second period.

The home side held on to record an eighth consecutive win at Emirates Stadium and overtake neighbours Tottenham, but celebrations were soured by the prospect of lay-offs for 18-goal Sanchez and Ramsey, who lasted just 10 minutes as a substitute.

“Sanchez got a knock on his knee and he was not himself. He was never really comfortable. I don’t know if he’ll be out or not, or for how long,” said Wenger.

“It was a heavy tackle. At half-time I was ready to take him off but he said he wanted to go on. It became worse and in the second half I didn’t see him.”

Wenger admitted to concern at Ramsey’s third hamstring injury this season, adding: “I don’t know yet how bad it is but visually it didn’t look good. It’s a recurrence now of a few muscular injuries and we haven't found out why.”

Embattled Leicester manager Nigel Pearson insisted his job was safe and revealed he had phoned James McArthur to apologise for Saturday’s bizarre touchline scuffle with the Crystal Palace midfielder that put his position in doubt.

“He texted me and I was composing a text back and thought I’d just ring him. It was friendly,” said Pearson, who watched the first half from the stands with Leicester’s Thai owners. “They don't want to get rid of me. I’m here.”

Sluggish Arsenal went ahead when Koscielny steered Mesut Ozil’s right-wing corner in at the near post, and it was the latter’s swerving shot that forced Mark Schwarzer to parry to Walcott, who lashed in a low reply. Algeria winger Riyad Mahrez tormented the Gunners all night and helped tee up Kramaric to fire low through a crowd after Koscielny’s ineffective clearance, but could not prevent the club’s 15th defeat in 20 games.

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