London (AFP) – Wolves captain Connor Coady said he is praying teammate Raul Jimenez will make a full recovery after the Mexican was taken to hospital with a head injury during his side’s 2-1 win at Arsenal on Sunday.
Jimenez received treatment from medics for 10 minutes on the pitch after colliding with David Luiz before being stretchered from the field early on in the game.
Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo confirmed the 29-year-old is conscious and responding to treatment.
“We knew straight away,” said Coady. “He’s with the right people but we hope and pray he’s ok because he’s the one we’re thinking about right now
“It’s something we never want to see. I hope and pray everything is ok, the one thing that matters today is that he and David Luiz are ok.”
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.
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.
However, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta defended the decision not to immediately substitute the Brazilian and said he was eventually withdrawn due to discomfort caused by a cut in the incident rather than any symptoms of concussion.
“First of all the doc has to check, that he hasn’t lost any consciousness,” said Arteta. “David was concerned just about the cut, nothing else.
“He was very uncomfortable and he could not head the ball. A centre-back that cannot head the ball, cannot play.”
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.
– Traore pace burns Arsenal –
Neto was quickest to respond and converted the rebound after Leander Dendoncker headed an Adama Traore cross against the crossbar on 27 minutes.
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 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’s men back, but the home side again lacked inspiration and a clinical finish in the final third.
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 goes on.
The Arsenal captain had his side’s best chance for an equaliser but headed wide much to the dismay of Arteta on the sidelines.
The Gunners have now lost three straight home games to slip to 14th in the table.
“When you lose three games in a row at home it is a concern. I’m responsible for that,” added Arteta. “We have to put the ball in the net, in the first half they had two shots on target and scored two goals.”
At the other end of the table Wolves climb up to sixth and within four points of league leaders Tottenham and Liverpool.
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