"Ten Hag witchcraft," "We need you for title run" - Arsenal fans in disbelief as Gunners star leaves stadium in crutches

Both Tomiyasu and Saliba picked up injuries against Sporting
Both Tomiyasu and Saliba picked up injuries against Sporting

Arsenal fans were left in disbelief after right-back Takehiro Tomiyasu left the Emirates on crutches following their Europa League elimination on Thursday, March 16. Tomiyasu started the second leg of the Gunners' Europa League Round-of-16 tie against Sporting but had to be taken off after just nine minutes.

Arsenal were defeated 3-5 on penalties to crash out of the tournament after the second leg ended 1-1 after extra time. Granit Xhaka's 19th-minute opener was canceled out by Pedro Goncalves' strike in the second half before the home side fell on penalties.

Apart from the setback of elimination from the European competition, Mikel Arteta will now have to deal with injuries to two of their most important players this season. Along with Tomiyasu, William Saliba also picked up an injury in the match.

After the encounter, Arsenal fans took to Twitter, lamenting the injury to Tomiyasu. Some also pointed out Erik ten Hag's comments from a couple of days ago where he claimed that Manchester United have struggled with injuries while Arsenal have not.

Here are some of the best reactions:

Tomiyasu leaving the Emirates crutches.
@sr_collings ten hag witchcraft with the injury comments this past week
@sr_collings This is why I hate this competition, it’s just not worth it
@sr_collings @TikiTakaConnor Definitely looked like he tweaked his mcl. Wouldn’t read much in to him being on crutches though. Medics will want him to take weight off the leg until assessed properly.
@sr_collings This is an important player, specially when we have to hold on to a lead, coming on for Zinchenko to help us.
@sr_collings Recover well Tomi we need you for title run in in April and May ❤️
@sr_collings I think it's season over for him or maybe he'll come back for the last 2-3 games
@sr_collings It gets worse…
@sr_collings This really isn't good. All the best, Tomi! ❤️

Tomiyasu has made 32 appearances for Arsenal across competitions this season, assisting two goals in the process.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta provides update on Tomiyasu and Saliba injuries

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta was quizzed about the injuries to Tomiyasu and Saliba after the Sporting encounter. He told the media:

"I don't know. Tomiyasu looks pretty serious from his reaction straight and what he said to me, but obviously, it's very early. Willy? I don't know, he had some discomfort and could not continue so we had to take him out.
"We've been carrying injuries throughout the season. We had Emile out for four months, Jesus for four months, Thomas for a month and a half, Alex for two and half months, Eddie for a month and a half. We had quite a lot of injuries already, but we dealt with them.
"The disappointment is not going to go away it's there now. But there's also clarity. It's 11 games to go now and we have a final against Crystal Palace. We have to recover and put all the focus there and win."

The Gunners will next face Crystal Palace in the Premier League on Sunday, March 19, before the players leave for the international break.

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Edited by Sudeshna Banerjee
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