Arsenal defender Per Mertesacker was the target of an amusing barb from Gary Lineker during the north London side’s tense FA Cup semi-final victory against Reading at Wembley on Saturday evening.
The Gunners were able to narrowly overcome their Championship opposition as Alexis Sanchez scored the decisive goal in extra-time - a moment that will haunt Reading goalkeeper Adam Federici for eternity.
Metersacker, meanwhile, was removed from proceedings shortly after the hour mark, with the score 1-1 at this point, as he picked up an ankle problem that made the cumbersome German even less mobile than usual.
This was not lost on BBC presenter Lineker, who tweeted to highlight that Mertesacker’s limp off the hallowed Wembley turf was hardly different from his optimum speed.
Arsene Wenger, meanwhile, conceded that Mertesacker’s problem did not “look too good” and the Arsenal vice-captain would now appear to be a serious doubt for next weekend’s encounter with Chelsea.
It should not, however, be a particular cause for concern for Arsenal given how impressively Gabriel, a January acquisition from Villarreal, performed in place of Mertesacker against Reading.
The Brazilian was composed and confident in the centre of the Arsenal defence, particularly when Reading were on the counter, while he was also able to find encouraging positions in the opposition penalty area.
Arsenal fans: do you think Gabriel should replace Per Mertesacker?
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