Nuno Espirito Santo ‘proud’ as Wolves overcome Raul Jimenez blow to beat Arsenal

By Mark Mann-Bryans, PA
·4 min read

Wolves boss Nuno Espirito Santo praised the “amazing” reaction from his players as they recovered from a serious injury to Raul Jimenez to record a first win at Arsenal in over 40 years.

Jimenez was involved in a sickening clash of heads with David Luiz and was taken to hospital following having received 10 minutes of treatment on the pitch.

While his team-mates were clearly shaken by events, they rallied to win 2-1 as Pedro Neto and Daniel Podence struck either side of a Gabriel Magalhaes header to earn a deserved victory.

Jimenez was reported to be conscious and responding to treatment as the game wore on – while Arsenal were left to defend leaving Luiz on until half-time.

Asked about his side’s reaction to the incident, Santo replied: “Amazing. I’m very proud today. This team showed heart today – a belief in the way they ran and worked was very good to see.”

Wolves confirmed on Twitter that the Mexico striker had undergone scans at a London hospital as Santo explained how he felt at the time the injury occurred.

“You start hearing code red. It’s serious,” he told Sky Sports.

“It was a bad moment for everybody. You see panic in their (medical staff) eyes and you start thinking how is he? We are worried.

“He is being assessed now. He is in good hands. It is serious, it was a big impact but he is aware.

“If I am allowed (to visit him in hospital) I wish but as I said before he is in good hands, he is being taken care of.”

Wolves skipper Conor Coady was fit to return to the side and was close by when Jimenez and Luiz clashed.

“When it happened, it was something you knew straight away,” he said.

“It was a horrible clash of heads. This happens in football but you don’t like to see it.

“I think both teams went out and played properly but it was a tough thing that happened.

“I jumped with him and you hear it, and as they dropped… obviously he was on his side and I think it was important we kept him on his side.

“It’s something we never want to see, with one of our team-mates or with anybody.”

Luiz came off the better of the two after the fifth-minute clash with Jimenez but was bandaged up and bleeding, with Arsenal insisting they followed all protocols which allowed the Brazil defender to continue.

He was replaced at half-time by Rob Holding and manager Mikel Arteta explained the decision for Luiz to stay on.

“It was a really tense situation because the collision was surprising,” he said.

“Straight away you could see the reaction of the players asking the doctors to come on the field – that is never a good reaction.

Mikel Arteta saw Arsenal's poor run continue
Mikel Arteta saw Arsenal’s poor run continue (Julian Finney/PA)

“The doc made all the tests and followed all the protocols to make sure he was fine, he responded really well to all of them.

“David wanted to continue but at half-time we decided to take him out because he wasn’t comfortable heading the ball.”

The loss was Arsenal’s third Premier League defeat in a row and means their start to the season is their worst in 39 years.

The Gunners sit 14th in the table but – a year to the day since Unai Emery was sacked as head coach – but Arteta insists he is not worried about his own position.

“It’s something that the day I decided to be a coach I know that one day I will be sacked or leave the football club,” he added.

“I don’t know if it’s the day after I sign my contact, in a month’s time, a year’s time or six months’ time. I never worry about it.

“My only concern is to get the best out of the players, give the best possible service to the club and become better and better.

“I know, I repeat, in this profession, one day I will get the sack or leave but I don’t know when that is going to happen.”