Senegal`s Mane faces nervous wait over injury
Sadio Mane will discover on Friday whether the injury he sustained in Southampton`s 2-0 victory over Arsenal will rule him out of Senegal`s African Cup of Nations campaign.
London: Sadio Mane will discover on Friday whether the injury he sustained in Southampton`s 2-0 victory over Arsenal will rule him out of Senegal`s African Cup of Nations campaign.
Mane was injured shortly after scoring his side`s 34th minute opening goal and was withdrawn four minutes before the interval at St Mary`s on Thursday.
Southampton manager Ronald Koeman said he didn`t know the nature or extent of the injury that forced the winger to receive treatment twice before finally being replaced.
But he conceded there was a question mark against Mane`s availability for Sunday`s FA Cup third round tie with Ipswich and for international duty later this month.
"I don`t know what happened exactly because after his first moment he continued but he had too much pain and we had to change him," Koeman said.
"We don`t know about his injury now, we have to wait until tomorrow (Friday) if he is available for Sunday and if he is available for the African Cup of Nations for his country."
Meanwhile, Koeman only named Japan centre back Maya Yoshida as one of his substitutes against Arsenal, but declared the defender would be fit and ready to play a full role in this month`s Asia Cup.
"Yoshida is ready for Asia Cup. You need one week for preparation for that kind of tournament. We have to accept we lose some players for different tournaments," he added.
Mane capitalised on a mistake by Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny to give Southampton a 34th minute lead with an excellent curling finish from a tight angle.
Szczesny was then involved even an even bigger mix-up with right-back Mathieu Debuchy for Southampton`s second goal with the keeper hacking a poor clearance straight to Dusan Tadic who added the 56th minute strike.
Southampton moved three points clear of Arsenal in fourth place and Koeman added: "I don`t like to talk about the mistakes of the opponent, because that can be disrespectful, but the second was maybe a new year present."Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger refused to discuss Szczesny`s performance but he did confirm David Ospina would be in goal for Sunday`s FA Cup third round tie with Hull City.
Reports on the morning of the game claimed Lukas Podolski had stormed out of training session this week in frustration at being repeatedly omitted from Wenger`s starting line-up this season.
The Germany international took to social media to deny a bust-up and Wenger insisted Podolski was absent from his squad because of injury.
"Podolski was injured today. He has a tight groin," Wenger said.
But Wenger did admit the player could be allowed to leave for Inter Milan if the Serie A club improve on their first offer for the player.
"Look, the first proposal (from Inter) was farcical. After they come back a bit more serious then we will see what happens," Wenger said.
Asked if a move was inevitable, he added: "Inevitable in a transfer is very difficult to say but we`ll see what happens."
Reflecting on the game, Wenger admitted his side are struggling for consistency at the moment.
"Every time we look like we can get on a run, we have a hiccup. We have to learn from that every quickly because we will need that," he said.
"Today more than the league position, my main concern is that it was a game that was winnable that we lost, more than fourth place. Because we need to be consistent defensively from the start."
Wenger appeared to be confronted by a supporter in front of the dug-out towards the end of the game and a man was arrested, but the manager played down the incident.
"It was a young boy, yes. I think he was Southampton fan. He was not aggressive at all. I don`t think he said anything. Honestly, he was not aggressive," Wenger said.