AGONISING TWIST EX-ARSENAL midfielder Francis Coquelin was carried off in tears after collapsing with a horror injury in Villarreal’s 1-0 home defeat against Barcelona.
The Frenchman, 31, twisted his knee as he fell awkwardly in Sunday night’s LaLiga clash.
Francis Coquelin knew straight away he was in serious trouble
Francis Coquelin was carried off after twisting badly as he fell
Players from both teams looked shocked as the former Under-21 international writhed in obvious pain.
He need two minutes of treatment but it was obvious he could not continue.
And Coquelin was clapped off as he departed on a stretcher with his hands holding his head.
Villarreal replaced him with Samuel Chukwueze ten minutes before the interval.
LaLiga leaders Barca led through Pedri’s brilliant 17th minute opener.
And they held on comfortably enough to move 11 points clear of Real Madrid.
Barcelona had started with ex-Arsenal target Franck Kessie and Manchester United’s dream option Frenkie de Jong in midfield, due to an injury for legend Sergio Busquets.
Ex-Leeds winger Raphinha, who was linked to Old Trafford in the January transfer window, partnered Robert Lewandowski up front.
But it was Spain midfielder Pedri who hit the only goal a brilliant team effort.
Jules Kounde, De Jong and Raphinha helped feed Pedri, who swapped instant passes with Lewandowski before smashing home.
The extent of Coquelin’s injury remained clear after the final whistle.
He was with the Gunners from 2008-2018 before joining Villarreal from Valencia three years ago.