Laurent Koscielny faces a race against time to get fit for PSG match on Tuesday because of the swelling over his eye which is affecting his vision.

The Arsenal captain took the kick to the head late in the game but controversially referee Bobby Madley allowed play to continue.That enabled the Gunners to win the late penalty that Santi Cazorla converted to secure the points – although Saints defender Jose Fonte later claimed that even Olivier Giroud did not realise the award had been given as a result of a perceived foul between the pair.

Medics spent three minutes treating Koscielny’s wound before the spot-kick could be taken, but despite the ongoing attention it is touch and goes whether he will be in a position to lead the side as they begin their Champions League campaign in the French capital.

It means that having touted the virtues of his squad’s strength in depth, Arsene Wenger could be forced to give Rob Holding a start despite having played just twice in the top flight.

“Laurent will be a little concern,” Wenger said. “It’s already very swollen. The eye is closed up.“He is one of the most experienced players we have here. He is one of the longest serving defenders and he is one of our best players.”

Koscielny’s astoundingly adept overhead kick had cancelled out a Dusan Tadic free-kick opener that had gone in off the bar and Petr Cech’s back.

But it was the fact that Wenger was able to bring on Alexis Sanchez and Giroud from the bench as he chased the game that prompted his comments about the depth of his resources. “This is my strongest squad, certainly, and certainly the oldest as well,” he said.

The two latest arrivals, Shkodran Mustafi and Lucas Perez, both made their debuts but were largely unconvincing.

“In the second half Perez combined much better,” Wenger said. “It’s not easy as well sometimes to start at home, the pressure is there, everybody has their eyes on you.

“You could see that with Mustafi, especially in the second half, he was much more comfortable than the first.”

But can Perez, in particular, become that elusive 20-goal-a-season striker that Arsenal have lacked ever since Robin Van Persie left?


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