The bells of Wojciech Szczesny and Nemanja Vidic are probably still ringing.
Both players suffered cringe-inducing head injuries during Manchester United’s hard-fought victory over Arsenal on Sunday. Szczsney played on after his injury, but Vidic left the game and went to the hospital.
Arsenal goalkeeper Szczesny was floored 41 minutes into the first half after colliding heads with United’s Phil Jones. Jones walked away (with a yellow card for the foul), but Szczesny spent a few minutes on the ground reciveing treatment from Arsenal’s medical staff. Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger told Sky Sports that he allowed Szczesny to continue playing because the team doctor didn’t raise any concerns.
“Nobody told me anything about him,” Wenger said. “If he said there was a problem I would have taken him off. I listen to the doctor. If he says to me he has to come off, he comes off.
“No matter if we have seven men on the field, I do it. You have only one life and you have 60 games per year.”
Vidic, United’s captain, was less fortunate when he ran into a teammate — goalkeeper David De Gea — just minutes after the Szczesny-Jones incident. Like Szczesny, De Gea was jumping to punch the ball away when Vidic arrived. Vidic’s face caught the full force of De Gea’s body weight, and he collapsed in a heap. The shaken Serbian spit blood as he walked off the field, and United manager David Moyes told Sky Sports after the game that Vidic had gone to a local hospital.
“He has gone to hospital, I have only just seen him myself and I didn’t see how bad it was from the touchline, but it was a terrible clash,” Moyes said. “It was an accident but hopefully he will be okay, I will find out more from the medics later on.”
Both incidents come on the heels of the concussion storm, which hit the Premier League last week. Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was knocked unconsciousness during his team’s game against Everton, but his manager, Andre Villas-Boas allowed him to stay in the game. Villas-Boas defended his decision to leave Lloris in harm’s way last Sunday, but he has left his No. 1 out of the Spurs squad in the two games they Spurs have played since the incident.
In recent months and years, American sports (and soccer) fans have become increasingly aware of how dangerous head injuries can be. Their Premier-League counterparts are facing up to the dangers that head injuries can pose to their sporting heroes as well.
See the Szczesny-Jones collision below.
See the Vidic-De Gea collision below.
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GIFs via USA Today