It was a tremendous 2-1 victory for Manchester United over Arsenal FC at the Emirates. However, the defeat of the North Londoners came at a price -- Phil Jones was stretchered off in the 17th minute and it was revealed after the match by manager Sir Alex Ferguson that his defender will be out for a few weeks. Here is what Fergie had to say about Jones:
"It's not good news for us. I think Jones will be out for a few weeks - it's ankle ligaments. Carrick was feeling his hamstring in the second half and he just had to sit in the middle of the pitch."
In addition -- as Fergie mentions in the quote above -- Michael Carrick sustained a knock on his hamstring and was forced to carry on with it in the 2nd half as he played the full 90 minutes. Furthermore, Nani was substituted off in the 75th minute after sustaining a knock of his own. Despite also playing the full 90 minutes, the duo of Patrice Evra and Wayne Rooney also sustained knocks as well -- the severity of their injuries and Carrick's was not revealed.
Rio Ferdinand was unavailable for this tie due to his lingering back issues. With Jones out, captain Nemanja Vidic's season ending injury, and with Rio's chronic back problem, that leaves only Chris Smalling and Jonny Evans as the only healthy options at center-back for now.
On the flanks, Ashley Young is already out and if Nani is forced to miss matches in the near future, that likely means more playing time for Park Ji-sung -- opposite of the in-form Antonio Valencia. Ryan Giggs can still provide cover here while both Wayne Rooney and Danny Welbeck can do a job as wide attackers as well.
Carrick has become the most important player for United in the center of the pitch as of late and if he were to be unavailable for next week's FA Cup tie versus Liverpool at Anfield, United's choices in the center of the park would be limited. Tom Cleverley appears to still be a few weeks away from recovery while the recently returned Anderson was unavailable for Arsenal. Jones' injury also prevents him from being an option here. The only natural options in central-midfield -- if Carrick were to be sidelined -- would be Giggs and Paul Scholes.