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Arsenal bag crucial win, but injured Walcott is out of final

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LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Theo Walcott of Arsenal leaves the pitch injured on a stretcher during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Theo Walcott of Arsenal leaves the pitch injured on a stretcher during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Sebastien Squillaci (18) of Arsenal scores the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Sebastien Squillaci (18) of Arsenal scores the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Sebastien Squillaci (C) of Arsenal celebrates with teammates Cesc Fabregas (L) and Johan Djourou (R) after he scores the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Sebastien Squillaci (C) of Arsenal celebrates with teammates Cesc Fabregas (L) and Johan Djourou (R) after he scores the opening goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Nicklas Bendtner (L) of Arsenal challenges Robert Huth of Stoke during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Nicklas Bendtner (L) of Arsenal challenges Robert Huth of Stoke during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Theo Walcott of Arsenal leaves the pitch injured on a stretcher during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Theo Walcott of Arsenal leaves the pitch injured on a stretcher during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal gives a thumbs up as Andrey Arshavin (L) of Arsenal waits to take a free kick during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal gives a thumbs up as Andrey Arshavin (L) of Arsenal waits to take a free kick during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal celebrates after victory in the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Arsene Wenger manager of Arsenal celebrates after victory in the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Nicklas Bendtner of Arsenal check on teammate Theo Walcott as he lies on the ground injured during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Nicklas Bendtner of Arsenal check on teammate Theo Walcott as he lies on the ground injured during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Glenn Whelan (L) of Stoke challenges Theo Walcott of Arsneal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Glenn Whelan (L) of Stoke challenges Theo Walcott of Arsneal during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23:  Theo Walcott of Arsenal receives medical attention during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Theo Walcott of Arsenal receives medical attention during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Shaun Botterill

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LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 23: Theo Walcott of Arsenal leaves the pitch injured on a stretcher during the Barclays Premier League match between Arsenal and Stoke City at the Emirates Stadium on February 23, 2011 in London, England. (Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images)

Arsenal 1 Stoke City 0: Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has confirmed Theo Walcott sprained his ankle in last night's win over Stoke and will miss Sunday's Carling Cup final against Birmingham.

Wenger also revealed Cesc Fabregas is a doubt for the game after suffering a hamstring injury in the first half and will be assessed by the club today.

“Theo Walcott has an ankle sprain and he is out. For how long, I don't know, but he is definitely out of Sunday,” said Wenger.

“Fabregas has a hamstring problem. We will assess that tomorrow. It is impossible to see how serious it is tonight. We will know tomorrow.”

The Gunners boss added: “It is of course a concern that he (Fabregas) is injured but it happens unfortunately.

“He was very upset. I am as well. But it is not his fault or mine. It is part of sport.

“It's strange when it happens early in the game but we have to face it. We did the job after that in a very professional way.”

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Walcott was bundled over by Dean Whitehead on the edge of the box in the 68th minute, but referee Peter Walton waved play on.

The 21-year-old stayed on the ground, clearly in pain, before being carried off on a stretcher to be replaced by Denilson.

Fabregas had earlier lasted just 14 minutes before being replaced by Andrey Arshavin.

The Gunners are now a point behind Premier League leaders Manchester United.

Sebastien Squillaci's seventh-minute header gave Arsenal the victory but injuries to their key duo will be of major concern with that Carling Cup final and a Champions League match against Barcelona coming up.

Much of the pre-match talk had been about how the Gunners would cope without another of their key men, Robin van Persie, who was ruled out with a hamstring injury.

Wenger chose Nicklas Bendtner to lead the attack in his absence while Fabregas, Wojciech Szczesny and Samir Nasri returned after missing Sunday's disappointing draw with little Leyton Orient.

The early pressure paid off for the home side when they took the lead.

Bendtner volleyed across the box from a Wilshere corner to find a delighted Squillaci, who headed home unmarked from five yards for his first league goal of the season.


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