Brain expert suggests Chelsea overlooked rules during Arsenal win

Thibaut Coutois

Chelsea have been criticised for letting Thibaut Courtois play on with a head injury in the 2-0 win against Arsenal.

The chief executive of a brain injury association has criticised Chelsea for allowing Thibaut Courtois to play on after a collision with Arsenal forward Alexis Sanchez in the 2-0 win at Stamford Bridge.

Sanchez collided with Belgian heavily during the game which left Courtois needing treatment for a head problem, with the ‘keeper left bleeding from the ear after the incident.

“The new rules introduced this season were designed to ensure no risks to players’ health were taken,” said Peter McCabe, chief executive of brain injury association Headway.

“They clearly state that 'if there is any suspicion of the player having sustained a concussion, they must be removed from the field of play, and not allowed to return’.”

“This incident calls into question whether these rules are working effectively - However, it is hard to understand how a concussion was not suspected following the sickening clash.”

Chelsea have a history of head collisions in relation to their goalkeepers with the experienced Petr Cech wearing protection ever since he fractured his skull after an incident with ex-Reading player Stephen Hunt.

The incident also came after Tottenham Hotspur goalkeeper Hugo Lloris was allowed to play on by ex-Spurs boss Andre Villas-Boas after he was knocked unconscious during a game.

That decision was slammed in similar fashion and it will be interesting to see whether there is finer tuning of the new rules, which are designed for the absolute protection of players.

Courtois is now expected to be rested for the international break, which sees Belgium play important Euro 2016 qualifiers, creating a chance for Liverpool’s Simon Mignolet to step into the team.

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