Football - Baker fears allayed by Lambert

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert has confirmed defender Nathan Baker was not seriously hurt in Monday night's 2-1 defeat to Arsenal.

PA Sport Report

Baker suffered a sickening injury in the first half when he was struck in the face by a shot from Serge Gnabry.

He hit the ground and moved little before being carried away on a stretcher wearing an oxygen mask several minutes later.

It was later reported Baker had suffered mild concussion.

Lambert said: "He is a little bit groggy but he is okay. He can't remember a thing about what happened.

"That certainly threw us. You work all week on what you want to do and we lost him at a vital time."

Villa overcame that but were stunned by Arsenal's quickfire double in the 34th and 35th minutes courtesy of Jack Wilshere and Olivier Giroud.

It was not until the second half that they threatened again and Lambert thought their efforts might have deserved more.

He said: "That was more like it in the second half. I don't think if we'd got an equaliser anyone could have begrudged it.

"They responded fantastically and you could hear the crowd's reaction.

"The goal certainly gave us a huge lift to go again.

"We were playing against a top side with great ability - they are vying for the title and the Champions League - but we certainly gave them a fight."

Christian Benteke again looked ineffective until putting Villa back into contention with a back-post header.

He then looked a different player and Lambert hopes there is more to come.

He said: "About this time last year he started to hit the goals. It is quite uncanny. It will certainly give him a big lift."

Lambert played down rumours linking Villa with a loan move for Wigan striker Grant Holt.

He said: "Holty was fantastic for me at Norwich. He is a proper guy. I have just heard the rumours are everywhere but until something is concrete then I won't say."

View comments (0)