Reactions of Cesc and Sagna will be remembered
When Martin Taylor flew in late on an attempted challenge on Arsenal's Eduardo it looked a clear foul. Ed went down and the first thing I noticed was that he was staying still. The next thing I noticed was a couple of Birmingham players protesting as if it was not a bad challenge. But then the camera focused closely on the fallen Eduardo with Cesc standing right over him and the young Spaniard's reactions immediately raised concern. There was clear shock and alarm in his eyes and body language followed by exasperated calling for the medical staff to come to Eduardo's attention.
At the moment I saw the distress in Cesc's eyes it was clear that Eduardo had sustained a serious injury. This anguish in seeing his friend and teammate left no room for doubt. There were no replays of the incident. No close-up of the horrifically broken leg. It was the look of Cesc that said it all.
Eduardo's season is over. He will be ruled out of Euro 2008 after being a key player in Croatia's successful qualifying campaign. And there must be doubt whether Eduardo will be able to return to the football pitch.
After resisting I decided I had to view the pictures of this challenge - to see the extent of the injury for myself. And it is truly devastating. The tackle is late and high and I won't even describe the result. I will only say I am left in doubt whether he will be able to walk again.
There are rare moments during football that transcend football. Moments more fundamental than the great joy of seeing a goal go in or the terrible disappointment of witnessing a last minute goal cost victory. Those minutes starting with Cesc's reaction, followed by seeing Ed being attended to by a legion of medical staff as Sky Sports commentators declared they will not show replays because they are deemed too horrific, followed by the cameras focusing on stunned and ashen-faced Arsenal players trying to come to terms with what they had just seen - including Adebayor standing in complete isolation having retreated in shock all the way across the other side of the pitch in an eerie replay of what Peter Schmeichel did after witnessing the horrendous leg break of Coventry's David Busst - that is when you feel you are watching something more important than a football match.
I want to make a mention for Bacary Sagna. His elder brother passed away two weeks ago. And yesterday with Eddie down with a broken shin, fibula and ankle there was the 25 year old right back in his first season at the club crouching down looking after and consoling his distressed teammate. Not only was this fantastic, but then he had another great game afterwards - showing a strength of character that is truly admirable. He is a star to have in the Arsenal team.
I definitely won't be alone in hoping to see Ed come back in an Arsenal shirt. The reception for his comeback will be extraordinary for a player whose team-ethic is fantastic and finishing is super-natural. Just as Slaven Bilic told us about his character upon buying the Croatian international of Brazilian roots - he has proven to be a humble worker for the team and this sort of guy in this ego-infested age is great to see playing in your team.
Our thoughts are with Eddie. Please get well soon.