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Alarm bells sound at Arsenal as Crystal Palace clash showcases why Kieran Tierney blow could prove so costly

Alarm bells sound at Arsenal as Crystal Palace clash showcases why Kieran Tierney blow could prove so costly


The opening 45 minutes of Arsenal’s meeting with Crystal Palace on Monday evening has shone a spotlight on precisely why the injury suffered by Kieran Tierney could yet go as far as to derail the club’s campaign.

For those not aware, ahead of kick-off in the Gunners’ trip to Selhurst Park, word was forthcoming that stopper Tierney had been ruled out owing to a knee issue.

Such confirmation on the part of Arsenal was then quickly followed by a series of alarming updates in the media, which went as far as to suggest that the Scottish international may not take to the pitch again this season.

This comes with Tierney potentially set to be forced under the knife over the coming weeks in a bid to solve his problem.

Tavares struggling

Owing to the absence of his first-choice left-back, Mikel Arteta was therefore left with little choice but to turn to inexperienced summer arrival Nuno Tavares on Monday night.

This comes with Cedric Soares, capable of filling in on the left when required, having taken his spot at right-back once more versus Palace, amid the unexplained ongoing omission of Takehiro Tomiyasu.

And, as alluded to above, all that the opening 45 minutes in south London have since gone about proving is just how sorely Tierney’s absence looks set to be felt.

Stand-in Tavares has endured nothing short of a nightmare outing thus far, struggling on both sides of the ball amid a tense atmosphere at Selhurst Park.

First, in the direct lead-up to hosts Palace’s opener, the Portuguese almost appeared to duck under the ball at the back post, seeking out a free-kick rather than fulfilling his defensive duties.

This, in turn, allowed the arriving Joachim Andersen, albeit inadvertently, to nod back across goal, where Jean-Philippe Mateta was on hand to finish beyond Aaron Ramsdale:

Tavares’ woes did not end there, though.

After a wonderful long-rang pass from the aforementioned Andersen saw Gabriel Magalhaes completely misjudge the flight of the ball, the visitors’ backup full-back failed to track the run of Jordan Ayew, who, in turn, made no mistake in picking out the far corner, and doubling Palace’s advantage:

Is the suggestion that a prolonged absence for Tierney could in and of itself go on to derail Arsenal’s season an exaggeration? Perhaps.

But one thing is for sure… Tavares, at present, is simply not at the level required to step into the club’s backline on a weekly basis.

Unless Mikel Arteta and co. manage to come up with a solution to their left-back woes, and fast, then carving out a place for themselves in the Premier League’s top-4 come the campaign’s end will prove a tall, tall task.

Read more:

Crystal Palace vs Arsenal live streaming: Watch Premier League online

‘He’s like Cristiano’ – Cedric Soares lavishes high praise on one Arsenal teammate


This article was edited by Ben Browning.

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