Mikel Arteta has this evening provided updates on the wellbeing of both Willian and Bukayo Saka, on the back of Arsenal’s stalemate at Leeds.
The Gunners made the trip to Elland Road earlier today, in their return to action following the international break.
Arsenal of course headed into proceedings desperate for a bounce-back performance, having slipped to 13th in the Premier League table on the back of an embarrassing 3-0 defeat to Aston Villa last time out.
When all was said and done in west Yorkshire this evening, however, the north Londoners failed to turn things around.
Whilst Arteta’s men did eventually secure a share of the spoils, it was Leeds who utterly dominated proceedings at Elland Road.
The Whites, in the 2nd-half alone, rattled the woodwork 3 times, with substitute Rodrigo having been particularly unlucky to see a bending left-footed effort come back off the crossbar.
Arsenal, on the other hand, were forced to see out the final 40 minutes with 10 men, after Nicolas Pepe was given his marching orders for a moment of madness.
Check out highlights of the clash below:
Leeds 0-0 Arsenal
Their disappointing performance this evening, however, proved far from Arsenal’s only concern.
Adding to the woes of the capital giants were fitness problems picked up by not one, but two key players.
First up was Willian.
Brazilian international Willian, on the back of a disappointing first-half display, was hauled off at the interval to be replaced by Reiss Nelson.
Upon initial word of the former Chelsea man’s substitution emerging, it was assumed that Mikel Arteta had simply seen enough of his struggling wide-man’s efforts.
Speaking to the media following the full-time whistle, however, the Arsenal boss confirmed that Willian had in fact picked up a muscle problem:
‘He was feeling something muscular and we had to take him off.’
No doubt even more concerning for fans of the Gunners, though, was the injury suffered by Bukayo Saka this evening.
Late in the clash, after being introduced off the bench, versatile youngster Saka went to ground in evident pain, following a strong challenge in the Arsenal half.
In turn, Saka too was swiftly forced off, with Mikel Arteta’s immediate post-game assessment having not been overly reassuring:
‘Yeah he was in pain. I don’t know we’re going to have to assess with the medical staff how bad it is. It looked a pretty bad challenge and he was in pain so we decided to take him out straight away.’
Every word Mikel Arteta just said on Pepe, Willian, Saka and the increasing injury list https://t.co/M8A5sHKMll
— Chris Wheatley (@ChrisWheatley_) November 22, 2020
This article was edited by Josh Barker.
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