Arsenal dealt latest blow as Pablo Mari expected to miss rest of season/Xhaka & Holding updates before Brighton

An update on the fitness of Arsenal star Pablo Mari has been forthcoming online this evening, with the news far from positive for the stopper.

City down Arsenal

Mikel Arteta’s men visited the Etihad last night, as part of the first round of Premier League fixtures following the COVID-19 break.

And, after Aston Villa and Sheffield United played out a drab 0-0 draw earlier in the day, the action in Manchester was unsurprisingly of a far more enthralling nature.

Arsenal, though, were, in the end, no match for their heavily-favoured hosts, with the clash having essentially been decided during a hectic 10-minute stretch either side of half-time.

First, a mistake from David Luiz allowed Raheem Sterling to race clear on goal, with the English wide-man having made no mistake with his finish into the roof of Bernd Leno’s net.

And, incredibly, Luiz was back at it shortly after the interval, as the veteran stopper’s clumsy challenge on Riyad Mahrez in Arsenal’s box saw City awarded a penalty, and the former Chelsea man given his marching orders.

Kevin De Bruyne stepped up to slot home the ensuing spot-kick, before Phil Foden added some gloss to the scoreline with a Citizens 3rd in injury-time.

Mari crocked

As such, the main talking point stemming from Arsenal’s defeat at the Etihad has unsurprisingly surrounded the dismal, and ultimately costly performance of David Luiz.

It is important to note, though, that the South American was not actually even due to be on the pitch versus Man City.

Mikel Arteta’s starting line-up saw Shkodran Mustafi and Pablo Mari take their place at the heart of the Gunners’ backline.

With just 25 minutes on the clock, however, the latter picked up a nasty looking ankle injury, forcing Mari off, and Arteta into introducing Luiz off the bench.

As outlined above, meanwhile, an update on Mari’s fitness has been forthcoming this evening.

And the news is far from positive from an Arsenal perspective.

As revealed by the reliable David Ornstein, the on-loan stopper is set to be sidelined for the remainder of the extended season, likely throwing Mari’s long-term future in north London up in the air.

MANCHESTER, ENGLAND – JUNE 17: Pablo Mari of Arsenal controls the ball during the Premier League match between Manchester City and Arsenal FC at Etihad Stadium on June 17, 2020 in Manchester, England. (Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

Another of Arsenal’s stars to have been forced off due to injury during the early exchanges of last night’s matchup was Granit Xhaka.

An update has also arrived on the Swiss midfielder, with it simply claimed that he ‘may return before the campaign ends’, after picking up an ankle problem of his own.

In some much needed positive news for Mikel Arteta and co., though, Rob Holding has returned to fitness, and is in contention to feature versus Brighton this weekend:

David Luiz’s agent coy on defender’s Arsenal future: ‘We will find out before 23rd June’

Chelsea’s £47.5m signing of Timo Werner from RB Leipzig is confirmed

This article was edited by Josh Barker.

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