Arsenal Injuries Threaten Gunners Premier League Title Hopes

Arsenal Injuries Threaten Gunners Premier League Title Hopes
Arsenal's Takehiro Tomiyasu leaves the field of play during the UEFA Europa League round of sixteen, second leg match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture date: Thursday March 16, 2023. - Photo by Icon sport

Arsenal’s defeat by Sporting Lisbon and subsequent departure from the Europa League was exacerbated on Thursday night by injuries to Takehiro Tomiyasu and William Saliba.

Sporting defeated the Gunners on penalties after the match ended 3-3 on aggregate following extra time at the Emirates Stadium.

Granit Xhaka put Arsenal ahead after 19 minutes, but Pedro Goncalves equalized with a remarkable long-range effort. Gabriel Martinelli’s spot-kick was then saved as the Portuguese team won the shootout 5-3 to advance to the quarter-finals.

Europa League Injuries Could Cost Gunners Title Run


Mikel Arteta made five changes to the lineup that defeated Fulham 3-0 on Sunday, but his attempts at rotation were ineffective.

After injuring himself when lunging into a tackle, Tomiyasu had to be replaced by Ben White just nine minutes into the game. Later, the Japanese international was seen exiting the stadium on crutches.

Matters became much worse in the 21st minute when Saliba had to leave the game after appearing to injure his back.

Arsenal lead Manchester City by five points in the Premier League title battle, and injuries were the last thing that Arteta would have wanted from their Europa League heroics.

“Tomiyasu looks pretty serious from his reaction straight (away), and what he said to me, but obviously, it’s very early,” he said in his pre-match press conference. “Willy? I don’t know, he had some discomfort and could not continue so we had to take him out.”

“We’ve been carrying injuries throughout the season,” Arteta said of the long-term injuries his squad has endured this season.

“We had Emile out for four months, Jesus for four months, Thomas for a month and a half, Alex for two and half months, Eddie  for a month and a half. We had quite a lot of injuries already, but we dealt with them,” he said.

“The disappointment is not going to go away, it’s there now. But there’s also clarity. It’s 11 games to go now and we have a final against Crystal Palace,” he added, “We have to recover and put all the focus there and win.”

Saliba Injury Breaks Up Defensvie Partnership

Saliba has played every minute of Arsenal’s Premier League games this season, creating a solid connection in center defense alongside Gabriel.

He was replaced by Rob Holding against Sporting, and the defender might make his Premier League debut against Palace on Sunday.

“We decided to do that because we had to manage the subs,” Arteta explained. “Thank God we did take him out, especially after the two windows that we had to use in the first half. That was the plan.”

“Leo is coming from an injury as well and we knew the game could go to extra time and we had to manage that. He looked OK.”

The Gunners face into a tie against Crystal Palace on Sunday in their next vital Premier League match.

Thought the North London side will be strong favorites, Arteta will know that anything can happen in a derby. Palace will also be an unknown quantity after they sacked manager Patrick Viera today after they are still without a win in the league in 2023.



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