Mikel Arteta issues update after William Saliba suffered injury in Europa League defeat, dealing a blow to Arsenal’s Premier League title hopes
Mikel Arteta admits he doesn’t know the extent of William Saliba’s injury which saw the defender hobble early in Arsenal’s Europa League defeat to Sporting Lisbon.
The Frenchman left the Emirates turf in the 21st minute and was replaced by Rob Holding.
The Gunners had just taken the lead in the Round of 16 through Granit Xhaka, after drawing 2-2 in Lisbon.
But there was instant bad news when Saliba left the game with what appeared to be a back injury, joining fellow defender Takehiro Tomiyasu as a first-half casualty.
Only Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Magalhaes have played more minutes for Mikel Arteta in all competitions this season, with Saliba a key part of their form at the top of the Premier League.
Regarding the severity of Tomiyasu and Saliba’s injuries, Arteta said after the match: “I don’t know.
“Tomiyasu looks pretty serious from his reaction and what he said to me. Willy I don’t know, he got sick and couldn’t continue.
Things didn’t improve much for Arsenal, who were taken into extra time after Pedro Goncalves equalized for the visitors with an incredible effort from 46 yards out.
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Neither side could find a winner in extra time, meaning the last 16 draw ended in a penalty shootout, which the Portuguese side won 5-4 with Gabriel Martinelli seeing his kick saved.
The extent of Saliba’s injury is not known but it could be a significant moment as Arsenal seek to win a first Premier League title in 19 years.
Arsenal take on Crystal Palace at the Emirates on Sunday before the international break and have yet to face Liverpool, Manchester City, Chelsea and Newcastle in their clash.