Premier League • England

Arteta defiant over brutal Arsenal situation; provides Aubameyang update

Steve Pearson
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta speaking to the press

Mikel Arteta refused to moan when asked about a situation Arsenal have fared worst in, and provided an update on Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after being overlooked for his fourth successive league match.

Arsenal boosted their top four chances when putting Norwich to the sword on Boxing Day. Bukayo Saka was the star of the show, notching two goals as the Gunners routed the Canaries 5-0.

Kieran Tierney also netted before Alexandre Lacazette converted a penalty he himself won late in the second half.

There was even time for super sub Emile Smith Rowe to notch from the bench in injury time. His goal against Norwich was his third in as many matches – all of which have come from the bench.

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Speaking to the BBC after the match, Arteta said: “It’s a very satisfying result because in this festive period we have to keep performances to a high level.

“We looked really sharp and committed. It’s a big win for us. I am really pleased. The amount of chances we create is pleasing.

“We go to every ground to try and impose our game. Today was a really good example. The unity we have around the club and with our fans is very pleasing.”

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Arteta probed on continued Aubameyang exile

Former captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was once again the notable absentee from the squad.

His omission was the fourth league match in a row in which he has been overlooked by Arteta. A previous report from the Telegraph indicated his exile could continue until February – assuming he isn’t sold next month,

When asked for an update on Aubameyang’s status, Arteta said: “He wasn’t selected for today’s match. We’ll take it game by game. That was the decision.”

Arsenal have less than 48 hours to recover for their next match against Wolves, with that clash pencilled in for a lunch-time kick-off on Tuesday.

Player welfare has been a hot topic of late. The fixture scheduling has given Arsenal the least amount of recovery time between their Boxing Day and next fixture out of all 20 Premier League sides.

On the short turnaround, Arteta refused to complain: “We will try and recover as well as we can and try and win the game.”

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