Arsenal confirm quartet of Covid-19 cases, but Aubameyang hands Arteta boost ahead of Chelsea
Premier League giants Arsenal have, on Thursday, confirmed an outbreak of Covid-19 in the club’s squad.
Less than ideal start
Mikel Arteta’s men of course got their 2021/22 campaign underway last weekend.
The Gunners made the trip to the Brentford Community Stadium, for a Premier League meeting with the newly-promoted Bees.
Despite a somewhat tumultuous summer, and the absence of a number of key performers, Arsenal, for the most part, were viewed as widespread favourites to emerge from the clash with a first three-point haul of the season.
When all was said and done, however, to say that such expectations proved wide of the mark would be something of an understatement.
A dismal opening day display, during which the visitors toiled both going forward and at the back, ultimately culminated in Brentford emerging on the right side of a 2-0 final scoreline.
The bees sting again! 🐝🐝
Ivan Toney wins the flick ahead of Ben White and Christian Norgaard heads home for Brentford to double the lead! 😮
📺 Watch Brentford v Arsenal live on Sky Sports Premier League and follow live updates: https://t.co/68I9wwcrfb pic.twitter.com/5GalGMvRll
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) August 13, 2021
Whilst there can be no excuses made for just how poor Arsenal truly looked at the Brentford Community Stadium last week, as alluded to above, it should be noted that Mikel Arteta was unable to call on a host of key players for the clash.
All of Thomas Partey, Gabriel Magalhaes, Eddie Nketiah, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were deemed unavailable to feature versus the Bees.
The absence of the latter duo came amid altogether bizarre circumstances, with confirmation having been forthcoming just hours from kick-off that both strikers, suddenly, had come down with unspecified illnesses.
🚨 Arsenal captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang + fellow striker Alexandre Lacazette are both unwell & therefore will not be available for their side’s opening game of the new Premier League season at Brentford tonight @TheAthleticUK #AFC #BrentfordFC #BREARS https://t.co/RFFL2fWNPH
— David Ornstein (@David_Ornstein) August 13, 2021
On Thursday, however, a full explanation for the situation has been forthcoming.
As revealed in an official statement across the club’s social media platforms, both Lacazette and Aubameyang tested positive for Covid-19. Backup goalkeeper Alex Runarsson and veteran attacker Willian, meanwhile, too returned positive tests.
In a boost for all associated with Arsenal, though, it is added that Aubameyang, thankfully, has now recovered:
‘He will return to training and be assessed prior to Sunday’s match.’
The other three aforementioned stars, however, look set to be ruled out versus Chelsea, with Gabriel, Partey and Nketiah, as expected, too unavailable.
🗞 Our latest team news update ahead of #ARSCHE 👇
— Arsenal (@Arsenal) August 19, 2021
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