Video: As Arteta speaks out on Arsenal’s midfielder chase (& Tavares sub), target Bruno Guimaraes bags gorgeous Lyon assist | 101 Great Goals


Video: As Arteta speaks out on Arsenal’s midfielder chase (& Tavares sub), target Bruno Guimaraes bags gorgeous Lyon assistVideo: As Arteta speaks out on Arsenal’s midfielder chase (& Tavares sub), target Bruno Guimaraes bags gorgeous Lyon assist

 

On the same night that Mikel Arteta spoke out over Arsenal’s pursuit of reinforcements in the middle of the park, a rumoured target on the part of the Gunners provided a timely reminder of his immense talents in France.

Grabban the difference

Arteta’s troops were back in action earlier this evening.

After slipping to a disappointing defeat at the hands of Manchester City last time out, the north Londoners made the trip to the City Ground, kicking their FA Cup campaign into gear in a meeting with Nottingham Forest.

Unfortunately for the Arsenal faithful, however, when all was said and done on Sunday, their side were ultimately sent packing from the competition at the first hurdle.

A severely under-manned Gunners outfit, sans the talents of the likes of Granit Xhaka, Thomas Partey and Emile Smith Rowe, were eventually put to the sword by a goal to nil.

The evening’s telling moment was forthcoming inside the closing ten minutes of action, as a Forest breakaway allowed Lewis Grabban to break free in the visitors’ area, before slotting beyond Bernd Leno from close range:

Guimaraes shines as Arteta calls for reinforcements

On the back of the full-time whistle at the City Ground, it therefore came as little surprise when Mikel Arteta was drawn on the topic of January reinforcements during his post-match press conference.

Arsenal’s lack of squad depth, particularly in the middle of the park, was laid bare for all to see across the 90 minutes this evening.

Owing to the absences of all of Thomas Partey, Mohamed Elneny (AFCON), Granit Xhaka (Covid-19) and Ainsley Maitland-Niles (on loan with AS Roma), Arteta was left with little choice but to pair summer addition Sambi Lokonga with academy talent Charlie Patino against Forest.

In turn, amid widespread speculation that the transfer team at the Emirates are indeed eyeing midfield reinforcements, Arteta was pressed hard on the subject in the game’s aftermath.

And the Gunners boss went on to confirm his belief that ‘it’s clear we need to strengthen’:

‘I want to get the best out of the players that we have. I think it’s clear where we need to strengthen. But at the moment it’s what we have and with what we have we have to play.’

Coincidentally, on the same night that Arteta was not at all shy in confirming his side’s need for fresh blood in midfield, one rumoured Gunners target provided a timely reminder of his talents.

The player in question? Bruno Guimaraes.

Brazilian international Guimaraes, hotly tipped for a move to north London of late, featured from the off as Olympique Lyonnais managed to hold Paris Saint-Germain to a draw at the Groupama Stadium.

The 24-year-old played a central role in the hosts’ only goal of the night, too, setting fellow countryman Lucas Paqueta free to slot home inside ten minutes courtesy of a perfectly-weighted pass:

‘Improve the performance’

Last up when it comes to noteworthy takeaways from Arsenal’s FA Cup exit comes the latest on stopper Nuno Tavares.

Portuguese talent Tavares caught the headlines for all the wrong reasons at the City Ground, hooked after just half an hour amid a woeful individual display.

In turn, speaking post-match, manager Arteta was inevitably drawn on his decision to introduce Kieran Tierney at left-back so early in proceedings.

The Gunners headmaster was keen to play the situation down, though, assuring that:

‘I just did it to try to improve the performance of the team.’

When pressed on whether or not he was aware that the call may result in something of a media frenzy, Arteta continued:

‘I understand that but I have to make the decision to try to improve the performance of the team when it’s not going in any other direction.’

 

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Premier League table

# Team MP D P
1 Manchester City 21 40 53
2 Chelsea FC 21 29 43
3 Liverpool FC 20 34 42
4 Arsenal FC 20 8 35
5 West Ham United 20 10 34
6 Tottenham Hotspur 18 3 33
7 Manchester United 19 3 31
8 Wolverhampton Wanderers 19 0 28
9 Brighton & Hove Albion 19 0 27
10 Leicester City 18 -2 25
11 Crystal Palace 20 -1 23
12 Brentford FC 19 -3 23
13 Aston Villa 19 -5 22
14 Southampton FC 19 -9 21
15 Everton FC 18 -9 19
16 Leeds United 19 -16 19
17 Watford FC 18 -14 13
18 Burnley FC 17 -11 11
19 Newcastle United 19 -23 11
20 Norwich City 19 -34 10
Player Team Goals
Salah, Mohamed Liverpool FC 16
Jota, Diogo Liverpool FC 10
Vardy, Jamie Leicester City 9
Dennis, Emmanuel Watford FC 8
Antonio, Michail West Ham United 8
Ronaldo, Cristiano Manchester United 8
Son, Heung Min Tottenham Hotspur 8
Smith-Rowe, Emile Arsenal FC 8
Mane, Sadio Liverpool FC 8
Raphinha Leeds United 8
Mount, Mason Chelsea FC 7
Sterling, Raheem Manchester City 7
Maupay, Neal Brighton & Hove Albion 7
Silva, Bernardo Manchester City 7
Mahrez, Riyad Manchester City 6
Saka, Bukayo Arsenal FC 6
Gallagher, Conor Crystal Palace 6
Jorginho Chelsea FC 6
Wilson, Callum Newcastle United 6
Cornet, Maxwel Burnley FC 6



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