Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has shed light on the fitness status of Kieran Tierney after the Scotsman sustained an injury during the Gunners 1-0 win over Burnley away at Turf Moor.
With fierce rivals Tottenham Hotspur paying Arsenal a visit next Sunday, the shadow of the north London derby will loom large over everyone at the Emirates all week – but a certain degree of tension will be eased if Tierney and Emile Smith Rowe – who also came off carrying a knock, are deemed fit enough to feature.
Smith Rowe was hauled off on the hour mark in place of Albert Sambi Lokonga, while Tierney joined him on the bench 15 minutes later after picking up a suspected knock, the Scotsman limping out of action to be replaced by Nuno Tavares.
Much of Tierney’s Arsenal career has been blighted with injury since he swapped Glasgow for north London two years ago, but the left-back had enjoyed a solid start to the season in terms of fitness.
An injury at this point would be a significant set-back for not only Arsenal but Tierney himself, who was just starting to lay his fitness demons to rest.
After the game, Arteta told the media in his post-match presser: “He [Tierney] had a problem. I think he was cramping. The pitch was pretty difficult today it was quite long.”
Smith Rowe has been a rare bright light in an otherwise dismal start to the season for Arsenal and enjoyed another positive performance at Turf Moor.
Providing another dynamic to Arsenal’s midfield from match-winner Martin Odegaard, Smith Rowe was a constant thorn in the side of the hosts.
The three-points will be welcomed by the Arsenal players, staff and supporters alike as they look to slowly make their way into the top half f the table.
Arteta explained after the game how he was encouraged by what he saw from his players: “A really hard fought victory in a place that is really tough to come and win. They do really well what they do.
“We started really well, we had some big phases where we saw a lot of things I wanted as a team.
“They split the two blocks very much and then you have to defend crosses and long balls and we did that really well.
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“The commitment and the attitude that they showed throughout the game is the most pleasing thing for me.”
Martin Odegaard’s 30th minute free-kick proved to be enough to earn Arsenal their first away win of the season at the third attempt.
Arteta explained how his side were up for the “fight” that Burnley posed: “It builds confidence, trust and belief that you can go through difficult moments of games and still win.
“It was a hard-fought victory at a really tough place. You have to be ready for a fight here.”Internet Explorer Channel Network