Premier League: Mikel Arteta gives fitness update on Bukayo Saka

Saka and Gabriel Martinelli got on the scoresheet, as Arsenal registered a comfortable 2-0 victory over Newcastle United.

Bukayo Saka in training; Credit: [email protected]

Arsenal bounced back from the disappointment of last weekend’s 4-0 defeat at Liverpool, with a positive showing against Newcastle United on Saturday. Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli got on the scoresheet, as the Gunners registered a comfortable 2-0 victory over Newcastle in the Premier League. The home side manager Mikel Arteta had plenty to smile about after returning to winning ways at the Emirates Stadium. The only blip on an otherwise perfect outing was the injury concern to one of their goal scorers. Saka limped off after scoring the opening goal of the match. In his post-match press conference, Arteta gave an update on Saka’s fitness.

“Yeah, it was an action where he said he felt something and wasn’t comfortable to continue and we’ll have to assess him tomorrow and probably scan him and see if there’s any injury there,” he was quoted as saying by their club’s website. When stressed on the exact problem for Bukayo, he replied, “Yeah, he felt something muscular and let’s see what it is.”

The manager then praised his goalscorers – Saka and Martinelli – for taking their chances. “The finish and the combination from Bukayo and again the composure that he showed inside the box to place the ball in the right area, it was great. Gabi’s run had great movement and the delivery from Tomi as well. The technique is so tough when the ball is flying over your head to keep that ball down and have that quality to finish. It’s impressive,” he added.

Arteta: It was really important to win and bounce back

Arteta then spoke about the importance of a win on Saturday after losing their last match at Anfield. “It was really important to win and bounce back as you mentioned. It was a game that had different phases in the first half and we were able to change the game when we wanted, but without really threatening or hurting them enough. We lacked some urgency and some composure in the final third to deliver better balls,” he explained. 

“We didn’t hit the target enough with the attempts that we had and in the second half we had to maintain and not be impatient to lose any structure in our play because we were controlling them quite well, but we needed to threaten much more certain spaces and I think we did. We scored the two goals and after that the game was in our control.”

On his faith in youth, the manager stated, “If you trust them then you have to trust them and it gives them confidence even after in difficult moments. If not, it’s not real, trust me. They were given another chance and they’ve done it today because they showed during the week how hurting they were after that defeat and how willing they were to put it right today.”

Arteta was then asked about the top-four race. “We go game by game. After the defeat at Anfield, obviously you see things in a different perspective maybe, but we’ve been on a good run and we have to carry on going and let’s see where it takes us, but now let’s analyse this game and start to prepare the game against Man United as quick as possible because we don’t have many days,” he added.

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