What Declan Rice did after Eddie Nketiah miss during Arsenal North London Derby draw vs Spurs


Arsenal star Declan Rice could not hide his frustration during the 2-2 draw against Tottenham in the North London Derby at the Emirates Stadium. The Gunners were unable to beat their fierce rivals despite maintaining their unbeaten start to the Premier League season.

Bukayo Saka opened the scoring after his shot was deflected into the back of the Spurs' net via a Cristian Romero deflection. Son Heung-min equalised minutes before half-time to keep the score level heading into the second half.

Rice was withdrawn from the clash at half-time due to an injury - adding to Mikel Arteta's growing list of absentees. Gabriel Martinelli, Leandro Trossard, Thomas Partey and Jurrien Timber are all currently sidelined with injuries.

The England international was replaced by Jorginho - who played an unfortunate role in Spurs' second equaliser. Saka had put the Gunners ahead from the penalty spot before Son grabbed his second of the game.

Rice is understood to have returned to the substitute bench with tape around his calf, suggesting the £105million summer signing had sustained a muscle injury and could be faced with a period on the sidelines. However, when asked about Rice's substitution after the game, Arteta claimed it was due to a back injury.

The Arsenal boss said: "Yeah he had some discomfort in his back. He was telling us during the first half that he was uncomfortable and when we assessed him at half time, he could not continue, so we had to change him."

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When asked whether Rice could be sidelined for a significant period of time, the Spaniard replied: "Hopefully not [long-term]. It's strange that a player like him has to come off, so we'll see."

As Rice watched on from the substitutes bench, his frustration in the final 15 minutes of the game was clear for everyone to see. Arsenal were knocking on the door searching for a winning goal as they earned a succession of corner kicks.

The Gunners were unable to make their pressure count with Eddie Nketiah missing a golden chance to score the winner from one of the corner kicks late in the game. As the cameras panned to Arteta on the sideline, Rice was spotted slapping the seat next to him on the bench after Nketiah missed the chance - with the England international clearly annoyed that he could not make a difference in the second half.

Rice scored his first Arsenal goal from a well-worked corner kick against Manchester United. Nketiah's missed chance saw the ball fall to where the 24-year-old would have been positioned at the back post - and Rice may have felt he would've been in with a chance of scoring another dramatic winner if he hadn't sustained an injury.

It could also point to the fact that Arsenal are in need of a clinical striker to put chances away in the big moments. Brentford striker Ivan Toney continues to be linked with a move to the Emirates Stadium ahead of the January transfer window - and the self-proclaimed Arsenal fan could be available for just £60million.

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