Bukayo Saka injury update ahead of Man City clash as Mikel Arteta delivers 'big' VAR verdict


Mikel Arteta saw his Arsenal side return to Champions League action on Tuesday evening with a defeat to French side Lens. The Gunners took the lead after a quarter of an hour through Gabriel Jesus but in the following 20 minutes Arsenal were hit with a double blow.

First, Lens equalised through Adrien Thomasson with Bukayo Saka then having to be withdrawn because of a hamstring issue. Despite the setback, the Gunners reacted well to Lens levelling up the clash alongside losing Saka to injury.

Takehiro Tomiyasu had the best chance of the second half but his fierce drive from a corner was saved at point-blank range by Brice Samba. That miss then proved costly as Elye Wahi, who had been linked with a move to both Chelsea and Arsenal this past summer, put Lens ahead with an emphatic finish beyond David Raya.

The Gunners pushed to level, with Reiss Nelson going the closest late into the game, however no equaliser was found and thus the unbeaten start to the season ended.

Saka injury update

Mikel Arteta provided the latest on the potential injury to Bukayo Saka after Arsenal's Champions League clash with RC Lens. The Gunners went in front in the first half but saw their lead taken away with the French side turning the game on its head Thomasson and Wahi on target.

In between those goals, Saka was taken off with a hamstring injury for Fabio Vieira, with Arteta providing an early diagnosis before the Gunners face Manchester City this weekend. In his post-match press conference, he said: "He tried to backheel a ball in the first half and he felt something. It was something muscular. He wasn’t able to carry on and we had to take him off."

Zlatan on potential Arsenal move

Zlatan Ibrahimovic has revealed the reason why a move to Arsenal at the start of his career never happened. Since retiring at the end of last season, Ibrahimovic has kept under the radar… until now.

“On Thursday evening, the 42-year-old will be interviewed by Piers Morgan, with many items on the agenda. And in a clip released on Tuesday, Ibrahimovic has opened up about why he never played for Arsenal. Back in the 2000s, Ibrahimovic had caught the eye of Arsene Wenger with his performances at Swedish outfit Malmo.

However, the move never materialised and he eventually moved to the Netherlands to play for Ajax - where he scored 48 goals in 110 games. Speaking on Piers Morgan Uncensored, he said: "Wenger invited me but I didn't go to Arsenal. I don't do trials. No, no, you don't understand, I don't do trials. I am the best. F*** the rest."

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Arteta gives take on VAR

Mikel Arteta has admitted “the pressure is increasing” on VAR’s future following Tottenham Hotspur’s win over Liverpool. Spurs snatched a 96th-minute winner to crush Liverpool hearts at the weekend but most of the post-match fall-out has centred around the officials.

In the first half, the Reds were denied the chance to go 1-0 up when Luis Diaz was adjudged to have been offside. However, replays showed that the Columbian was clearly onside, forcing refereeing body PGMOL to publish an apology after the game. The Reds - who finished the game with nine men - are also set to appeal Curtis Jones’ first-half dismissal for a tackle on Yves Bissouma.

Arteta was asked for his views on the VAR drama ahead of Arsenal’s Champions League trip to RC Lens and accepted hostilities towards the technology are increasing. He said: "For sure, you know at the end you want to get what you deserve. You want to minimise errors that you cannot control away from the work and the job that you do on a daily basis.

"We had some big discussions (about VAR) before the start of the season and everyone had the right intentions to improve the game and find the best way to take it forward. But it's true that, with everything that already happened this season, not just in the Premier League but in other countries as well, the pressure is increasing.

“It's not easy for them. It's not easy for any club or any manager because that really affects part of the season or a result and that is a dangerous thing to do."

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