Arsenal made it five straight Premier League wins on Sunday with an emphatic 3-0 victory over Fulham. Goals from Gabriel Magalhaes, Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard, all in the first-half, ensured the Gunners’ lead at the top of the table returned to five points.
The game was a successful one all round for the club with Gabriel Jesus making his long-awaited return to action for over three months. The Brazilian sustained medial ligament damage at the World Cup whilst playing for Brazil but came on in the 77th-minute at Craven Cottage.
The games come thick and fast for Mikel Arteta’s side, with Sporting CP visiting the Emirates Stadium on Thursday evening.
The striker is finally back. Having suffered medial ligament damage whilst playing for Brazil against Cameroon in the World Cup group stages, Jesus returned to the pitch yesterday.
It was expected that the Brazilian maybe wouldn’t return until next week or after the international break, but the 25-year-old clocked-up 15 minutes of action in a much-welcomed boost.
More time is needed for him to recover to full fitness, but the fact that he’s back on the field and part of Arteta’s squad is vital for the remainder of the season.
What Arteta has said: “Big boost. The first step today. We didn’t know if it was the right game today. He said to me a few days ago ‘I’m still missing something.’ Yesterday I looked in his eyes and he said ‘I’m ready’. I said ‘OK!’ So then we had the opportunity to throw him in. It’s that first step to give him the big boost. He looks free, he looks ready and straight away he generated those two big chances. It’s great to have him back.”
Eddie Nketiah had found himself on the bench for recent wins over Leicester and Everton following a slight drop in form. Arsenal boss Arteta then confirmed after his substitute appearance against the Toffees that the young striker had suffered with a slight injury concern.
Arsenal then decided not to bring the Hale End academy graduate to Lisbon. He was also not on the bench against Fulham.
What Arteta has said: “We are assessing him,” the Spaniard said in his pre-match press conference. “It’s a bit uncertain what will happen with him to be honest in the training sessions.
“Let’s see, let’s keep the options open. He’s very positive about it and hopefully he’ll be fine.”
Elneny started in the FA Cup win over Oxford United and played the whole 90 minutes. However, the Egyptian was absent for Arteta’s squad for the 2-0 win at Tottenham, with a knee issue picked up in training ahead of the clash being assessed. Additionally, there was no place on the bench to face Manchester United.
A club statement last month then confirmed that the former Basel man will be out for an extended period of time, although no timescale was given on his expected return. Elneny has since penned a new deal at Arsenal as he closes in on a return.