Arsenal suffer double blow with Xhaka and Mari off in first half

Arsenal suffer double injury blow as Granit Xhaka is taken off on a stretcher just eight minutes into Premier League return… before Pablo Mari joins his team-mate on the treatment table shortly after

  • Arsenal suffered a double injury blow in first half against Manchester City
  • Midfielder Granit Xhaka was stretchered off after just eight minutes 
  • Defender Pablo Mari soon followed his teammate to the treatment table 

Arsenal’s return to Premier League action against Manchester City has been hampered with injury after two players came off in the first half.

The Gunners double injury blow began when midfielder Granit Xhaka was stretchered off just eight minutes into the match at the Etihad Stadium.

Shortly after, Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was looking to his bench yet again after new boy Pablo Mari joined his teammate on the treatment table.

Arsenal suffered a double injury blow after Granit Xhaka came off against Manchester City

The midfielder was stretchered off after just eight minutes at the Etihad Stadium

Fortunately for Arteta, teams are allowed up to five substitutions during matches as a new regulation added by the Premier League.

Dani Ceballos and David Luiz came on for their positional counterparts and it was the latter who looked off the pace as he replaced centre-back Mari. 

Luiz failed to deal with a through ball from City’s Kevin de Bruyne and Raheem Sterling pounced on the Brazilian’s mistake to give the hosts a one-goal lead. 

Shortly after, defender Pablo Mari joined Xhaka on the treatment table as Arsenal made subs

The error led to the first goal in the Premier League since Project Restart – after the coronavirus pandemic enforced a 100-day hiatus from any football. 

Mesut Ozil was left out of the Arsenal squad, despite having a larger bench than usual, as Arteta snubbed the £350,000-per-week midfielder.

The German’s future at the club has been thrown into doubt for some time, as his status as a key player has declined over recent seasons. 

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