Arsenal’s loss to Brentford was hours from cancellation after three fell ill
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Arsenal’s disappointing 2-0 loss to Brentford in their Premier League opener last Friday was reportedly only hours away from being postponed.
Two of the Gunners’ starting players, Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, along with back-up goalkeeper Alex Runarsson were unavailable for the trip after saying they felt unwell.
The side’s entire travelling party then had to take Covid tests prior to kick-off to ensure the match could go ahead after concerns over their visit to the Brentford Community Stadium.
And the Daily Mail reports the full capacity crowd could have been sent home having not witnessed a historic Brentford display.
The match was the opening fixture of the league campaign and its postponement would have sent a reminder of the hurdles clubs and the Premier League face with Covid.
Premier League chiefs are believed to currently be extremely vigilant of the virus’ risks with reports last month claiming a set of new ‘emergency measures’ were being introduced for clubs to follow.
Arsenal suffered from the absences on the night as they lacked a clinical edge when opportunities fell to players in the box.
But Mikel Arteta’s players still looked suspect all evening defensively and made it easy for Brentford’s attackers with unforced errors and calamitous positioning.
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It is yet to be confirmed whether the duo will be available as the Gunners welcome rivals Chelsea at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.
With Arteta’s side visiting Manchester City the following week, the manager will be hoping to have his star strikers available for selection in order to alleviate some of the scrutiny he has faced recently.
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- Arsenal FC
- Brentford FC
- Premier League
- Mikel Arteta
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