The Scotland international Kieran Tierney was pulled from our starting XI following the pre-match warm-up, to be replaced by Sead Kolasinac for Saturday’s 2-1 win over West Ham United.
Mikel Arteta was asked about our Tierney after the game. This is what he had to say:
on Kieran Tierney…
Kieran is fine. He had a little muscular discomfort in the last few days. He tried today and worked in the warm-up but he wasn’t feeling comfortable today.
on Kieran Tierney injury…
Well, we could not control it. We believed that he was going to be fit but during the warm-up, in the last 10 minutes, he said he wasn’t feeling OK. We had to make a decision. We were prepared just in case and Kola came on and had a good game.
Mikel Arteta was singing Eddie Nketiah’s praises on Saturday.
Our young forward came on with the score locked at 1-1 against West Ham United, but struck with just five minutes remaining to secure three valuable points at Emirates Stadium.
“That’s exactly what we are looking for,” our head coach told us. “He came on really well again, he’s a boy that is challenging everyone in training and he deserves chances. And I love the reaction from his team-mates, from Laca as well, the way he went to celebrate the goal with him, and that’s what they are here for.
“We faced a really difficult opponent. We knew that before the game, the way they play. I think we made it really difficult for ourselves in the first 15 minutes with the number of simple balls that we gave away. There is no structure in the world that can sustain that.
“Then after the goal we had much better periods when we were able to sustain and control them better. They cannot run, a transition moment with one minute to go in the first half.
“In the second half again we had 15, 20 minutes when we struggled, we gave simple balls away, we didn’t have the right organisation. We made some changes and after we improved in the last 20, we managed to score another beautiful goal, and then just man-managed the game for the last five or six minutes.”
Eddie Nketiah came off the bench to score a late winner as we made it two wins out of two to start the season.
Alexandre Lacazette had given us a first-half lead at the Emirates with a firm header from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s cross, before the visitors equalised just on half-time.
We rode our luck at times after that, but finally got the winner late on when substitute Nketiah was in the right place at the right time to tuck in Dani Ceballos’s cross after fine build-up play.
You can watch a short highlights clip of the game by clicking on the video above and find an extended clip plus the first and second halves in their entirety below.