Arsenal are in a mess ahead of Brighton as injuries, suspension and contract issues bite

Brighton and Hove Albion will have reason to feel encouraged after Arsenal's poor display at Manchester City.

Thursday, 18th June 2020, 9:21 am
Updated Thursday, 18th June 2020, 9:24 am

David Luiz had a calamitous outing at Manchester City on Wednesday after coming on as a first-half substitute after Pablo Mari was injured. Luiz was at fault for Raheem Sterling's opener.

The defender, who is out of contract at the end of this month, then hauled down Riyad Mahrez to give away a penalty and was sent off. He will be suspended for Arsenal's visit to Brighton.

Luiz admitted after the match that the "defeat was all his fault."

David Luiz is sent of for Arsenal at Manchester City

Kevin De Bruyne slotted home the 51st-minute spot-kick and substitute Phil Foden scored in stoppage-time on a night where goal celebrations were muted, with the players gathering for fist pumps but little else.

Arsenal midfielder Granit Xhaka also left on a stretcher after an early injury, while Pablo Mari pulled up midway through the first half as he also saw his return to action halted.

"They are getting assessed at the moment and we will know something more probably tomorrow morning," Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said.

"Pablo's one did not look really good, to be fair."

It was a disastrous first return to the Etihad Stadium for Arteta, who left his role as Guardiola's assistant in December to take the Arsenal hotseat.

Luiz's rustiness was key to the loss and the defender is out of contract at the end of June.

"I don't know what will happen with his contract," Arteta said.

"I know what happened today. I know the way David reacted because I know him well, not only as a player but a person as well.

"There was a reason why I didn't select him from the start and he had to play because Pablo got injured.

"He's always going to try and give you his best."

Arteta kept things short in his virtual post-match press conference and gave little away when asked about the absence of Mesut Ozil from the squad.

"It was a tactical reason," he said, before adding upon being pushed: "Because I need players in other positions as well, so that's why I decided to leave him out."

Sheffield United should have been celebrating a win at struggling Aston Villa in the opening game of Project Restart. Villa moved within one point of safety after a goalless draw where a technical fault denied the Blades an obvious goal.

Villa goalkeeper Orjan Nyland carried Oliver Norwood's first-half free kick over the line but referee Michael Oliver's watch failed to signal the goal and the game continued.

Hawk-Eye, which runs the technology, issued a statement apologising for the error, saying the fact goalkeeper Nyland, Keinan Davis and the post were in the way meant no camera saw the ball cross the line.

But Sheffield United boss Chris Wilder said: "I don't know whether to laugh or cry. Already the jokes have started, I've just seen Del Boy with a Hawk-Eye watch on."

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