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Mikel Arteta speaks out on team selection and Eddie Nketiah after Fulham draw

Mikel Arteta

Arsenal rescued a 1-1 draw against Fulham on Sunday after Eddie Nketiah scored an equalizer deep into the stoppage time. Speaking after the game, Mikel Arteta was full of praise for the youngster and also commented on his team selection.

After having a goal disallowed courtesy of VAR, the North Londoners conceded a penalty. Fulham took the lead and tried their best to hold onto it by constantly having men behind the ball making it hard for the Gunners to penetrate the defence. However, the goal finally arrived deep into injury time when substitute Eddie Nketiah was able to poke the ball into the net to secure a solitary point.

One of the more noteworthy names on the team sheet was that of Mat Ryan, the goalkeeper on loan from Brighton and Hove Albion. The Australian started in place of Bernd Leno and this decision surprised many. When Arteta was asked about it, he told Arsenal’s official website:

“Some of the players hadn’t recovered from Thursday night and it was a big risk to play them. Some others because they needed the opportunity. It’s always a risk.”

And it was the keeper who got to the ball first from the corner that eventually led to the goal. Nketiah who came to on to replace the injured Alexandre Lacazette, got on to the end of a shot from Dani Ceballos. Speaking about the Englishman’s impact, the boss said:

“He always offers his best. Today he scored a goal, he had another two important chances and he’s always a threat in front of goal.”

The goal that Fulham scored was their only shot on target which indicates that they were content with sitting back and defending their lead. The hosts had a lot of chances but due to some lacklustre finishing they were unable to breach the visitors.

Arsenal have a few days to rest before their match against Everton next weekend. After having played plenty games in a short span, this will give the players some time to breathe. The Gunners will also be hoping that the injury to Lacazette is not a major one given his exceptional form over the past couple of weeks.

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