Mikel Arteta laments Xhaka injury blow for Arsenal
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Arsenal defender Gabriel Magalhaes lost a tooth after colliding with Brighton and Hove Albion pair Robert Sanchez and Lewis Dunk during Saturday’s match at the Amex Stadium. Gabriel went in for a duel with Dunk while Sanchez rushed out to deal with a ball in the box, with all three players crashing into each other at once.
The Arsenal man came off worse than his two Brighton counterparts, with one of his teeth missing as a result of the impact.
He quickly located the stray tooth before running over to the touchline and handing it to Arsenal coach Shad Forsythe.
Gabriel was undeterred by the collision and kept playing as Arsenal chased down a winning goal in East Sussex.
The incident did not mark the first occasion on which Gabriel has been robbed of a tooth while playing for Arsenal.
He found himself as a similar situation when Brighton travelled to the Emirates Stadium on the final day of last season.
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Gabriel was helped to look for his tooth by a number of Arsenal coaches, who scoured the entire pitch before eventually stumbling across the object in question.
Arsenal won by two goals to nil that day but failed to replicate their previous success against Brighton on Saturday, with the Seagulls holding Mikel Arteta’s side to a goalless draw.
Brighton dominated for large parts of the match but were unable to break through Arsenal’s defence, with Aaron Ramsdale earning his third clean sheet in the Premier League for the Gunners.
The result saw Arsenal’s three-game winning streak come to an abrupt end, but the north Londoners still remain unbeaten in their last five outings in all competitions.
They now occupy ninth place in the Premier League table, just four points adrift of fourth-placed Everton after three wins from their opening seven matches.
Arsenal icon Paul Merson recently suggested that Arteta’s side will have what it takes to secure Champions League qualification this season if they keep avoiding defeat and stay injury-free.
“If Arsenal keep those players fit and they play every week, they would have a chance of getting in the top four and cause problems,” Merson told Sky Sports last month.
“They have no Europe this season, so will have time to recover and work on the team.
“This is a good XI, but if they get injuries, they are going to struggle as there is not much after that. But from what I’ve seen the last few weeks, fair play to them.
“Mikel Arteta had a lot of injuries at the start of the season and what I liked about him was he went to Burnley with a very attacking team, under pressure, and he took a chance, got the ball down when they had it and played.
“And he absolutely produced in that game and they were brilliant when everyone thought they’d get bullied.”
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