Mikel Arteta’s plans to ‘regroup’ and go on to defeat Crystal Palace have taken a setback with Kieran Tierney out for the rest of the season, while Thomas Partey and Takehiro Tomiyasu are also out.
Arsenal’s assault on a top four hit a speed bump in their last outing as they were heavily beaten by Palace.
Things got further complicated as rivals for a Champions League spot Tottenham recorded a 5-1 win over Newcastle to move level on points with one more game played.
Defeat would have been hard to take anyway for Arteta against Gunners legend Patrick Vieira, but injuries made matters even worse.
Left-back Tierney will miss the rest of the season after the club’s medical team decided his knee injury would require surgery.
The Scottish defender picked up an injury in international duty and will likely miss his side’s World Cup qualifying play-off with Ukraine in June.
Partey is also likely to miss playing time after coming to rest with a thigh problem at Selhurst Park which allowed Wilfred Zaha to pass him, leading to the penalty which the Ivorian scored.
However, summer signing Takehiro Tomiyasu could soon offer a boost, with the club booking him for a comeback against Southampton on April 16.
Atletico accused of ‘parasitic football’ and labeled ‘Sunday League bad ‘uns’
Benfica v Liverpool LIVE: Reaction as Reds take control of Champions League draw
Ex-Man United assistant could return as ‘mini Pep’ No.2 Ten Hag
Sweden Women’s National Team Away Kit with “How to Stop Them” Guide
Celtic fan applied for Ibrox job on match day then hid in toilet to watch derby win
Palace should ‘do everything’ for Gallagher transfer but Eagles issued warning
The Japan international had shone since arriving from Bologna for £15.5million last year, but a calf injury has kept him out since February.
Tierney’s injury is likely to hit Arsenal the hardest, with replacement left-back Nuno Tavares once again attracting attention with an early replacement.
The 22-year-old Portuguese defender was retired against Nottingham Forest after just 35 minutes in January, and was only allowed ten minutes in the next ten matches.
Tavares returned home against Palace but only played in the first half before being taken off by Arteta, who later apologized to the defender.
He said: “Today was just a tactical reason to explain how I wanted to do it with what Palace were doing and how we could attack and control the game much better in that position.
“We wanted to put another attacking midfielder with Emile [Smith Rowe] in this space and that was the only reason. I’m sorry it’s Nuno again, but we had to.
Betting offer of the day
888sport: Get 6/1 Man City to win or 80/1 Atletico to win – CLAIM HERE
Deposit at least £/$/€10 using promo code 888ODDS • Bet up to £/$/€5 on your selection at normal regular market odds • If your selection wins, we’ll pay you the normal price and any additional winnings from the advertised enhanced prize will be paid out to you as free bets • Free bets are awarded within 72 hours and expire after 7 days • Free bet stakes are not included in returns • Deposit balance is available for withdraw anytime • Restrictions apply to withdrawals, payment methods and countries and full terms and conditions apply 18+ begambleaware.org