Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admitted that left-back Kieran Tierney's absence was felt by his side in their goalless draw with Crystal Palace at th
Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admitted that left-back Kieran Tierney’s absence was felt by his side in their goalless draw with Crystal Palace at the Emirates on Thursday night. The Scottish left-back was absent with muscle tightness.
And Arsenal missed his attacking enterprise down the left-hand side as they languished to a dull draw on home soil.
Afterwards, Arteta said: “”Kieran Tierney is a real threat and the way we are playing and the way we attack on the left side is really important but he is injured and we have to find a solution.
“I don’t know [when he will be back], it depends how he evolves. He’s going to have an MRI scan tomorrow and we’ll see how he is.”
The Gunners saw their winning streak halted by Palace and the hosts managed just four shots on target all match despite having nearly 70 per cent possession.
They lacked an attacking spark throughout and failed to create many clear opportunities with their best chance coming from Alexandre Lacazette, who could only the find the side-netting after spinning to shoot.
Bernd Leno had to deny Christian Benteke before half-time while James Tomkins headed against the crossbar as Palace threatened.
But neither side could manage a breakthrough on a thoroughly forgettable evening which sees Arsenal languishing in 11th, eight points off fourth-placed Leicester and fifth-placed Everton – both on 32 points – having played one match more.
The only real positives of note for Arsenal was summer signing Thomas Partey’s return from injury after coming off the bench in the second half and this being their first home clean sheet in 12 games.
Arteta told Sky Sports: “Some freshness and quality in the final third was missing. We generated a lot of entries into the final third without any real big, big chances.
“We had to generate more to be able to win that game. I wanted to see a win today and to score a few goals but it didn’t happen. There were moments when fatigued played a big role.
“We gave the ball away, but I cannot fault the spirit, the fight that they put in. It wasn’t enough today.
“Roy Hodgson has done that all through his career very successfully, that is how they beat a lot of big teams in recent years.
“We had the plan, we knew what we had to do but the execution wasn’t enough.”
Arsenal right-back Hector Bellerin added: “They did defend really well with loads of players and we tried to break down the low block.
“I feel that little spark, a little bit of creativity or a shot or a chance you can get sometimes was missing today. You can’t fault the team for the effort, we tried really hard, defensively, offensively.
“Today we didn’t have that little bit of luck that we needed, and obviously credit to them, they did really well as well.
“They knew what they were coming here for, they’re a team that on the counter-attack can be really, really dangerous. They played their game and they’ve come away with a point.
“I think when you play against teams that defend with so many players, sometimes the spaces are really small.
“It’s hard to play balls in behind because there’s not much space and as I say, sometimes it just takes one moment in the game to just open the score then once it gets 1-0 the spaces come up because the other team is trying to score a goal.
“We didn’t score the chances we had in the first half so then we knew we had to suffer to break them down and it wasn’t our day to do that today.”
The Spanish defender also admitted his fellow full-back Tierney was missed on the opposite flank.
“Yeah I think so,” Bellerin said when asked if Tierney’s absence was felt. “We do miss every single player when they’re not on the pitch.
“We also have great players coming back and I think Ainsley did a great job again, filling in, such a versatile player.
“But it’s also true that Kieran was enjoying a great run of form and we did miss him, probably, on the left side.
“But we have many talented players in many areas that can come in and we’re not a team that boil down to just one player.
“We need to find ways to be creative, to break down other teams, whatever challenge they give us, and we need to keep improving on that.”