Arsenal boss Arteta provides Martin Odegaard injury update after Villa win – ‘In pain’

Mikel Arteta has admitted Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard is “in pain” and “will be assessed” after coming off injured late on in the Gunners’ 2-1 win over Aston Villa on Wednesday night. The Norwegian was on the receiving end of a strong challenge from Villa midfielder John McGinn which Arteta labelled “harsh”.

Gabriel Martinelli then hit back immediately, volleying home Bukayo Saka’s cross to ensure Arsenal maintain their perfect start to the Premier League season with a fifth win from five. However, it was far from a perfect night as influential captain Odegaard hobbled off with just over 10 minutes remaining.

The midfielder was on the receiving end of a robust challenge from McGinn – one of a number of rough challenges Villa’s players seemed to commit across a fiery and hard-fought 90 minutes at the Emirates. Speaking after his side’s dogged 2-1 win over Villa, Arteta admitted Odegaard was “in pain” following the “harsh” challenge, casting doubts over whether the Arsenal skipper, who has already contributed three goals this season, will be fit enough for his side’s trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United at the weekend.

Despite Aston Villa’s aggressive and antagonistic game plan, Arsenal gave as good as they got while continuing to hold their nerve and play the slick, attacking football Arteta’s side are becoming accustomed to producing. In his post-match interview, the Gunners boss praised his side for their improved resilience this season.

“It could have been very different tonight, but obviously when the game turns in that way, you have to have the tools, the character, the resilience to respond to that,” Arteta said. “And I think the team did it.”

Arteta also admitted he felt his side’s display in the opening 45 minutes was “one of the best” they have produced while he piled praise on the Gunners “incredible reaction” to conceding against the run of play. He added: “I am really happy with the result. It is so tough to win in this league. I think in the first half we were probably one of the best we have played.

“We could have scored three, four, five. We didn’t kill the game and in this league, the game is alive. But I think the team reacted again incredibly well and I think we deserved to win the game.”




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