Mikel Arteta refuses to blame mounting Arsenal injury problems for loss to Manchester United

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Mikel Arteta refuses to blame mounting Arsenal injury problems for loss to Manchester United

Mikel Arteta refused to use injuries as an excuse for Arsenal’s first loss of the season.

Confidence was high heading into Sunday’s trip to Manchester United with Arteta’s side sitting top of the Premier League having won each of their first five games of the season.

Still, while perhaps the scoreline does not tell the whole story, the Gunners were beaten at Old Trafford once more, with a debut goal from Antony and a Marcus Rashford brace ending their perfect record in a 3-1 defeat.

After a fantastic start to the campaign, one spearheaded by summer signings Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko as well as the returning William Saliba, the injury worries have since started to mount.

Thomas Partey and Mohamed Elneny are unavailable, weakening Arteta’s options in midfield. Replacement Albert Sambi Lokonga struggled at times at Old Trafford and the misery was compounded when Emile Smith Rowe appeared to pull up during Arsenal’s warm down.

Standard Sport understands the 22-year-old will be assessed by the club’s medical staff over the next few days to discover the full extent of any problem.

Still, despite the growing fitness in concerns in his squad, Arteta refused to blame the reversal on key absences and vowed his tactical plan remained the same.

“I’m not going to put any excuses because these are the players that we have, and for me they’re the best players,” he said.

“We try to do that and give them confidence and belief, and with those players we play here the way that we played, so that’s it and that’s not going to change.”