Sunday, February 5, 2023

Arteta reveals Saka is ´fine´ and praises Vieira after win at Oxford

SoccerNews in English Premier League 9 Jan 2023

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Mikel Arteta allayed concerns over an injury sustained by Bukayo Saka and expects more decisive displays from Fabio Vieira after Arsenal beat Oxford United 3-0 in the FA Cup.

Saka was withdrawn in the second half of a victory at the Kassam Stadium on Monday that set up a fourth-round tie at Manchester City.

Arsenal face fierce rivals Tottenham in the Premier League on Sunday and the sight of Saka limping off was a concern for the leaders.

But Gunners manager Arteta revealed the England winger is “fine” ahead of the short trip to do battle with Spurs this weekend.

Arsenal outclassed League One side Oxford following a lacklustre first-half display, Mohamed Elneny opening the scoring before the in-form Eddie Nketiah helped himself to a clinical quickfire double.

Vieira came into the starting line-up as one of seven changes made by Arteta and whipped in a brilliant free-kick for Elneny to break the deadlock with a header, then set up Nketiah for the second goal.

The midfielder has endured a frustrating start to his Gunners career due to injury, but Arteta is in no doubt he will prove to be a shrewd signing.

Arteta told ITV Sport: “He has the quality. He is a really creative player, and he can decide games in the final third. He made a difference.”

Nketiah has scored four goals in as many games since the World Cup in the absence of the injured Gabriel Jesus, taking his tally for the season to seven.

Arteta said of the striker’s form: “It is what we want from every player. I am delighted. You have to be scoring goals, and he is doing it.”

He added: “We have only one [striker]. And to cope for that many months until Gabby’s back is not easy. We have to make the most out of the players we’ve got.”

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