Mikel Arteta rates Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kieran Tierney’s chances of facing Man Utd after missing Southampton win

Arsenal's Scottish defender Kieran Tierney (R) celebrates with Arsenal's Gabonese striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang after scoring their second goal during the English Premier League football match between Arsenal and Watford at the Emirates Stadium in London on July 26, 2020.
Aubameyang and Tierney were both missing (Picture: AFP via Getty)

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Kieran Tierney were two high-profile absentees from Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Southampton on Tuesday night and Mikel Arteta is unsure if they will return for their clash with Manchester United on Saturday.

Arteta was delighted to see his side fight back from a goal down against the Saints, with Nicolas Pepe, Bukayo Saka and Alexandre Lacazette all getting on the scoresheet.

Both Aubameyang and Tierney were missing in Arsenal’s FA Cup defeat to the same opposition on Saturday. The former was ruled out for personal reasons, while the latter is struggling with an injury.

And Arteta doesn’t know if he can call upon either this weekend, while he dedicated Arsenal’s win to Aubameyang.

Asked if Tierney would be available for the clash with United, Arteta replied: ‘I don’t know.

‘He wasn’t available against Southampton in the FA Cup, he was injured. He was still injured today and let’s see how he progresses for the game against United.’

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang of Arsenal during the Premier League match between Arsenal and Newcastle United at Emirates Stadium on January 18, 2021 in London, England. Sporting stadiums around England remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors.
Aubameyang missed the Southampton clash (Picture: Visionhaus)

Before the match, he had said he didn’t know if Aubameyang would be in contention for the United game, saying: ‘The issue is still going. It’s not resolved yet. He needs a little bit of time and we have to respect and support that.

In his post-match press conference, he added: ‘No [update] but I love how they support each other and protect each other. Auba is having a difficult time, we’re all behind him and this win is for him.’

On the game itself, he told BBC Sport: ‘They are a really dangerous team when they are in front. They are a team that presses and is good in transition but we did a lot of things right.

‘There were phases of play we completely dominated and we looked comfortable and scored some good goals because it is complicated to win here.

‘We were much better building up and did not put ourselves in trouble. We were cleaner and more effective and when we had to defend deeper we looked comfortable.

‘We conceded from a set-piece but I really like the character of the team. To go 1-0 down after what happened a few days ago, the reaction, the confidence, the way they played, it was positive.

‘They are a team that is good at building the game really well inside but we recognised the triggers to press.’

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