Mikel Arteta was ‘gutted’ for Gabriel Martinelli after the winger was injured in the warm-up before Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Newcastle in their FA Cup third-round tie on Saturday.
The 19-year-old, who has not long returned from a serious knee injury, turned his ankle and immediately fell to the floor in anguish before kick-off at the Emirates, and was said to have been
Arteta opted to take no chances on the Brazilian and he was replaced by Reiss Nelson in the starting XI.
Speaking after the match at the Emirates Stadium, the Spanish boss said: ‘I am gutted. I was in my office before the game and one of the medical staff came in and said he twisted his ankle. He was in tears and in a lot of pain.
‘We’re going to see how he is but he didn’t look good. He was in pain. He’s a character that he wants to play the next game, hopefully it’s not too serious.’
Martinelli was a big miss as Arsenal’s much-changed side struggled to break Newcastle down for long periods of the game.
The match ended goalless after 90 minutes with extra-time needed to separate the two sides.
But the Gunners finally got their breakthrough after Emile Smith Rowe’s impressive chest control and finish from Alexandre Lacazette’s flick-on in the second period of added time.
Not long later, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang made it 2-0 after converting from Kieran Tierney’s driven cross.
Despite a few scares, the holders booked their place in the fourth round of the competition.
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