Arsenal suffered a harmful blow earlier than their Europa League semi-final in opposition to Villareal as Alexandre Lacazette limped off throughout the 1-1 draw with Fulham.
The Cottagers have been denied an important three factors by Eddie Nketiah’s late strike, however Mikel Arteta now has a possible disaster on his arms.
It was Lacazette who was so influential within the wins in opposition to Sheffield United and Slavia Prague throughout the week, thriving behind the younger inventive expertise behind him.
But shortly after Josh Maja’s emphatic penalty, the previous Lyon striker then made a burst into the penalty field and pulled up – showing to clutch his hamstring earlier than being changed by Eddie Nketiah.
Scott Parker’s males battled valiantly after an early barrage from the hosts, however couldn’t maintain on and conceded within the 97th minute of the sport to absolutely condemn them to the Championship.
The hole between themselves and Burnley now stands at six factors, with the Clarets taking up Manchester United later this night.
For Arsenal nevertheless, Arteta will probably be hoping membership captain Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will probably be accessible for video games in opposition to Everton after which the primary leg in opposition to Villareal.
The Gunners are ninth within the desk, only a level forward of Leeds and having performed a sport extra, and will probably be effectively conscious failure to safe the Europa League trophy would lead to a disaster of a season.
Gabriel Martinelli might have given Arsenal the lead inside 30 seconds, however his cheeky lob drifted previous Areola within the Fulham objective after good work from Alexandre Lacazette.
Emile Smith-Rowe began brightly for Mikel Arteta’s males on the precise hand aspect, along with his in the reduction of from the byline discovering Martinelli but once more – forcing Areola into a fantastic save down low to his left.
The Cottagers might have snatched a shock lead after simply 20 minutes when Bobby Decordova-Reid hit a long-range strike, which deflected into the trail of Josh Maja.
Nevertheless, the previous Sunderland striker didn’t get any energy on his strike and it drifted previous Mat Ryan’s objective.
Arsenal have been denied a gap objective in opposition to Fulham by the narrowest of margins after Bukayo Saka was dominated to be offside because of his TOE.
But Dani Ceballos thought he had given the house aspect the lead when he brilliantly looped a head over Alphonse Areola.
However the usual VAR verify deemed Saka to be offside simply moments earlier than the transfer, with the replays displaying the 19-year-old’s toe was in an offside place.
Issues obtained worse for Arsenal after the break when Gabriel was adjudged to have fouled Mario Lemina within the field, regardless of a prolonged VAR verify to find out if there was contact after which if Maja was actually onside.
Maja stepped up after it was awarded, to drive the ball previous Ryan within the Arsenal objective to go away the Brighton loanee with no likelihood in anyway because it smacked into the again of the online.
The Spaniard could have actually be left grimacing after watching captain and chief creator Lacazette pull up with an obvious hamstring harm, with Aubameyang additionally out with malaria.
It might have been worse had Nketiah not come off the bench to rescue some extent as he stabbed dwelling as a shot from Ceballos managed to trickle by way of the visiting defence.