Why Mikel Arteta dropped Aubameyang from his lineup against Tottenham

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta shocked the football world after leaving his talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang from his starting lineup ahead of the Tottenham Hotspur Premier League clash on Sunday.

Speaking to Sky Sports, Arteta revealed that a disciplinary issue from his star man led to the last-minute decision.

Aubameyang’s omission, however, did not kill Arsenal’s spirit as Alexandre Lacazette’s second-half penalty proved decisive as they beat Tottenham 2-1 to dent the top-four hopes of Spurs.

Failure to win this match would have meant Arsenal had not won any of the past six north London derbies, a new historic low in the clash.

But Arteta’s men were the better team by a distance, having more than twice as many shots (13) as Spurs (six) and playing the more fluid football.

Football – Premier League – Arsenal v Tottenham Hotspur – Emirates Stadium, London, Britain – March 14, 2021. Tottenham Hotspur’s Lucas Moura is fouled by Arsenal’s Gabriel Magalhaes and Thomas Partey. [Pool via REUTERS/Nick Potts]

The Gunners boss after the match insisted there were no hard feelings on his part towards Aubameyang.

“He is an incredible guy and one of the most important players in the team.

“He is our captain and these things happen. We have lots going on in our lives and people finding it hard with the restrictions.

“I will never tell anything that happens in the dressing room,” Arteta told Sky Sports.

Facts according to Opta:

1. Arsenal are unbeaten in their past 10 Premier League home games against Spurs while Mikel Arteta is the third consecutive Gunners boss to win his first home league meeting with Spurs, following Arsene Wenger and Unai Emery.

2. Alexandre Lacazette is the first Arsenal player to score in three consecutive home league games against Spurs since Emmanuel Adebayor in October 2008.

3. Since losing his first London derby at Emirates Stadium in the Premier League (2-1 v Chelsea in December 2019), Arteta is unbeaten in his past five such games, picking up four victories (D1).

4. Erik Lamela became just the fifth substitute in Premier League history to score and be sent off in the same game, after David Lee (1993), Bobby Zamora (2007), Ivan Klasnic (2010) and Hal Robson-Kanu (2017).

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates with Arsenal’s Cedric Soares as Tottenham Hotspur manager Jose Mourinho walks past after the match. [Pool via REUTERS/Nick Potts]


Arsenal (4-2-3-1): Leno; Cedric, David Luiz, Gabriel, Tierney; Partey, Xhaka; Saka, Odegaard, Smith Rowe; Lacazette.

Substitutes: Ryan, Bellerin, Holding, Chambers, Ceballos, Elneny, Willian, Aubameyang, Pepe.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1): Lloris; Doherty, Sanchez, Alderweireld, Reguilon; Ndombele, Hojbjerg; Bale, Lucas Moura, Son; Kane.

Substitutes: Hart, Aurier, Davies, Winks, Lamela, Dier, Sissoko, Alli, Vinicius.

Referee: Michael Oliver.

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