Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says that an injury to David Luiz spoiled an otherwise perfect afternoon as the Gunners won 2-0 at Newcastle in the Premier League.
Goals from Mohamed Elneny and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in either half allowed Arteta’s men to put a Europa League loss against Villarreal behind them and move back up to ninth in the Premier League standings.
However, David Luiz left the field injured early in the second half as he made his Premier League return after around six weeks out.
Arteta on Luiz injury
Asked if the Brazilian will play again this season, he said: “We don’t know. He felt something in his hamstring, so it’s not good news.
“He’s put such a shift to be back for the team for the last few weeks after the knee surgery and it’s a real shame.
“Apart from David’s injury, I think that’s all we wanted [this afternoon]. We wanted to keep the team fresh, the players with the right attitude to play this game and be able to focus just on today and I think we had a really strong performance.
“From the beginning, we dominated the game and we got the three points that we needed and it helped for Thursday as well.”
Arteta admitted that the performance from his players against Newcastle means he has positive selection headaches for the return match against Villarreal on Thursday, with his side trailing 2-1 on aggregate.
“Some of them had some strong performances,” he said of the eight fresh faces in his side. “They have been preparing really well all the time, they deserved their chance and I will think about it assuming everyone is fit on Thursday and make the right decision.”
Furthermore, Arteta was pleased to see Aubameyang back in the fold.
“We thought that he wasn’t going to manage that,” he said. “On Thursday and the days before he was really struggling, he could only manage to play 10 or 15 minutes, but the days after he started to feel better and it’s good to see that he was fine today.
"He performed well, he scored a goal, so it’s a real boost.”