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Football Reporting


Arsenal’s new-found “beast” plays unlikely role as Mikel Arteta given decisions to make

Arsenal were fortunate to earn a draw against Fulham after Eddie Nketiah produced a 98th minute equaliser.

The Gunners had gone a goal down after Gabriel Magalhaes took down Mario Lemina inside the box, with Josh Maja converting the spot-kick.

Arsenal started the game with substitute goalkeeper Mat Ryan in goal after the Australian impressed during training.

Before the game, manager Mikel Arteta said of Ryan: “He trains like a beast, he’s been really positive around the place, he’s doing really well and he deserves a chance as well.”

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And his decision was justified as Ryan nodded down the ball for Dani Ceballos to drill at goal, with Alphonse Areola tipping the ball onto Nketiah’s feet.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta saw his side scramble to earn a draw against 18th placed Fulham
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta saw his side scramble to earn a draw against 18th placed Fulham

Arteta will now have to decide whether to give Ryan, who joined from Brighton during the January transfer window, more game time going forward.

The Australian goalkeeper put in a good stint in goal, and will likely want to push Bernd Leno for minutes from now on.

Arteta’s decisions don’t end there, however, with Nketiah also proving his worth to the side with his late goal.

Eddie Nketiah produced a late equaliser for Arsenal on Sunday
Eddie Nketiah produced a late equaliser for Arsenal on Sunday

The young Englishman has been linked with a move away from the club in the summer due to a lack of game time.

Arteta also promised Folarin Balogun some more first-team action after giving the youngster a new contract.

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Nketiah, however, will want to ensure he gets some more game time following his vital late equaliser.

And speaking after the game, Arteta explained that he wants to see the youngster competing for more minutes from now on.

“Well obviously every player needs minutes and Eddie has been fighting to get more minutes than what he was getting this season,” he said.

“It’s good that when he has the chance to show his ability and his quality that he’s done it.”

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