Palace clash showcases why Arsenal’s Tierney blow could prove so costly

Alarm bells are ringing at Arsenal as Crystal Palace clash shows why Kieran Tierney's hit could prove so costly

The first 45 minutes of Arsenal’s encounter with Crystal Palace on Monday night have highlighted precisely why Kieran Tierney’s injury could potentially derail the club’s campaign.

For those who didn’t know, prior to the start of the Gunners’ trip to Selhurst Park, it emerged that goalkeeper Tierney had been ruled out due to a knee problem.

Such confirmation by Arsenal was quickly followed by a series of alarming media updates, which even suggested that the Scotland international might not step on the pitch again this season.

This comes with Tierney potentially set to be forced under the knife in the coming weeks in a bid to solve his problem.

Tavares fighting

Due to the absence of his first-choice left-back, Mikel Arteta had no choice but to turn to inexperienced summer arrival Nuno Tavares on Monday night.

This comes with Cedric Soares able to replace the left when needed, having taken his place at right-back once again against Palace, amid Takehiro Tomiyasu’s inexplicable ongoing omission.

And, as mentioned above, all the first 45 minutes in South London have since shown is just how painfully Tierney’s absence looks like it will feel.

Substitute Tavares has endured nothing short of a nightmarish outing so far, struggling on both sides of the ball amid a tense atmosphere at Selhurst Park.

Firstly, in the direct run-up to Palace’s debut as hosts, the Portuguese almost seemed to dodge the ball at the far post, looking for a free kick rather than fulfilling his defensive duties.

This, in turn, allowed Joachim Andersen’s arrival to, albeit inadvertently, nod back through the goal, where Jean-Philippe Mateta was available to finish past Aaron Ramsdale:

However, Tavares’ problems did not end there.

After a wonderful long pass from the aforementioned Andersen saw Gabriel Magalhaes completely misread the flight of the ball, the visitors’ substitute full-back was unable to track the run of Jordan Ayew, who, in turn, made no mistake in selecting the corner. distant, and doubling Palace’s lead:

Is it an exaggeration to suggest that a prolonged absence from Tierney could derail Arsenal’s season? Maybe.

But one thing is for sure… Tavares, at present, is simply not at the level required to break into the club’s backline on a weekly basis.

Unless Mikel Arteta and company. managing to find a solution to his left-back problems, and quickly, and then carving out a place in the top 4 of the Premier League at the end of the campaign will be a very, very tall order.

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