Arsenal FC

Why Kieran Tierney missed Crystal Palace clash

Jude Summerfield
Jan 14, 2021, 10:28 PM GMT
Tierney was left out of Arsenal's squad on Thursday
Tierney was left out of Arsenal's squad on Thursday | Julian Finney/Getty Images
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Kieran Tierney was omitted from Arsenal's Premier League squad for the 0-0 draw with Crystal Palace on Thursday night as a precaution due to muscle tightness.

The Scotland international has been one of the Gunners' most impressive performers in recent weeks, playing a key role in their sudden upturn in form.

Tierney scored and assisted during the 4-0 win over West Brom earlier in January before assisting another in the 2-0 FA Cup victory against West Brom, but Arsenal revealed prior to their fixture with Palace that he would miss out due to muscle tightness.

Centre back Pablo Mari was also omitted as a precautionary measure due to tightness in his calf.

However, there was better news on Ghanian midfielder Thomas Partey. The former Atletico Madrid star was included in the matchday squad and came off the bench, having featured last for Arsenal in the 2-0 defeat to north London rivals Tottenham in early December.

With Tierney out, utility man Ainsley Maitland-Niles slotted in at left back, with David Luiz partnering Rob Holding - who recently signed a new contract with the club - in central defence.

While Arsenal started brightly, they failed to break down a resilient Palace defence, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette quiet alongside youth stars Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka, and had to settle for a point.

Thomas Partey made his comeback from injury off the bench
Thomas Partey made his comeback from injury off the bench | Julian Finney/Getty Images

The Eagles had their chances, with centre back James Tomkins sending a header onto the bar, while Christian Benteke forced a good save from Gunners stopper Bernd Leno. You can find the player ratings from Thursday's game here.

The stalemate means Arsenal remain 11th in the Premier League having played a game more than six of the seven teams directly above them - the anomaly being Aston Villa, who have had to postpone fixtures due to a Covid-19 outbreak in their ranks.

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