Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (L)
Tuesday Apr 02, 2019. 09:15
Arsenal manager Unai Emery has explained that Gabon striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang didn’t start their 2-0 win at Newcastle United because he was ill.
The Panthers forward, who has scored 17 Premier League goals this season, was surprisingly left on the bench for the start of the Gunners’ match at St James Park on Monday night.
He replaced Nigerian attacker Alex Iwobi with just under half an hour of regulation time remaining, and laid on an assist for good friend Alexandre Lacazette to score the second goal late in the game.
Yet the Gabonese almost didn’t feature in the match at all.
"Aubameyang has had a temperature for two days and was doubtful to play today," said Emery in the wake of a result which sent Arsenal up to third place on the log.
"But also, he is coming for us to start on the bench and after he was good and he felt good in his 30 minutes.
"[Aaron Ramsey came off but] it's only cramp. I don't think it's more and I hope he will be ready for Sunday at Everton.
"We started Friday with not good news with Xhaka, because he has a small injury and he could not play today.
"Koscielny was coming with us in the group, but with some pain, and he said to us he is not ready to play the match.
"But then, we had a good response from other players because we have players with good work who decided to play for us."
Aubameyang will hope to be fit and healthy for Arsenal's next match away to Everton on Sunday 7 April.