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Arsenal defender William Saliba has been attributed with a very unwanted Premier League record.
The Frenchman has been an outstanding addition to Mikel Arteta’s side this season, stepping up after three consecutive loan spells away from the club. Unfortunately for the 21-year-old he struggled to combat the physicality and directness of Brentford during the Gunners’ 1-1 home draw.
He particularly could not contain the industriousness and aggression of Brentford strikers Ivan Toney and Bryan Mbeumo the whole afternoon. This was painfully reflected in the defender’s aerial duel statistics.
READ MORE: Mikel Arteta says Brentford goal vs Arsenal was offside based on 'what ref told us'
At a titanic 6ft 4ins, Saliba is normally dominant in the air. However, on this occasion, he failed to win any of his 10 aerial duels against Thomas Frank’s side.
Statistics from WhoScored claim this is the most aerial duels a player has contested without winning one in a Premier League match this season. He also lost 13 out of his 14 duels, failed to make a single tackle, and was also dispossessed at one point in the match.
Brentford’s equaliser also came as a result of the away side winning five consecutive headers in the penalty area, before Christian Norgaard cut the ball back for Toney to head into an empty net. However, despite the fact his side did not get the ball clear, Arteta’s frustrations gravitated towards the refereeing officials.
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“I just looked back and it is offside, yes,” he said, when asked for his views on the Brentford goal. “The action when you get blocked when you are offside. You cannot block if you are offside.
“I’m hoping the cameras and the visuals, maybe it looks like there were two actions. I don’t know. It’s too late, it’s fine, the goal was allowed and we dropped two points.”
Arsenal are still six points clear of Manchester City, but that gap will be shrunk down to three if Pep Guardiola’s side overcome Aston Villa at the Etihad Stadium.
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- Arsenal FC
- Premier League
- Mikel Arteta
- Pep Guardiola
- Sir Alex Ferguson
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