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Worries As Arsenal Lose FA Cup Match 2-0 To Liverpool, City Win 5-0

Mikel Arteta has said it “does not look realistic” for Arsenal to sign a striker in January as he admits his team’s goal-scoring woes have become a psychological problem.

Even more worrying for Arsenal and Arteta, Man City looks in prime shape heading into the second half of the season, with a 5-0 win over second-tier Huddersfield in the FA Cup notable for the return from injury of De Bruyne after nearly five months out.

The Gunners were knocked out of the FA Cup at the third-round stage on Sunday as Liverpool won 2-0 at Emirates Stadium courtesy of Jakub Kiwior’s 80th-minute own goal and a stoppage-time strike from Luis Díaz.

Arsenal have now scored just once from 63 shots since Christmas, increasing pressure on the club to move for a striker in the January transfer window with Brentford’s Ivan Toney their top target.

However, Brentford value Toney at around £80 million and are reluctant to sell mid-season, leaving Arteta to admit a move for a natural goal scorer this month is unlikely as things stand.

Arsenal have now won just one of their last seven games in all competitions including three defeats in a row after losses to West Ham United and Fulham.

When asked whether their wasted opportunities had become a mental issue, Arteta replied: “Probably it has. Especially after today, more than it was against Fulham or West Ham before that.

“That’s why I think we need to reset. This break is good. It comes in a good time. We’re going to as well feel how we feel and how I feel about them in difficult moments.

“Hopefully I can see that from other people too. When things are going well, they jump on the train. Now things are difficult, let’s see where they stand.”

Gabriel Jesus missed the game against Liverpool with a knee problem, but Arteta expects the Brazil striker to join his teammates for a mid-season training camp in Dubai ahead of their next outing against Crystal Palace on Jan. 20.

Jesus missed three months last season with a knee problem sustained at the World Cup finals in Qatar. Arteta said: “He had some pain in his knee. We have done a scan that shows something. Hopefully it’s not something big.

“It’s the same knee that he had [an injury in before], so we could not take any risks. Hopefully [it is] not [a big injury].”

De Bruyne hasn’t played since sustaining a hamstring injury at Burnley on the opening day of the Premier League season on Aug. 11. The Belgium playmaker came on as a 57th-minute substitute — when City was 2-0 ahead — and provided the cross that fellow replacement Jeremy Doku converted for the final goal in a one-sided match at Etihad Stadium.

City manager Pep Guardiola welcome back a midfielder he described as “exceptional” and ”unique.”

“Kevin helps us to win games and there are few like him in the world,” Guardiola said. “I’m pretty sure Kevin felt how our people are in love with him. This mutual respect will last forever.”

Phil Foden scored twice, Julian Alvarez added another and there was an own-goal for the defending champions, who saw defender Manuel Akanji go off injured in the first half.

Erling Haaland was still deemed not fit enough to feature for City, but should be back soon to complement the returning De Bruyne and Doku as Guardiola’s team go for an unlikely repeat of its treble of major trophies won last season.

City is third in the Premier League, five points behind first-place Liverpool with a game in hand, and is through to the round of 16 in the Champions League.

“I know he can handle the pressure,” Guardiola said of De Bruyne, “but I don’t want to put all the pressure on Kevin’s shoulders.”


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