Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has four questions after Brighton cup loss

Arsenal v Brighton: Carabao Cup pictures

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Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta has been left with a number of questions he needs to answer following the 3-1 Carabao Cup defeat to Brighton. The Seagulls came out on top at the Emirates on Wednesday in the third round of the competition.

After a slow start, Arsenal took the lead in north London. A fine run from Reiss Nelson saw Eddie Nketiah fed through on goal.

The striker still had plenty to do but curled beautifully past Brighton keeper Jason Steele. The visitors were quickly level from the penalty spot, with debutant Arsenal keeper Karl Hein having a moment to forget.

Hein slipped and then took down Danny Welbeck, with the former Gunner scoring against his old team. Arsenal started the second half strongly but it was Brighton who took the lead, with substitute Kaoru Mitoma scoring a fine goal.

Arsenal were unable to fight back and Tariq Lamptey sealed the win with Brighton’s third. Express Sport looks at four questions for Arteta after the first domestic cup game of the season.

Saka rested?

Bukayo Saka was the only fit first-team outfielder left out of the Arsenal squad. Arteta promised he would select a strong team but there was no sign of the England star.

Saka was in training on Tuesday, so the likelihood is that he was just rested. But Arsenal and England fans will want confirmation of that as soon as possible.

Nelson deserves chance?

Nelson’s run and assist for Nketiah’s goal was a glimpse into what he can bring to this Arsenal side. The 22-year-old has been brimming with confidence since his brace off the bench in the win over Nottingham Forest last month.

Nelson hasn’t started a Premier League match since July 2020 and with Gabriel Martinelli and Bukayo Saka ahead of him in the pecking order, he has a tough test to break into the team. But perhaps Arteta now has a viable replacement if needed and the Spaniard must work out how to use the academy graduate more.

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Summer signings struggling?

Fabio Vieira and Marquinhos were both given a chance from the start this evening. But Vieira in particular was well below the standards you’d expect from a £34million signing.

Marquinhos probably needs a loan in January and you can see why Arteta was reluctant to use him in the latter matches of the Europa League group stage. But Vieira had an evening to forget and it is down to Arteta to work out how to get the best out of the Portuguese ace.

Nketiah pushing?

Like Gabriel Jesus, Nketiah has had a barren run in front of goal. He had gone eight matches without netting before his first-half effort.

The striker has been forced out wide in recent appearances due to Jesus featuring more in Europe than expected. But Nketiah looked much more comfortable through the middle and easily could have grabbed himself a hat-trick.

Arteta perhaps may be better off using Jesus out wide when the pair are on the pitch at the same time.

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