Arsene Wenger had our crucial Europa League trip to Milan in the back of his mind when he picked his team to face Brighton on Sunday.
Aaron Ramsey was rested completely and Hector Bellerin was named on the bench for our game on the south coast.
Danny Welbeck - likely to lead our attack at the San Siro - was also among the substitutes.
“Especially with Aaron rested, yes [I had the Milan game in mind],” Wenger told Arsenal.com. “I didn’t want to have a setback with him. Welbeck as well.
“Aubameyang will not be there [in Milan] and Lacazette is not there, so of course that plays a part in my selection decision.
“It’s a massive game in Milan, but we have to focus on it. Hopefully we’ll recover physically and will not suffer too much from Sunday’s game. After that, we will prepare well.”
As for Sunday’s game - our fourth straight loss in all competitions - the manager admits that the damage was done before we really got going.
“The damage was done in the first half because we struggled to find our legs,” he said. “We struggled with confidence. You could see that [there was] a combination of these two factors. After that, we still gave everything in the second half and unfortunately we couldn’t find the second goal.
“The decision-making is linked with confidence as well, so it’s very difficult to measure. It’s a combination of both.”
Copyright 2022 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source.