Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger revealed midfielder Mohamed Elneny was taken off in the EFL Cup quarter-final defeat by Southampton because of sickness rather than injury.
The Egyptian was the only player to be retained in the starting line-up from Sunday’s win over Bournemouth, despite being ill prior to the game.
However, he lasted only 43 minutes before being replaced by Granit Xhaka, after Wenger spotted Elneny was still struggling.
Speaking at his post-match press conference, Wenger explained: “Mohamed was sick before the game and I could see after 10 minutes that he wasn’t right. He has no injury but he has a stomach problem”
Southampton were 2-0 up at the time and Arsenal were unable to mount a recovery in the second half.
And Wenger felt their slow start gave them a mountain to climb.
He admitted: “We didn’t have enough urgency in the first half. We were weak in some departments and we paid for that.
“We had a disappointing performance, especially in the first half. We were not good enough defensively and gave cheap goals away.
“In the second half it was better but it was one of these nights where we looked like we could play for two hours without scoring a goal.”
Southampton, who fully deserved their win at the Emirates Stadium, have been drawn to face Liverpool in the semi-finals over two legs.