PREMIER LEAGUE

Onyeka benched as Brentford fall short of breaking 30-year record in 2-1 loss to Arsenal

Frank Onyeka has now sat out 3 matches since returning from AFCON 2021 despite playing in 21 of 22 before AFCON

Frank Onyeka was an unused substitute as Arsenal defeated Brentford 2-1 at Emirates Stadium (IMAGO/Sebastian Frej)

Nigerian midfielder Frank Onyeka was an unused substitute in Brentford's 2-1 loss to Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday.

Following their 2-0 shock victory over the Gunners in the season's curtain-raiser, Brentford lost the chance to become the first promoted side to complete the league double over Arsenal since Blackburn Rovers during the 1992/93 season.

Emile Smith Rowe (48') and Bukayo Saka (79') scored the goals for Mikel Arteta's side while Christian Noergaard (93') made it two goals in two league appearances against Arsenal with a late consolation goal for the Bees.

Onyeka seems to be paying the price for his time away with Nigeria at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) with the 24-year-old being an unused substitute in three of four Brentford matches since he returned from Cameroon.

Before he departed for AFCON 2021, Onyeka had featured in 21 of the 22 matches Brentford have played during the 2021/22 season.

The former Midtjylland midfielder will be hoping to reprise his role under Thomas Frank as Brentford aim to snap a seven-match winless run in the league with favourable matches against the relegation-threatened trio of Newcastle United, Norwich City, and Burnley next on the calendar.

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