Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has confirmed that both Emile Smith Rowe and Takehiro Tomiyasu missed the Gunners' record-breaking 6-0 rout of West Ham United due to injury.
The visitors to the London Stadium were bidding to avoid suffering three successive defeats to a West Ham side whom they had already fallen short against twice this season, including a 2-0 Emirates loss in December.
However, David Moyes's side were a shadow of their former selves in the capital, where a merciless Arsenal crop recorded their largest-ever Premier League away win and biggest league victory on the road in their history.
Bukayo Saka's brace, Leandro Trossard's curler, Declan Rice's stunner and a pair of headers from Gabriel Magalhaes and William Saliba saw Arteta's troops demolish the Europa Conference League champions, in spite of a few unwelcome fitness woes rearing their ugly heads.
As well as long-term trio Fabio Vieira, Thomas Partey and Jurrien Timber, Arsenal were without all of Oleksandr Zinchenko, Gabriel Jesus, Smith Rowe and Tomiyasu - just back from the Asian Cup - for the London derby.
Zinchenko was known to be carrying a calf injury from last weekend's 3-1 win over Liverpool, where Jesus missed out entirely due to a new knee problem, which did not settle down in time for the trip to the London Stadium.
Smith Rowe's omission from the matchday squad raised fears of yet another concern for the injury-riddled Englishman, whom Arteta confirmed had suffered an ankle injury in training, telling Sky Sports News: "Emile turned his ankle in training so he's not fit to play."
Arteta did not delve deeper into the severity of Smith Rowe's injury, which represents another cruel setback in the 23-year-old's attempts to return to his best form for the Gunners after his breakthrough 2021-22 season.
Smith Rowe - whose 2022-23 campaign was hampered by a groin injury - has only made 14 first-team appearances for the Gunners in the current term, managing just 208 minutes over eight Premier League games.
Meanwhile, full-back Tomiyasu - another Gunner who has been plagued by physical concerns at the Emirates - had returned to North London earlier this week following Japan's exit from the Asian Cup last weekend.
The former Bologna man, who had hit a rich vein of form earlier in the season before picking up a calf injury and departing for Qatar, was tipped to come in for Zinchenko at the London Stadium, but it was Jakub Kiwior who would deputise in the Ukrainian's place.
Speaking to the press after the game, Arteta confirmed that Tomiyasu had returned from international duty with a "niggle", and the decision was taken not to risk him for the derby.
"He had a niggle when he came back from the national team, and it was not the moment to risk him after how many minutes he's played," the Spaniard told reporters.
Jorginho was also dropped from the first XI on Sunday afternoon - a surprising move at first after his man-of-the-match display against Liverpool - but Arteta also revealed that the Italian was carrying an issue from that beating of the Reds.
Arsenal remain two points behind Liverpool and are only adrift of Manchester City on goals scored in third place, although they have played a game more than the treble winners.No Data Analysis info