HomeArsenal PlayersMikel Arteta lifts lid on Gabriel Martinelli conversation after Man City win 

Mikel Arteta lifts lid on Gabriel Martinelli conversation after Man City win 

Mikel Arteta lifts lid on Gabriel Martinelli conversation after Man City win 

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has disclosed how Gabriel Martinelli went against the advice of the club’s medical staff to get himself in shape and score the decisive goal in Sunday’s crucial 1-0 Premier League victory over Manchester City. 

Martinelli had been absent from five consecutive matches due to a hamstring injury he sustained against Everton last month and had not participated in training prior to Tuesday’s Champions League loss to Lens.

Additionally, Bukayo Saka had also suffered a hamstring injury at Stade Bollaert-Delelis, putting Arteta at risk of losing both of his preferred wingers for the match against the treble-winning team. However, Martinelli surprisingly received clearance to be on the substitutes’ bench.

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Initially, Leandro Trossard, Eddie Nketiah, and Gabriel Jesus were chosen as Arsenal’s attacking trio, but Trossard also suffered a hamstring problem in the first half. This prompted Martinelli to enter the game for the second half at the Emirates.

Despite his recent absence from play, the 22-year-old displayed the same level of energy on the left side. Then, with 86 minutes on the clock, his quick shot deflected off Nathan Ake’s face and found its way into the back of the net, securing the win.

Without A Rodri and Kevin De Bruyne, Manchester City struggled to create scoring opportunities throughout the match and failed to mount a late comeback against Martinelli’s fortunate goal. 

This goal secured Arsenal’s first Premier League victory over the champions since 2015 and ended their 12-game losing streak against Manchester City in the top flight.

During his post-game press conference, Arteta explained that the club’s medical staff had cautioned Martinelli that Sunday’s match might be too early for him to return, but the Brazilian’s enthusiastic and youthful mentality prevailed.

“He’s been saying for a few weeks that I was going to be there for City. Obviously, we were saying that Gabi it would be too early for you, and yesterday he said, boss I told you, I’m going to be ready for this,” Arteta said, as quoted by arsenal.com.

“And it happened after 30 minutes that Leo felt something in his hamstring. So, when I turned around, he was already ready, to go with his kit, and saying ‘boss, I’m ready to go’.

“He’s just got the joy of a kid, his mentality is incredible at his age, and it’s just a joy to have him because today he could change the game and he was really helpful for us to win.”

Before Martinelli’s dramatic late goal, Sunday’s featured match was relatively uneventful and lacked any significant talking points. However, Manchester City midfielder Mateo Kovacic was fortunate to remain on the field in the first half.

Kovacic received a yellow card for a mistimed challenge on Martin Odegaard, making contact with the Arsenal captain’s ankle with his studs. Despite this, VAR official John Brooks did not see a reason to upgrade the punishment.

Just a few minutes later, Kovacic was similarly late in a challenge on Declan Rice, but referee Michael Oliver immediately signaled that he would not be showing a second yellow card. This decision left Arsenal players and fans frustrated and confused.

Arteta was reluctant to discuss the incident in detail afterward, stating, “When I saw the action live, it looked like a significant challenge, but I haven’t seen the replay, and I just want to savor the victory. I’ve heard we will discuss it and understand that we need to address it, but fortunately, we managed to win the game.”

Thanks to this significant win, Arsenal has moved ahead of Manchester City into second place in the table, trailing leaders and arch-rivals Tottenham Hotspur on goal difference as they head into the international break. After the break, they will face Chelsea on October 21.

Mikel Arteta lifts lid on Gabriel Martinelli conversation after Man City win 

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