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Mikel Arteta promises to ‘pass on’ Erling Haaland message to Arsenal pair after victory vs Man City

Mikel Arteta promises to ‘pass on’ Erling Haaland message to Arsenal pair after victory vs Man City

Mikel Arteta vowed to relay Martin Keown’s compliments regarding William Saliba and Gabriel Magalhaes, as Keown had praised the defenders for their impressive performance against Erling Haaland.

Despite Arsenal’s historical struggles against Manchester City, a late goal from Gabriel Martinelli revived their title hopes.

The standout feature of this victory was the resilient defensive performance of Arsenal, which effectively neutralized Pep Guardiola’s high-scoring Norwegian star.

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Keown, who provided analysis on Astro SuperSport’s coverage of the game, wasted no time in commending both Saliba and Gabriel for their roles in the team’s solid defensive display.

He ensured that he communicated these sentiments to manager Mikel Arteta during their post-match conversation.

He said: “I just want to say, by the way, the two central defenders – as an ex-central defender for Arsenal – they were immense today. Saliba and Gabriel, they ate Haaland!

“And it’s not often you can say that because he’s a wonderful player. But they were really, physically top class if you want to pass that on to them.”

“Please tell them [yourself],” Arteta replied. “When you see them around, please tell them! I will pass the message on.”

Another BBC pundit, Garth Crooks, showered additional accolades on the 22-year-old Saliba.

The former Tottenham player set aside any biases to include the Frenchman in his “Team of the Week” feature. In his column, he stated: “Once again the steadying influence of William Saliba in defence for the Gunners is proving invaluable. The atmosphere at Emirates Stadium was as tense as I have known it against Manchester City and yet Saliba was as cool as ice and appeared to handle Erling Haaland without any trouble at all.

“I rate Saliba as highly as I rated Sol Campbell. The France international has the same kind of presence in defence as the former England man and is just as quick.”

Saliba has been sidelined from consideration for France’s upcoming international fixtures due to a persistent toe injury. Jean-Clair Todibo has been called up as his replacement. However, Arteta will be optimistic that Saliba can recover fully and be fit to resume playing for Arsenal following the international break.

Mikel Arteta promises to ‘pass on’ Erling Haaland message to Arsenal pair after victory vs Man City

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