Arsenal were beaten 4-1 by Manchester City in the EFL Cup quarter-final at the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners’ poor form continued in north London, with Pep Guardiola’s side outclassing the hosts.
It took the visitors no time at all to go ahead, Gabriel Jesus heading in after only a couple of minutes.
But Arsenal actually went in level at the break, after Gabriel Martinelli crossed for Alexandre Lacazette to equalise.
But City were gifted a second goal by Alex Runarsson, who let a Riyad Mahrez free-kick slip through his grasp.
Further goals from Phil Foden and Aymeric Laporte followed, and City are now into the last four of the competition they’ve won for the past three years.
It was yet another bitterly disappointing performance and result for Arsenal.
That said, Arsenal fans were able to find one miniscule positive despite the mauling – the return of Martinelli.
The £6 million Brazilian (Telegraph) was handed a start, and looked really sharp despite his lengthy injury lay-off.
He could only last half the game after he couldn’t shake off a heavy challenge from City goalkeeper Zack Steffen just before half-time, but his assist for Lacazette, and his relentless work-rate, gave Arsenal fans a shred of positivity.
On social media, some frustrated Arsenal fans were pleased about the youngster’s return at least:
The only players that have shown quality and hunger tonight is the hale end lads and Martinelli
— Martin (@Martin_H1988) December 22, 2020
Sincerely though, if Martinelli is out for an extended period then rest of the season is a write-off. He is our only hope 🥺
— Squid Boy (@TheSquidBoyLike) December 22, 2020
— matthew rainey (@starvinmelike) December 22, 2020
Martinelli only positive from this game. We move
— 𝙈𝙤𝙩𝙨𝙪𝙢𝙞 (@kani_o2) December 22, 2020
Martinelli is our only player tonight that’s put in a shift and that speaks words in itself. Gabrielle is top draw the rest can go
— cameron (@lovelockdowncam) December 22, 2020
— PerryK (@perrykissin) December 22, 2020
the first performance under Arteta where I categorically saw not a single positive to see. directionless esp once we lost Martinelli’s directness for the assist. We’re going to lose at Chelsea
— ryan (@ryanrochford1) December 22, 2020
Martinelli was arsenals only bright spark today, and he was injured before half time. Arteta then keeps him on for the second half and he goes off after 3 minutes of the second half
— Matt (@THFCMW) December 22, 2020