Arsenal legend David Seaman has heaped praise on Gabriel Magalhaes.

Mikel Arteta handed Gabriel Magalhaes his first Premier League start of the season when Arsenal took on Manchester United at the Emirates Stadium on Sunday.

The Brazilian defender went on to play a key role as the Gunners earned a 3-1 win. Alongside his centre-back partner, William Saliba, he kept Anthony Martial quiet, and deal with the threat of Manchester United debutant Rasmus Hojlund. 

However, Gabriel’s finest moment came in the 88th minute, when Manchester United substitute Alejandro Garnacho raced free of the Arsenal defence and slipped the ball past Aaron Ramsdale to score what looked sure to be the winning goal for the visitors.

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However, a VAR review found the young forward to have strayed very marginally offside. The reason that Garnacho was offside was because Gabriel had the presence of mind to halt his tracking run at the precise moment that the ball was played through to the Manchester United attacker.

It was a high-risk strategy from Gabriel, if he had miscalculated even the tiniest amount, the goal would have stood. Yet, the Arsenal man’s timing and positioning were perfect, and the goal was chalked off, setting the stage for the Gunners to go on and win the game late on themselves.

Arsenal FC v Manchester United - Premier League
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Seaman sings Gabriel’s praises

Speaking on the Seaman Says Podcast after the match, iconic former Arsenal goalkeeper David Seaman highlighted Gabriel’s game changing moment.

He said, “when he [Garnacho] went through, my first reaction was, ‘Oh, he could be offside’. I’ll tell you why, because Gabriel [Magalhaes] did amazingly holding his line. When you see a still of it, he’s almost like bending over to keep on the line to try and get him offside, he does brilliantly there.”

Arteta will know that his side owe a debt to the quick-thinking £50,000-a-week defender. This match ought to have also reinforced Gabriel’s importance in the starting XI. Having been left out for the first three matches of the season, the 25-year-old demonstrated with this performance why he deserves to be a fixture in the team once more.

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