Arsenal didn’t have a lot of be positive about after last night’s performance. A 4-1 drubbing at home is never easy to take, but the fact that a few of the goals we conceded were easily avoidable makes it worse.
Mikel Arteta, predictably, was extremely disappointed with the result. However, he, like many Arsenal supporters, was delighted with Gabriel Martinelli’s return.
The Brazilian was brilliant. He was undoubtedly our best player on the pitch in the first half and his fantastic cross to Alexandre Lacazette in the 31st minute helped us level the game.
However, Martinelli was on the end of a rough tackle at the end of the half. He seemed to be in serious pain but held on until the break. Many felt that there was no way he could continue, but he came out for the second period to many people’s surprise.
Sadly, the young attacker only lasted a few minutes. He was forced off and fans found Arteta’s decision to not withdraw him at half time a bit strange. However, the Gunners boss has revealed that Martinelli declared himself fit at the break and that made him delay the substitution.
Arteta: Martinelli said he was completely fine
He told Football London: “He was pushing, saying that he was completely fine, that he wanted to carry on and he wanted to try. He had a scar that wasn’t open and he wanted to try so we gave him the possibility to try.
“And when he was on the pitch, he wasn’t comfortable so it was an easy decision to take him out. It was just a really bad kick on his shin and it was swelling up, and he was in pain and came off.”
Arsenal looked a lot more threatening when Martinelli was on the pitch. His absence in the second half took away the directness and that made things a lot easier for the visitors.
Arteta will be hoping that Martinelli will not be out for too long. Another long-term injury will be absolutely devastating for the youngster, but if Dr Rajpal Brar’s words are anything to go by, the little Brazilian should be fine.