Arsenal icon Martin Keown heaped praise on fellow defender Gabriel Magalhaes after the Brazilian ‘changed the tie’ with his goal against Olympiacos yesterday.
The Gunners dominated the game and were deservedly in the lead. Martin Odegaard opened the scoring in the first half but a moment of madness from Bernd Leno and Dani Ceballos brought the hosts back on level terms.
Memories of the Burnley game were fresh and it looked like Arsenal would struggle again. Gabriel, however, had other ideas.
The former Lille man leapt above everyone and guided a brilliant header past Jose Sa. That gave us the lead again, and Keown was blown away by the Brazilian’s tie-changing goal.
He said on BT Sport during their coverage of the game: “Gabriel is a proper central defender. The power, the finish… this is a proper player.
“Olympiacos are sloppy defensively but it’s a hell of a leap from Gabriel. It’s a powerful header, he wants to take charge and makes things happen. That goal changed the tie.”
What a signing Gabriel has been
The Brazilian was our best player in his first three months at the club. Illness took him out of the side and he struggled a bit when he was introduced back.
He took his time to get back to the level he showed at the start and his performance against Olympiacos last night was arguably his best in an Arsenal shirt.
Gabriel’s goal followed by Mohamed Elneny’s wonder strike has put us in a very strong position. Hopefully, we can finish the job next week and extend our unbeaten run in the Europa League this season.