Sky Sports pundit Paul Merson hailed Arsenal winger Gabriel Martinelli’s performance during the Gunners’ 1-0 away win against Leicester City on February 25.
Martinelli scored the solitary goal of the game at the start of the second half. Leandro Trossard found the back of the net in the 26th minute. However, the Belgian’s effort was ruled out as Ben White held onto Danny Ward’s arm in the build-up.
At half-time, Arsenal legend Merson claimed that Eddie Nketiah, who has been among the goals in recent times, should be brought on from the bench. He stated that manager Mikel Arteta should replace him with Martinelli.
He said (via The Boot Room):
“I think Arsenal have got to get Nketiah on at half-time, I would take Martinelli off and put Trossard out on the left. They are getting in the right positions but they need a centre-forward on the pitch.”
The Brazilian ace, however, proved his mettle soon after the restart. After some fine work from Trossard in the build-up, Martinelli slotted home a spectacular finish to open the scoring.
Merson loved what the winger did and compared him to Arsenal legend Thierry Henry. He said:
“What a finish, Martinelli runs onto it, brings himself around, Henry-style, and bends it into the far corner, it’s a great finish. But then he gets a stamp on the knee after that. Should be alright though Jeff. Great start to the second half.”
Martinelli’s effort had an uncanny similarity to that of Henry, who is the Gunners’ all-time top scorer with 228 goals.
The Brazilian, meanwhile, has been in great form this season. He has scored 10 goals and has provided three assists in 32 matches across competitions.
Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli reacted to the win against Leicester City
Gabriel Martinelli spoke with the media after the match against Leicester. He claimed that it was a tough test for Arsenal. However, they remained patient and managed to emerge victorious.
Martinelli said (via Arsenal’s official website):
“Yeah, it was a tough, tough game, but we did it, three points is the most important thing. I think in most of the games in the league we are doing this. I think we need to keep going and be patient when we get in the final third. We did it today, we got the goal and the win as well.”
“It was a good goal, a beautiful goal, it was a great ball from Leo and I just put it in the back of the net, it was a good goal.”
Arteta’s team will return to action on March 1 as they take on Everton in a Premier League home clash. The Toffees were the surprise winners when the two teams met at Goodison Park earlier in the season.