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‘He’s not scared’: BBC pundit seriously impressed by 21-year-old Arsenal player’s work-rate today
Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

‘He’s not scared’: BBC pundit seriously impressed by 21-year-old Arsenal player’s work-rate today

BBC pundit Steve Sidwell was left seriously impressed by Arsenal winger Gabriel Martinelli’s work-rate against Southampton today. 

The Gunners got off to a brilliant start to the game as Granit Xhaka put them ahead just after ten minutes. 

Ben White linked up with Bukayo Saka down the right-hand side before delivering a pinpoint cross. Xhaka smashed the ball home with his weaker foot and gave Mikel Arteta’s men the lead.

Martinelli was once again a real bright spark in the first-half. But it was the 21-year-old’s work-rate that impressed Sidwell. 

Photo by Jacques Feeney/Offside/Offside via Getty Images

Sidwell seriously impressed by Martinelli’s work-rate 

Speaking on BBC Radio 5 Live, Sidwell praised Martinelli for tracking back and helping his teammates defend. 

“Excellent tracking back from Martinelli,” he said. 

“He’s not scared of doing the hard yards at all.” 

Photo by Bryn Lennon/Getty Images

Martinelli works incredibly hard for Arteta’s men and contributes just as much defensively as he does going forward. 

The Brazilian nearly got himself on the scoresheet in the opening period after a mazy run. But his effort was blocked and went just wide of the post. 

The Gunners put in yet another impressive first-half performance today as they pinned Ralph Hasenhuttl’s men inside their own half.

They got off to a strong start in the second period too but were undone by a brilliant move from the Saints. Stuart Armstrong grabbed an equaliser in the 65th minute after finishing calmly past Aaron Ramsdale.

Martinelli was eventually substituted off for Eddie Nketiah after putting in a massive shift on the left-hand side.

Arsenal thought they’d found a winner when Martin Odegaard put the ball in the back of the net in the 78th minute. But the ball was judged to have gone out of play before it was crossed into the path of the Norweigan midfielder.

The Gunners had to settle for a point on the south coast in the end and will be disappointed to not pick up all three after dominating for most of the game.

Arteta’s men remain at the top of the Premier League though and will be hoping to bounce back against Nottingham Forest next Sunday.

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