BBC pundit issues verdict on Gabriel Martinelli after Arsenal win
Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

BBC pundit issues verdict on Gabriel Martinelli after Arsenal win

Martin Keown told Match of the Day 2 that Gabriel Martinelli was outstanding as Arsenal beat Crystal Palace on Sunday, claiming that no defender in the world could probably deal with him for the goal he scored in the emphatic victory.

The Gunners go into the international break with a huge win, beating the Eagles to go eight points clear at the top of the Premier League.

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And it was Martinelli who opened the scoring, brilliantly creating a yard of space on his left foot before unleashing a strike into the far corner.

Keown amazed by Martinelli after Arsenal win

Of course, that goal was particularly significant because of what happened a few days earlier. It was Martinelli who missed the only penalty during the Europa League tie with Sporting, knocking Mikel Arteta’s side out of the competition.

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Funnily enough, Martinelli’s goal went into the same corner that his penalty was destined for. And Keown believes that he deserves huge credit for the way he bounced back from that midweek disappointment.

“I thought he was outstanding today, especially in that first half. He missed an important penalty as they went out in the Europa League, but he didn’t let that show at all today,” he told Match of the Day 2.

“Real driving force, the way he started the match, he’s full of energy and he takes the game to his opponent.

“He is quick, he’s rapid, he plants himself on that left hand side to drive at defenders whenever he can. He is always probing, trying to make the difference, getting in behind and they just look for him at every opportunity.

“I thought today he played with the determination, he receives the ball and he defends for the team.

“He is always trying to affect the game. He gets back early, into position, this is something he didn’t really do when he first came over from Brazil to play here and he just goes from strength to strength.

“I don’t think there’s a defender on the planet who can deal with that [the goal] because of the pace.”

Gunners have the depth to go all the way

Martinelli’s record this season is remarkable. The 21-year-old has now scored 13 league goals in 28 games. That is an impressive record for a striker, let alone a wide forward.

Like Bukayo Saka, it is frightening to think that Martinelli is only 21. The £6 million star could get significantly better yet. And he is already one of the very best attacking players in the Premier League.

There is no telling how far Martinelli could go in his career, just like a few others within Arteta’s ranks.

Everyone talks about how good Manchester City’s squad is in terms of depth. But if Martinelli does not step up in a certain game, Saka is there. Or Leandro Trossard is there. Gabriel Jesus is coming back. Eddie Nketiah has made an impact. Granit Xhaka is scoring. And Martin Odegaard may well be the player of the year.

Arsenal are certainly now looking like a team ready to go all the way this season.

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