‘We knew': Martin Odegaard says £45m Arsenal player was doing so much shooting practice in training before North London Derby
The Gunners kept themselves at the top of the Premier League table after a 3-1 win over their bitter rivals Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday.
Mikel Arteta’s side came out strong and dominated the opening half an hour of the game. And they were rewarded in the 20th minute after Thomas Partey scored with a brilliant long-range effort.
The £45 million man found himself with plenty of space on the edge of Spurs’ area and Odegaard has revealed that Arsenal practised all week for this exact situation.
Odegaard says Partey was doing shooting practice
Partey received the ball from Ben White after the Gunners were trying to break Spurs down.
The 29-year-old did not take a touch before hitting the ball and it flew past Hugo Lloris and into the top-corner.
And Odegaard says the Arsenal team knew that Partey would have plenty of space in these types of areas on Saturday.
“It was a great goal. We knew before the game he was going to be free in those areas and we practised that a lot, to find him in those areas, and he made a great shot,” Odegaard told Arsenal’s website.
“I think he played a great game as well so a lot of credit to him, and of course the team.”
It’s no surprise that Arteta’s side knew they would have a spare man in midfield during the game, given Antonio Conte’s preferred set-up.
Spurs have lined up with a two-man midfield of Rodrigo Bentancur and Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg throughout the start of the campaign. And due to Arsenal having three-men in midfield, Spurs were often outnumbered in the middle of the park.
Partey put in an excellent display on Saturday and provided a moment of magic in the north London derby.
It’s clear that Arteta was well aware of the fact that Arsenal would have a spare man in midfield and they exploited this excellently.
You may also like…
- Report: Club want to sell their ‘world-class’ player to the Premier League with Arsenal keen to sign him
- Mikel Arteta says Emile Smith Rowe has returned to Arsenal training
- Video: What Alexandre Lacazette did when he saw the Arsenal media team before today’s friendly
- ‘Never heard of him’: Conor Coady says Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka somehow doesn’t know one of the biggest celebs in the world