Leandro Trossard was preferred to Martinelli Mikel Arteta since the latter was struggling with injuries and wasn’t fully fit.
Arsenal defeated Manchester City 1-0 at the Emirates Stadium, thanks to a deflected Gabriel Martinelli strike, Soccernet.ng reports.
Arsenal’s coach, Mikel Arteta, opted to play Leandro Trossard on the left flank, since Martinelli was not fully fit, but the Brazilian forward delivered the goods for the ex-Arsenal midfielder.
The Gunners were superb at both ends of the field, keeping Manchester City quiet in front of their goal, and threatening at the other end.
With Bukayo Saka out due to a muscle injury, Arteta played Gabriel Jesus on the right flank, with Eddie Nketiah playing up front, while Pep dealt with Rodri’s absence by introducing teenage Rico Lewis into his starting lineup.
Five minutes into the first half, Josko Gvardiol forced Declan Rice into a touchline clearance after a Phil Foden corner fed the Croatian who volleyed the ball towards Arsenal’s goal. Oleksandr Zinchenko and Erling Haaland both had chances to open the scoring but none really threatened the goal.
The halftime break saw Martinelli introduced as Trossard made his way off, and the Brazilian got into action immediately. Five minutes after, his cross found Jesus who could only volley his shot into Bernardo Silva at the near post.
The 22-year-old nearly found the back of the net a minute later, but Ederson stood strong. As the game progressed, the gunners increasingly put pressure on the Cityzens in search of all three points.
The match winner eventually came with five minutes to go. Thomas Partey came off the bench and his long ball found Takehiro Tomiyasu. The Japanese headed the ball calmly to Kai Havertz, who then placed a perfectly weighted ball into the path of Martinelli.
The winger wasted no time in attempting a curler, and found the back of the net as the ball deflected off Nathan Ake to send the fans at the Emirates wild.
The manager had kind words for the Brazilian after he helped his team to a massive win against last season’s treble winners.
“Martinelli made a huge effort to be in the game as nobody believed he would there. The medical staff were trembling but he was there and he was excellent. It sends a message to our team, to keep doing what we are doing and also stay humble,” Arteta said, in quotes revealed by Fabrizio Romano.
Arsenal’s win over Manchester City leaves them in second place in the league, level on points with arch-rivals, Tottenham Hotspur, with both sides remaining the only unbeaten side in the league this season.