Coming off the bench in a Scottish cup semi-final and his first Old Firm Derby, Gedion Zelalem would’ve been excused had the occasion bugged him a little.
This was, undoubtedly, the biggest stage of his young career so far. His most notable Arsenal performance to date came against Galatasaray in the second half of a Champions League dead rubber, nothing like the platform he had to perform on this weekend.
Hampden Park was buzzing and Zelalem was introduced just before the end of normal time with the score level at 1-1. Extra-time came and the young American was well settled, always trying to make himself available, generally playing quite a withdrawn role. Without leaving the defence exposed, Zelalem looked to pick up the ball whenever possible and help his side move forward.
Legs were heavy and his calmness on the ball was crucial and, for his age, incredibly impressive. The occasion of an Old Firm Derby has surely overawed much more experienced players in the past.
After a good display in extra-time, Zelalem was called upon when the game went to penalties. He didn’t just score, he did so brilliantly before shushing the Celtic fans (6:42 in the video below). Nice job, Gedion!