Mikel Arteta praised the courage and workrate of Gabriel Martinelli after another tireless performance from the Brazilian against Chelsea on Tuesday night.
Gabriel Martinelli earned praise from Mikel Arteta after he scored the equalising goal for 10-man Arsenal at Stamford Bridge.
The young Brazilian took the actual goal confidently. After running the length of the pitch to even get in position to shoot, he showed composure beyond his years to slot the finish away.
More than that, though, his efforts throughout the night required a huge amount of physical exertion. He made 26 sprints throughout the match, more than twice the next-closest Arsenal player, and 12 more than the most from anyone in Chelsea colours.
Unsurprisingly, Arteta liked what he saw from the 18-year-old.
“To play in this stadium the way he has done with 10 men and against Azpilicueta, who in my opinion is one of the best defenders in the league,” Arteta said. “He was going against him every single time, you need courage to do that.
“Then his energy. I wanted to take him off a few times because he looked knackered, he was cramping and next minute he’s sprinting 60 yards again.”
Martinelli typified the Arsenal spirit on the day, never giving up even when it would’ve been much easier to fold and blame the sending off. Any coach is glad to have someone like that.
On a personal note, the goal was Martinelli’s 10th in Arsenal colours. To hit double figures in your first season in England as a teenager with months still to play is worth shouting about.