Gabriel Magalhaes won the Arsenal fan Man of the Match award for his performance against West Ham United, his second award so far.

LONDON, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 19: Gabriel of Arsenal tackles Michail Antonio of West Ham United during the Premier League match between Arsenal and West Ham United at Emirates Stadium on September 19, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Will Oliver - Pool/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND: Gabriel of Arsenal tackles Michail Antonio of West Ham United on September 19, 2020. (Photo by Will Oliver – Pool/Getty Images)

Gabriel won the official Man of the Match award for his debut performance against Fulham, though Willian won the fan vote on that occasion. This time around, the defender earned the fan’s support with 45% of the vote for MOTM against the Hammers.

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Supporters have quickly taken to the centre-back and his physical style. He certainly doesn’t shy away from individual duels off the ball, and he’s averaging 94% pass accuracy on it.

More important than any of that, Gabriel made some vital blocks against West Ham. When Bernd Leno fell on his head and spilt the ball to Antonio, the centre-back was on hand to stop the shot going into an open net. That was one of three shot blocks he made.

It wasn’t all perfect, though. Gabriel made one bizarre backwards header that almost led to a West Ham chance, and they put him under huge amounts of pressure throughout the match. Antonio certainly isn’t the kind of striker to let you rest.

It’s worth bearing in mind Gabriel is still just 22 years old. He’s going to make mistakes, particularly while he’s still learning how to communicate with his teammates. The early signs are certainly encouraging for the centre-back he can become, though.

For the record, Dani Ceballos won the official Man of the Match award against West Ham, following his late assist for Arsenal’s winner. Well done to both of them for their roles in the win.