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Mikel Arteta reacts to ‘impressive’ Gabriel Martinelli goal and hails Arsenal starlet’s mentality


Martinelli scored with just his second touch after coming on (Picture: Getty Images)

Mikel Arteta has hailed Gabriel Martinelli after his exquisite volley in Arsenal’s 2-0 win over Newcastle on Saturday, describing the winger’s goalscoring cameo as a ‘big moment’.

The Brazilian, who has struggled for opportunities since his return from a knee injury last season, made the most of his chance when he came on as a second-half substitute for Bukayo Saka at the Emirates.

Saka opened the scoring after 56 minutes when his low strike finished off a fine move from the Gunners, but the Arsenal academy graduate was forced off through injury not long later.

Arteta has been impressed with the winger’s mentality (Picture: Getty Images)

Just 93 seconds after coming off the bench, Martinelli watched a lofted pass from Takehiro Tomiyasu arrive over his head and he planted a side-footed volley past Martin Dubravka to put his side 2-0 up.

Speaking in his post-match press conference, Arteta praised both Saka and Martinelli for their fine finishes.

‘The finish and the combination from Bukayo and again the composure that he showed inside the box to place the ball in the right area – great,’ said Arteta.

‘And Gabi’s run has great movement and the delivery from Tomi as well.

‘The technique is so top, when the ball is flying over your head, to keep that ball down and have that quality to finish is impressive.’

Arteta went on to credit Martinelli for how he is pushing for a place in the side and conceded that the 20-year-old ‘deserves more’.

‘It is a big moment and I’m especially happy for him because how he behaves,’ added the Spaniard.

‘Some players are respectful when you make some decisions and some players are very respectful like he is – patient, but at the same time really pushy and challenging.

‘It makes every decision that you make even harder because he deserves more.

‘I’m really pleased because he really helped the team to get the points today.’


MORE : Arsenal suffer Bukayo Saka injury blow ahead of Man Utd clash


MORE : Martin Keown claims Arsene Wenger would be questioning Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta over Kieran Tierney omission

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