Gabriel Martinelli played a crucial role for Arsenal as he came off the bench to secure a late 1-0 victory over Manchester City at the Emirates Stadium. The Brazilian forward’s impact was immediate, injecting life into an otherwise flat Gunners’ attack during the first 45 minutes.
While Martinelli’s winning goal had an element of luck, as his shot deflected off Nathan Ake before beating Ederson, it was fitting that he made the difference for Mikel Arteta’s team upon his return to action.
Despite the victory, the match raised questions for Arteta, particularly regarding the goalkeeper situation. David Raya, Arsenal’s summer loan signing, looked uncomfortable from the start. His distribution was poor, and he nearly caused a blunder when Julian Alvarez blocked his kick. Although he improved in the second half, his command of the box was shaky throughout the game.
The struggles of Eddie Nketiah and Leandro Trossard in attack highlighted the absence of Bukayo Saka, whose energy and creativity were sorely missed. Arsenal seemed headed for a draw until Martinelli secured all three points with his late strike.
Here are the player ratings for Arsenal:
Goalkeeper & Defense:
- David Raya (4/10): Uncomfortable from the start, with poor distribution. Improved in the second half.
- Ben White (6/10): Gave away too much space at times but made good challenges.
- William Saliba (7/10): Solid at the back, preventing City from breaking through.
- Gabriel Magalhaes (7/10): Comfortable in possession, made crucial blocks.
- Oleksandr Zinchenko (6/10): Supported attacks and displayed good ball control.
- Martin Odegaard (6/10): Led Arsenal’s high-press and tried to create opportunities.
- Jorginho (5/10): Inefficient in midfield and replaced in the second half.
- Declan Rice (7/10): Shaky at the start but improved, making crucial clearances and fighting for the ball.
- Gabriel Jesus (6/10): Faced tight marking in the first half but found more space later.
- Eddie Nketiah (5/10): Missed an early chance and struggled to make an impact.
- Leandro Trossard (4/10): Had minimal involvement before being substituted at half-time.
Substitutes & Manager:
- Gabriel Martinelli (8/10): Injected energy and scored the decisive goal.
- Kai Havertz (7/10): Played a key role in setting up Martinelli’s late winner.
- Thomas Partey (6/10): Provided stability in midfield.
- Takehiro Tomiyasu (6/10): Supported Arsenal’s attack effectively and contributed to the goal.
- Mikel Arteta (7/10): Achieved his first Premier League victory over Guardiola and will be pleased with the result despite some early challenges.
Gabriel Martinelli’s return and impact were the highlights of the match, giving Arsenal a much-needed boost to secure the win.