Gabriel Martinelli’s full Premier League debut offers hope for the future amid the uncertainty at Arsenal.
Nicolas Pepe scored Arsenal’s second goal. The hope is that he can kick on from there. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang provided the assist for that one and scored the third himself. As for Mesut Ozil, he set up both of those goals with driving runs from deep.
But for all the big names, the big signings and the even bigger salaries among this Arsenal team, it was the performance of teenager Gabriel Martinelli that stood out. He also showed a lot of the qualities that have been missing during the club’s dismal run of form.
Martinelli’s equaliser, on his full Premier League debut, turned the game around. Arsenal had been dreadful up until that point, weighed down by the pressure that has been building throughout a run of nine games without a win – the club’s worst in 42 years.
The 18-year-old Brazilian was the exception. It wasn’t just the finish, a measured strike into the corner of the net. It was already apparent in his previous appearances that he was capable of that – netting seven times in six starts for the Gunners in the cup competitions.