Gabriel Martinelli’s words to Mikel Arteta after Arsenal’s Europa League defeat to Olympiacos may have been private, but the young Brazilian’s on-field performance against Crystal Palace spoke volumes.
Martinelli, who had missed a crucial penalty against Olympiacos just a few days prior, showed no signs of letting the disappointment get to him as he put in an impressive display against Palace, including scoring the opening goal of the match.
Speaking after the game, Arsenal manager Arteta revealed that he had spoken to Martinelli after the Europa League penalty heartbreak, and was impressed with the youngster’s response.
“I had a conversation with him. He was really disappointed that he missed the penalty,” Arteta said.
“But I said to him, ‘Listen, you put yourself in a position where you took the responsibility, which is a big thing to do. And your reaction afterwards, to keep trying, keep going and keep scoring goals, is the most important thing.’
“He’s a player that is hungry, that is willing to learn and is willing to fight for every opportunity that he has.”
And fight he did against Palace, showing off his incredible work rate and determination, particularly in the second half when Arsenal were trying to hold onto their lead.
Martinelli’s goal in the 15th minute was a testament to his natural talent, as he picked up the ball on the left side of the box, cut inside onto his right foot, and drilled a low shot into the far corner of the net.
It was a moment of brilliance that sent a message to Arteta and his teammates that he was not going to let the Europa League defeat define him.
The win over Palace was a much-needed boost for Arsenal, who had struggled in the league in recent weeks.
And with Martinelli back in form and firing on all cylinders, Arteta will be hoping that the young Brazilian can help lead the team to more victories in the coming weeks and months.
As for Martinelli, his words to Arteta after the Europa League penalty heartbreak may have been simple, but they clearly had an impact on the young player.
“I just told him that I was sorry for the penalty miss, but that I would keep fighting and keep working hard,” Martinelli said.
“I want to help the team in any way I can, and I’m happy that I could do that today with a goal and a good performance.”
2023-03-19 22:52:12 ,
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