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Chelsea 2-2 Arsenal: Mikel Arteta considered taking striking sensation Gabriel Martinelli OFF before he scored stunning goal


Jan. 22, 2020

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta admitted he considered taking Gabriel Martinelli off ‘a few times’ before the teenage sensation struck a superb equaliser against Chelsea on Tuesday night.
The Gunners were up against it early on at Stamford Bridge following David Luiz’s red card, with Jorginho putting the hosts ahead from the resulting penalty.
And with Arteta’s men struggling to get a foothold back in the game, the Spaniard was weighing up the idea of withdrawing Martinelli before his moment of magic.
“I wanted to take him off a few times because he looked knackered, he was cramping and next minute he’s sprinting 60 yards again,” Arteta revealed.
Thankfully for the travelling contingency that change never came to fruition, with the 18-year-old drawing Arsenal level on 63 minutes with a fabulous solo goal.
Cesar Azpilicueta then looked to have given Frank Lampard’s men a much-needed three points late on, before stand-in skipper Hector Bellerin salvaged a point for the visitors with three minutes remaining.
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Arteta paid tribute to the Brazil starlet, who has scored 10 goals in 21 appearances this season, after he lead the line superbly in Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang’s absence.
He said after the game: “To play in this stadium the way he has, with 10 men and against [Cesar] Azpilicueta who in my opinion is one of the best defenders in the league – and he was going against him every single time, you need courage to do that. Then his energy.”
The Gunners return to Premier League action at Burnley on February 2, but first face a trip to struggling Bournemouth in the FA Cup fourth-round on Monday night.
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