It was a scene many Arsenal fans hoped they wouldn’t witness: the dazzling young forward, Gabriel Martinelli, sinking to the Goodison Park turf after a powerful start against Everton.
A Bright Start Tainted
Martinelli began the Everton showdown with electric energy, effortlessly slipping past the Toffees’ backline to slot home in the 20th minute. It would have been a moment to savour, but VAR had other ideas; Eddie Nketiah was judged to be offside, ruling out the Brazilian’s effort.
But the jubilation of that would-be goal was short-lived. Merely minutes later, Martinelli’s afternoon was cut short. One could see his pain – not just the physical sting, but the agony of being forced out of a match he was so clearly influencing.
Leandro Trossard, who’d take his place from the bench, would eventually secure the game’s honours. But for many, Martinelli’s injury cast a shadow over the victory.
Arteta Gives the Lowdown
In his post-match debrief, the Gunners’ maestro, Arteta, shed light on Martinelli’s situation. The concern was evident in his voice. “He felt it after the action for the run on the goal, and normally he’s not one of the players to have muscular issues, but he had to come off, so let’s see,” he said. Tests are imminent; Arsenal will be hoping it’s a fleeting setback.
Yet, amid the anxieties surrounding his young star, Arteta took a moment to reflect on the monumental achievement of the day. “Six years without a win here is a long time,” he began, “we had to learn some lessons, we had to be better. I am delighted for the win but especially the way we won it.”
He didn’t shy away from applauding his side’s dominance, praising their commanding presence on the pitch and lamenting missed opportunities. But credit, he noted, must be given where it’s due. “Credit to Everton,” he conceded, “they defended the box extremely well.”
A New Dawn for the Gunners?
The victory at Goodison Park heralded more than just three points. It was symbolic, a statement of intent. With 13 points from a possible 15 in their Premier League campaign’s opening salvo, Arsenal’s resurgence under Arteta seems solidified.
But while the top-four spot might elate the Arsenal faithful, Martinelli’s injury stands as a potential hurdle. The coming days will surely hold bated breath and crossed fingers at the Emirates.