Arsenal boss Arteta: ‘Martinelli absolutely stepped up’

Arsenal’s Gabriel Martinelli scores his side's first goal of the game during the Premier League matc

Arsenals Gabriel Martinelli scores his side's first goal of the game during the Premier League match at Stamford Bridge, London. Picture: Bradley Collyer/PA - Credit: PA Wire/PA Images

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta praised youngster Gabriel Martinell for ‘stepping up’ in the Gunners’ 2-2 draw with Chelsea at Stamford Bridge on Tuesday night.

With the away side down to 10-men and a goal behind after David Luiz's red card and Jorginho's penalty, Martinelli got Arsenal back into the game with a superb solo goal on 63 minutes, capping off a brilliant performance from the Brazilian in the absence of suspended top scorer Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

It also continues a superb debut campaign for the 18-year-old - having joined from Brazilian fourth division side Ituano last summer - who now has 10 goals in all competitions, becoming the first Arsenal teenager to score 10 goals in a single season since Nicolas Anelka in 1998/99.

Arteta lauded Martinelli after full-time at the Bridge, saying: "To play in this stadium the way he's done, and with 10 men, and to play against Azpilicueta - who's in my opinion one of the best defenders in the league - you need courage to do that.

"Then his energy. I wanted to take him off a few times because he looked knackered. He was cramping and the next minute he's sprinting 60 yards again.

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"He absolutely stepped up."

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