Emmanuel Petit delivers Gabriel Martinelli verdict during Arsenal’s win over Palace

Emmanuel Petit was full of praise for Gabriel Martinelli for his ‘perfect’ first touch that led to him opening the scoring during Arsenal’s win over managerless Crystal Palace on Sunday.

After sacking Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira in midweek, Palace, who were winless in 11 games going into the London derby, were fully aware that they had a job on their hands against the Premier League leaders and they could be on the end of a pasting.

Well, when Martinelli, 21, who missed his spot-kick as Mikel Arteta’s side were booted out of Europe by Sporting Lisbon in midweek, opened the scoring after 28 minutes, those in Palace colours were fearing the worst.

Photo by Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

It was a typically fast start by the Gunners, with Bukayo Saka feeding Martinelli for the opener, before adding his name to the scoresheet before half-time.

Once again, when returning from the break, Arsenal were all over relegation-threatened Palace, with Granit Xhaka showcasing his goalscoring instincts by adding his side’s third, before Saka added his second, in between Jeffery Schlupp’s consolation goal.

Highbury legend Petit was left impressed by what he saw from Martinelli and this is what he had to say about the Brazil star, as he told Premier League Productions (19/03/23 at 2:50 pm).

“It was a great finish from him (Martinelli),” said Petit. “It was good movement and passing – it’s a good cross from Saka, then what a great finish.

“The first touch is perfect because he puts the ball in his movement and then he only has to shoot afterwards, then the angle was perfect. Powerful at his feet.”

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images


Palace were there for the taking and Arsenal made sure that they dealt with them in a typical title-winning style.

If you want to be champions, then you can’t afford too many hiccups and you have to be ruthless, that’s exactly what Arteta’s men were against the Eagles.

Most importantly for Arsenal, their lead at the top of the Premier League table is now eight points to Manchester City, yes, they have played a game extra, but you would rather have the points on the board.

In other news, ‘Wouldn’t be surprised’: Merson says Tottenham could make offer to 43y/o

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