Ian Wright ‘confused’ by Mikel Arteta decision in Arsenal’s win vs Liverpool

Gabriel Martinelli scored Arsenal’s second in their 3-1 win over Liverpool (Arsenal FC via Getty)

Ian Wright admits he was ‘surprised and confused’ by Mikel Arteta’s decision to substitute Gabriel Martinelli in Arsenal’s 3-1 win over Liverpool on Sunday.

Arsenal are now two points behind Liverpool in the Premier League following their victory over their title rivals at the Emirates Stadium.

Bukayo Saka opened the scoring for Arsenal but Liverpool were level just before half time following Gabriel Magalhaes’ own goal. Martinelli restored Arsenal’s lead in the 67th minute after he capitalised on a mix-up between Alisson and Virgil van Dijk, while Leandro Trossard came off the bench to wrap up the victory for Arteta’s side in injury time.

Martinelli was replaced by Trossard just seven minutes after putting Arsenal back in front and Wright says he was ‘disappointed’ to see the Brazilian substituted, given the problems he was causing Liverpool’s defence.

‘I was very surprised and confused,’ Wright told Premier League Productions after Arsenal’s win.

‘But then Trossard scored so then I had to eat my words a bit. Humble pie is at the house waiting to go!’

Gabriel Martinelli pounced on a mix-up between Alisson and Virgil van Dijk to score (AP)

Wright was later speaking directly with Martinelli in a post-match interview when he asked the Arsenal forward: ‘I was very disappointed to see you go off, Gabi. Obviously we won the game in the end, how did you feel when you came off? You looked very disappointed.’

Martinelli replied: ‘You know how an attacking player feels when they go to the bench, and also I didn’t want to come off, it’s normal.

‘We always want to be on the pitch and help the team, even more in a game like that, I know you understand me.’

Leandro Trossard came off the bench to seal Arsneal’s 3-1 win over Liverpool (Arsenal FC via Getty)

During another post-match analysis segment, Wright added: ‘What we want from Martinelli is getting beyond. I didn’t think we were getting enough of that.

‘Like I said, I was very confused by the substitution simply because he was doing so well and he was the one who breaks them.

‘It was exactly what was needed, simply because you just felt that even with 10 men there will be a nervousness and you need that second goal. As the manager said, we have been creating chances but not taking them too many times but if we can take those chances we can be comfortable in the game and that’s what happened in the end.’

Former Liverpool striker Michael Owen, who was working as a pundit alongside Wright, added: ‘It’s not that Trossard came on, it was more, ‘why’s he taking Martinelli off?’. But Trossard is obviously a game-changer himself and he sealed the deal.’

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

Follow Metro Sport for the latest news on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *