Arsenal 1-0 Manchester City: Gabriel Martinelli scores dramatic late winner

Gabriel Martinelli's late strike deflected in off Nathan Ake

Gabriel Martinelli scored a dramatic late winner as Arsenal earned a statement victory over defending Premier League champions Manchester City at Emirates Stadium.

A largely disappointing game was given a stunning finale four minutes from time just as both sides looked certain to have to settle for a point.

Making his return from a hamstring injury as a substitute, Martinelli’s strike deflected in off Nathan Ake to earn Arsenal a first league win over City since December 2015.

It was a moment that sparked wild celebrations and put the Gunners level on points with north London rivals Tottenham at the top of the table.

The biggest talking point until the goal was how City’s Mateo Kovacic somehow stayed on the pitch after late tackles on both Martin Odegaard and Declan Rice.

City had the better early opportunities when Rice cleared off the line from Josko Gvardiol before Ake scooped a shot over the bar from close range.

Arsenal keeper David Raya, who had an uncertain time, was twice almost caught in possession on his line by Julian Alvarez.

But it was the home side who were elated as Martinelli, introduced off the bench for the second half, made that vital contribution.

Arsenal show their mettle

Arsenal seemed gripped with nerves early on against a City team who have maintained such a stranglehold on them in the Premier League in recent years.

Raya was hesitant, especially with the ball at his feet, and even the Arsenal fans who have been so supportive of Mikel Arteta’s side were showing signs of impatience.

The introduction of Martinelli for Leandro Trossard after the break made a huge difference as the Brazilian ran at the City defence and finally posed problems – even though visiting keeper Ederson was initially largely untroubled.

Arsenal were organised and resilient in defence, keeping Erling Haaland at bay, and all their hard work was rewarded with the winner, albeit with it coming through that crucial deflection off Ake.

City and Pep Guardiola have cast a shadow over Arsenal in recent years, not least when they hauled them in at the critical point of last season’s title race, but this victory will surely give the Gunners huge self-belief.

City come up short

City previously had to go back to December 2018 to recall the taste of successive Premier League defeats, when they lost at home to Crystal Palace and away to Leicester City.

They dropped only three further points all season after that double jolt. Now they must recover again after losing in the league at Wolves and here at Arsenal, where they were way short of their best.

City, as usual, had plenty of possession, but they lacked their normal thrust and sharpness, with striker Haaland reduced to the role of a virtual spectator.

There was indiscipline, too, from Kovacic, who was fortunate to only be shown a yellow card for a poor challenge on Odegaard yet still followed it up almost immediately with another on Rice.

The indiscipline spilled over at the final whistle too as a clutch of City players including Haaland and Kyle Walker were involved in a heated exchange with a number of Arsenal’s backroom staff.

Guardiola’s side will be bitterly disappointed with these past two league results – but history shows City have the quality and character to return to their best swiftly.

Player of the match

Gabriel MartinelliGabriel Martinelli

with an average of 8.57

Arsenal

  1. Squad number11Player nameGabriel Martinelli
    Average rating

    8.57

  2. Squad number41Player nameRice
    Average rating

    7.96

  3. Squad number2Player nameSaliba
    Average rating

    7.87

  4. Squad number6Player nameGabriel Magalhães
    Average rating

    7.71

  5. Squad number9Player nameGabriel Jesus
    Average rating

    7.54

  6. Squad number8Player nameØdegaard
    Average rating

    7.53

  7. Squad number29Player nameHavertz
    Average rating

    7.49

  8. Squad number18Player nameTomiyasu
    Average rating

    7.49

  9. Squad number4Player nameWhite
    Average rating

    7.38

  10. Squad number5Player namePartey
    Average rating

    7.12

  11. Squad number35Player nameZinchenko
    Average rating

    6.86

  12. Squad number20Player nameJorginho
    Average rating

    6.78

  13. Squad number19Player nameTrossard
    Average rating

    6.53

  14. Squad number14Player nameNketiah
    Average rating

    6.37

  15. Squad number22Player nameRaya
    Average rating

    5.70

Manchester City

  1. Squad number2Player nameWalker
    Average rating

    4.93

  2. Squad number47Player nameFoden
    Average rating

    4.76

  3. Squad number31Player nameEderson
    Average rating

    4.63

  4. Squad number24Player nameGvardiol
    Average rating

    4.61

  5. Squad number82Player nameLewis
    Average rating

    4.60

  6. Squad number3Player nameRúben Dias
    Average rating

    4.53

  7. Squad number19Player nameÁlvarez
    Average rating

    4.47

  8. Squad number6Player nameAké
    Average rating

    4.43

  9. Squad number20Player nameBernardo Silva
    Average rating

    4.40

  10. Squad number5Player nameStones
    Average rating

    4.34

  11. Squad number11Player nameDoku
    Average rating

    4.06

  12. Squad number27Player nameMatheus Nunes
    Average rating

    3.75

  13. Squad number9Player nameHaaland
    Average rating

    3.56

  14. Squad number8Player nameKovacic
    Average rating

    3.41

Line-ups

Arsenal

Formation 4-3-3

  • 22Raya
  • 4White
  • 2Saliba
  • 6Gabriel
  • 35ZinchenkoSubstituted forTomiyasuat 75′minutes
  • 8Ødegaard
  • 20JorginhoBooked at 11minsSubstituted forParteyat 75′minutes
  • 41Rice
  • 9Gabriel JesusBooked at 90mins
  • 14NketiahSubstituted forHavertzat 75′minutes
  • 19TrossardSubstituted forMartinelliat 45′minutes

Substitutes

  • 1Ramsdale
  • 5Partey
  • 10Smith Rowe
  • 11Martinelli
  • 15Kiwior
  • 18Tomiyasu
  • 21Fábio Vieira
  • 24Nelson
  • 29Havertz

Man City

Formation 4-3-3

  • 31EdersonBooked at 90mins
  • 2Walker
  • 3Rúben Dias
  • 6Aké
  • 24Gvardiol
  • 82LewisSubstituted forStonesat 68′minutes
  • 20Bernardo SilvaBooked at 23mins
  • 8KovacicBooked at 29minsSubstituted forNunesat 68′minutes
  • 19ÁlvarezSubstituted forDokuat 68′minutes
  • 9Haaland
  • 47Foden

Substitutes

  • 4Phillips
  • 5Stones
  • 10Grealish
  • 11Doku
  • 18Ortega
  • 21Gómez
  • 25Akanji
  • 27Nunes
  • 52Bobb

Referee:
Michael Oliver

Attendance:
60,233

Match Stats

Live Text

Post update

Match ends, Arsenal 1, Manchester City 0.

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