Martinelli’s brace helps Arsenal clinch a 4-1 win over Bielsa’s Leeds.
Martinelli brace helps Arsenal clinch a 4-1 win over Bielsa’s Leeds on Saturday.
Martinelli’s double and a deflected strike from Bukayo Saka made it 3-0 just before half-time as the Gunners mercilessly exploited an error-plagued Leeds performance.
Raphinha equalized late in the second half with a penalty kick, before Arsenal replacement Emile Smith Rowe sealed an emphatic victory for Mikel Arteta’s side.
The score could have scored higher had it not been for an outstanding performance by Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier, who made crucial saves to deny Saka, Alexandre Lacazette, Thomas Partey, and Kieran Tierney.
Lacazette, Xhaka and Odegard were also on the assist sheet as they assisted the goals scored respectively.
Arsenal were 15th in the Premier League on Christmas Day last year, just four points above the relegation zone. After a year, they are assured of finishing in the top four on 25 December for the first time in five years.
Mikel Arteta is attempting to develop his team around a core group of young players, and the fact that all four goals were scored by players aged 21 or under indicates that philosophy is bearing fruit.
They were aided by some careless Leeds defence, but the Gunners’ front four of Saka, Martinelli, Martin Odegaard, and Lacazette capitalised mercilessly on any errors.
They had 11 shots on target in the first half, the most by any team in the first 45 minutes of a Premier League match since Opta began tracking such statistics in 2003-04.
All of this was accomplished in the absence of striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was left out of the squad due to a disciplinary infraction.
Martinelli is one of the beneficiaries of Aubameyang’s absence, having started five consecutive Premier League games for the first time in his Arsenal career.