Arsenal v Everton: Pictures
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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed that he still has an ace up his sleeve following his side’s 4-0 win over Everton on Wednesday night. The victory means that his side are five points clear at the top of the table, capitalising on their game in hand over Manchester City.
The north London outfit were forced to weather the storm for the first 40 minutes at the Emirates Stadium before taking the lead through Bukayo Saka. The England international fired a thumping effort into the roof of the net to turn the tide before assisting Gabriel Martinelli on the cusp of half-time when tackling the ball into his stride for him to slot home.
Martin Odegaard then put the game to bed in the 71st minute when he tucked home a neat finish to round off a well-worked move down the left. Martinelli then grabbed his second from close range after second-half substitute Eddie Nketiah managed to deliver a cross from the by-line.
Martinelli was influential in the display, with his link-up with Leandro Trossard causing Everton endless problems due to how they were able to interchange from playing as a No 9 to on the left wing. However, Arteta believes that the relationship between the pair is not the strongest in his ranks.
The Arsenal boss believes that Martinelli is seen to best effect when playing with Fabio Vieira, who is yet to tie down a regular spot in his starting eleven. Initially asked about the connection between the Brazil international’s link-up with Trossard, Arteta said: “I think relationships build in teams naturally.
“He has even more chemistry with Fabio (Vieira) when you see them play. He’s building that with Leo and his confidence is high again and he’s in a good mood.”
Martinelli has scored 11 goals and assisted two in 25 Premier League appearances so far this season, though Arteta’s comments would certainly leave many pondering what his tallies would look like if Vieira was deployed in midfield more regularly.
The Portuguese playmaker came on in place of Granit Xhaka against Everton in the 72nd minute but never truly had a chance to leave his mark on the match as his side were already in cruise control at that stage. Vieira has played just 301 minutes of league football so far this season, though he could feature more frequently as the title race intensifies given that Arteta appears to consider the 22-year-old as the ace up his sleeve.
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