Mikel Arteta explains why Gabriel Martinelli started on the bench vs Crystal Palace

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed that Gabriel Martinelli had a little issue in training which contributed to him starting on the bench against Crystal Palace yesterday.

The Gunners returned to winning ways in stunning fashion with a 5-0 victory over the Eagles on Saturday. Gabriel Magalhaes was brilliant in the first half with a goal and an assist.

The centre-back was adjudged the man of the match. Martinelli also had a lively cameo off the bench. He came in for Leandro Trossard in the 69th minute of the derby.

The Brazilian was full of running in his short appearance and was eventually rewarded with two stoppage time goals. He scored in the 94th and 95th minute respectively.

Speaking after the game, Arteta said that Martinelli should get plenty of confidence from his late brace and added that he was not fully fit after a little issue in training.

He told Arsenal.com: “I think that is going to make him really good. Sometimes when you are in that period, and he had a little issue in the last few days in training so he wasn’t fully, fully fit, that changes momentum, it changes perception, it re-energises you. It’s everything.”

Arteta has selection headache for Nottingham Forest trip

Trossard got the nod over Martinelli to start against the Eagles. He had a good outing and capped the performance with a brilliant counter-attacking goal to make it 3-0.

Martinelli came off the bench with a point to prove and he certainly did that. The 22-year-old scored with two impressive finishes which was a good sight for Gunners fans.

Arteta now has a selection headache on his hands for the Nottingham Forest trip. Both Trossard and Martinelli deserve to start, but only one of them is more likely to do so.

There is an alternative of playing Trossard in midfield ahead of Kai Havertz, but the manager will want the physicality of the latter against Nuno Espirito Santo’s side on the road.

The Gunners have lost their last three trips to City Ground. They must end the wretched streak if they want to keep up with Manchester City and Liverpool in the title pursuit.

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