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Why Gabby Agbonlahor tears into “rubbish” Gabriel Martinelli for being ‘disrespectful’



Former Aston Villa striker Gabriel Agbonlahor was left fuming with Gabriel Martinelli after he secured a dramatic victory for Arsenal in the Midlands.

The Gunners looked to be en route to another damaging defeat on Saturday afternoon after finding themselves 2-1 down at the break. Oleksandr Zinchenko’s first goal for Arsenal since his summer switch levelled matters with half an hour to play.

It took until stoppage time for Arsenal to secure victory as Jorginho forced Emi Martinez into a comical own goal, whilst Martinelli was on hand to rubber-stamp three points. The Brazilian raced through unchallenged and tapped into an unguarded net after the Villa keeper had gone up for a late corner in an effort to scramble a point for the hosts.

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The goal itself was not the main annoyance for Agbonlahor, instead, it was the Brazilian’s celebration. Ahead of tapping the ball home, the 21-year-old lifted his arms up to take the acclaim of supporters before scoring.


Speaking to talkSPORT, Agbonlahor said: “I thought Arsenal were impressive second half. They didn’t turn up first half but second half, they were relentless. Saka, getting at players. Xhaka, Odegaard was finding space and Arsenal thoroughly deserved the win.

“But there was part of the game I didn’t like. I didn’t like Martinelli for me, running through, empty net and he’s celebrating before he puts the ball in the back of the net.

“He’s been rubbish for a month and he’s scoring a tap-in and celebrating before he’s even scored. [It’s a] lack of respect for your teammates. I didn’t like it.”

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The strike against Villa represented Martinelli’s eighth goal of what has been a very productive season for the 21-year-old. It was actually his first effort to find the net since the turn of the year though – a run of form that saw the Brazilian drop to the bench at Villa Park.


Speaking about the youngster’s current form, Gunners boss Mikel Arteta said: “It wasn’t dropping him [Martinelli] – he’s played every single minute. We have three 21-year-olds leading the frontline – that’s unheard of.

“Leo’s [Leandro Trossard] been doing really well and we needed impact. I was really worried about the last 20 or 25 minutes in this game because of everything we put in on Wednesday. We needed energy and I think [Martinelli provided] it.”

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Victory against Villa leaves Arsenal top of the Premier League with title rivals Manchester City failing to overcome Nottingham Forest across the Midlands at the City Ground. The Gunners hold a two-point advantage over Pep Guardiola’s men with a game in hand.

They will be aiming to extend that gap next weekend as they return to the Midlands to tackle Leicester City at the King Power Stadium, whilst Man City do battle with Bournemouth on the South Coast.



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