Mikel Arteta explains decision to drop Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli | Football

Gabriel Martinelli scored twice against Crystal Palace after coming off the bench (Picture: Getty)

Mikel Arteta revealed an injury suffered in training contributed to his decision to bench Gabriel Martinelli against Crystal Palace.

The Brazil international has endured a difficult period in front of goal and had gone six games without finding the back of the net ahead of Saturday’s game against the struggling Eagles.

After three consecutive defeats, Arteta opted to make a change on the flanks and restored Leandro Trossard to the starting XI, wtih Martinelli forced to make do with a place amongst the replacements.

The change worked wonders, with Trossard making the points safe just before the hours mark, providing a fitting finish to a flowing counter-attack which had been launched by goalkeeper David Raya.

The Belgium international made way for Martinelli with 20 minutes remaining and the 22-year-old reveled in the space afforded him by Palace’s defence.

Two identical finishes in injury-time capped an impressive cameo and put the gloss on an eventual 5-0 scoreline.

‘I think that is going to make him really good,’ said Arteta, who was delighted to see Martinelli rediscover his shooting boots.

Gabriel Martinelli scored two identical goals against Crystal Palace for Arsenal

Gabriel Martinelli scored two identical goals against Crystal Palace for Arsenal (Picture: Getty)

‘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.

‘We don’t have a 30, 40 goals on someone, we have to share them and that’s a good quality in the team.

‘It was so important. We know our qualities. It doesn’t matter what people say on the outside, we believe in ourselves,’ said Martinelli, himself, after doubling his Premier League goals tally for the season.

‘We showed that today and what we can do. We knew we needed a game like that where we had a clean sheet and scored five games.

‘We will try our best and keep going like that because we know our expectation.’

MORE : Mikel Arteta provides injury updates on two key Arsenal stars

MORE : Declan Rice appears to confirm injury setback during Arsenal v Crystal Palace

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