Arteta reveals he almost subbed Martinelli just before scoring the opener against Chelsea
Arteta reveals he almost subbed Martinelli just before scoring the opener against Chelsea
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Arteta reveals he almost subbed Martinelli just before scoring the opener against Chelsea

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has revealed that he was about to withdraw Gabriel Martinelli, moments before he scored the equalizing goal against Chelsea on Tuesday night.

The teenager was at the heart of the Gunners' comeback at the Stamford Bridge, but maybe things would have been different if Arteta would have subbed him as planned. 

"You need the courage to do that," he said on Martinelli's battles with Chelsea captain Cezar Azipilicueta.

"Then his energy... I wanted to take him off a few times because he looked knackered. He was cramping and the next minute he's sprinting 60 yards again,"

Arsenal staged a brave comeback to draw 2-2 despite having been reduced to 10 men on the 26th minute following David Luiz's red card. 

The Brazilian brought down Tammy Abraham in the box, and Jorginho converted to give Chelsea the lead. 

The Gunners however equalized in the second half when Martinelli sprung the entire length of the pitch to slot in with Arrizabalaga easily beaten.

Azpilicueta then gave the Blues the lead in the 84th minute, but Hector Bellerin canceled the goal out three minutes later. 

Arteta was full of praise for his side afterward, considering they have been missing their talisman striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.

"To play in this stadium the way he's done, and with 10 men, and to play against Azpilicueta who's, in my opinion, one of the best defenders in the league... he was going against him every single time," said our head coach.

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