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Martinelli: Arsenal’s confidence in the title race is not damped by Manchester City’s defeat



Gabriel Martinelli insists Arsenal’s fighting spirit can keep the title alive.

Manchester City now top the Premier League on goal difference following a 3-1 win against Arsenal on Wednesday night at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal have not won any of their last four matches in all competitions and are in their worst form this season.

Individual mistakes cost Mikel Arteta’s side last night, as all three of City’s goals came from Arsenal giving away possession.

Arsenal still have a game in hand against City and Martinelli has called for unity as the Gunners look to rally on Saturday afternoon at Aston Villa. “We know our team; We know our qualities and we will stick together,” said Martinelli. “There are still a lot of games to play. We know our strengths and will recover. We are a family and we will fight until the end.

“It will definitely be tough games [at Aston Villa and Leicester]. But we are ready. We know our team and we attack them. We lost the game [against Manchester City] but we are Arsenal. We know our size and our qualities. We are going to the next game to win and try to beat Villa.”

Arsenal performed well in much of Wednesday night’s game and Arteta was in a defiant mood afterwards. The Spaniard insisted that despite the loss, he believed more than ever that his team could win the title.

“I have more confidence because I see a team going against them,” he said. “I have more confidence in my players. The atmosphere and the performance was really good, apart from the fact that you gave Manchester City three goals.

“But for the rest, I don’t know what more to ask of the players to maintain themselves at this level. They are the best team in the world and we matched that level.”

Arsenal were at fault for all three goals conceded, with Takehiro Tomiyasu’s back pass allowing Kevin De Bruyne to open the scoring midway through the first half.
Bukayo Saka leveled the game from the penalty spot, but defender Gabriel then gave away the ball cheaply and Jack Grealish completed a brilliant move to restore City’s lead.

Erling Haaland added a late third as Leandro Trossard was dispossessed in his own half and Martinelli admits Arsenal must correct their mistakes if they are to stay in the title race.

“Mistakes are part of the game and we have to make sure we don’t make them,” he said. “It’s easy to talk now when you’re here, but when you’re on the pitch it’s much more difficult. “Obviously in a game like this the team that makes the fewest mistakes will win and they won today. We are a team. If a [player] makes a mistake, it’s not his fault, it’s everyone’s fault. We are a team.”

Arteta will be concerned about Arsenal’s defensive performance last night, but he will also be concerned about their brutal attack.
The Gunners had just one shot on target all night and striker Eddie Nketiah headed in two good chances. Martinelli also had a tough night against City and is currently struggling for form, with his latest goal coming on New Year’s Eve.

“I think I can improve. I think everyone in the team can improve,” he said. “I always try to look back at the game and see what my mistakes were and try to improve. This game will be no different. “I will review the game, see my mistakes and try to improve for the next game.”