Willian stat that emerged during Arsenal’s clash with Sheffield United highlights why youngster should play over ex-Chelsea man” />
Sheffield United vs Arsenal
Sunday’s Premier League action drew to a close at Bramall Lane as Sheffield United hosted Arsenal.
The Gunners headed into the clash with little left to play for in the league.
This came with Mikel Arteta’s side sitting 10 points away from the top-six and 13 points adrift of the top-four.
As a result, with Arsenal still currently in the Europa League, that is seemingly their only realistic chance of securing European football in 2021/22.
Sheffield United, meanwhile, began the day dead bottom of the English top-flight on just 14 points and are almost certainly set to be relegated in the coming weeks.
Despite the Blades’ dismal campaign, there was very little to separate the two sides in the opening exchanges.
The game settled into a rather scrappy lull with neither outfit carving out any real chances.
The most notable action inside the opening half-hour came when Aaron Ramsdale smashed a goal kick right at Alexandre Lacazette. But luckily for the Sheffield United keeper, it deflected straight back at him.
Ramsdale, though, could do nothing to deny the Frenchman 33 minutes in.
Lacazette would finish off a lovely free-flowing Gunners move which saw Dani Ceballos’s cheeky flick play in the forward for his goal:
Look at that passing 😍
An absolutely brilliant goal from Arsenal!
Alexandre Lacazette with the clinical finish for his 14th of the season. pic.twitter.com/vJdXXlmtSI
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) April 11, 2021
It is not Lacazette, though, who has so far received the majority of the plaudits from the Arsenal faithful this evening.
Instead, it is Gabriel Martinelli – who was handed his first start in the league since January on Sunday – who has impressed Arsenal fans the most.
And it would be the 19-year-old who added Arsenal’s second of the day 71 minutes in, tapping in a rebound from a Nicolas’ Pepe shot.
The Brazilian’s pace, power and drive has added a different element to Arsenal’s attack against Sheffield, with just some of the praise he has received showcased below:
Martinelli is just a live wire. Never want to see Willian in the team again if Martinelli is available. Brings us an energy in that final third that is infectious.
— AFCAMDEN (@AFCAMDEN) April 11, 2021
Martinelli again has raised everyone up and made everyone push up higher to win the ball, he just has that dog in him
— 🉐 (@hftbIv2) April 11, 2021
Martinelli is brilliant. He’s done more in the first half than half the team has done all season.
— Indra Kullenberg (@IndraKullenberg) April 11, 2021
Ceballos brilliant today, Martinelli once again injects us with intensity and energy.
— Omer (@AFCOmer) April 11, 2021
Gabriel Martinelli is such a live wire… offers something completely different to what we have.
If he’s fit, he has to start. pic.twitter.com/u24SOia6DL
— AFTV (@AFTVMedia) April 11, 2021
Perhaps most noteworthy of all though, is the stat that has surfaced surrounding Martinelli and Willian.
Willian has been used quite frequently this season by Arteta despite his often subpar showings, whilst Martinelli has hardly featured despite generally looking positive when he does.
Now, after the first half vs Sheffield United, it had been confirmed that Martinelli had more shots on target (3) than Willian in the Premier League this season (2), a stat that will no doubt see Arsenal fans’ calls for Martinelli to play over Willian made even louder.
That shot tally is of course now four after his goal but the point still stands.
Gabriel Martinelli has now had more shots on target (3) than Willian in the Premier League this season (2).
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) April 11, 2021
Sheffield United vs ArsenalSunday’s Premier League action drew to a close at Bramall Lane as Sheffield United hosted Arsenal.The Gunners headed into the clash with little left to play for in the league.This came with Mikel Arteta’s side sitting 10 points away from the top-six and 13 points adrift of the top-four.As a result, withFootball (soccer) greatest goals and highlights | 101 Great Goals – Feed