Arsenal secured another comfortable Europa League victory with Gabriel Martinelli leading the way as Unai Emery’s youngsters again seized the chance to impress against Standard Liege.
Bukayo Saka stole the headlines in the recent win at Eintracht Frankfurt and has since progressed into the Gunners’ Premier League side, with Emery making 10 changes from the draw at Manchester United for the 4-0 success here.
Martinelli, who scored twice on his first start for the club in last week’s Carabao Cup win over Nottingham Forest, repeated the feat with another double in three first-half minutes before Joe Willock and Dani Ceballos completed the rout.
On a night when Kieran Tierney, Rob Holding and Hector Bellerin – who captained the side for the first times – continued their comebacks from injury, Martinelli shone.
The 18-year-old was arguably the least known of Arsenal’s summer signings and Emery insists he is not a natural striker but, in for the lethal Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, he was ruthless as he bagged a brace and teed up Ceballos for his first goal for the club.
Despite the players voting for Granit Xhaka recently, there is still a lot of debate as to who should actually be the club’s captain.
Arsenal fans noticed what Bellerin, Tierney and Guendouzi did when Martinelli was taken down by a Liege player last night and immediately hailed the trio as ‘real captains’.