Arsenal star hailed as ‘Ronnie O’Sullivan in football’ after magic moment in Brighton win

Will Ford
Odegaard Saka Arsenal

Paul Merson was full of praise for Martin Odegaard after the Arsenal captain’s display in their 4-2 win over Brighton on Saturday.

The Norwegian was named Man of the Match having claimed a goal and assist in the win that took the Gunners seven points clear at the top of the Premier League table.

And Merson compared Odegaard’s assist for Gabriel Martinelli, which saw him play the ball first time behind the Brighton defence, with the precision displayed by snooker legend Ronnie O’Sullivan.

Merson said: “When you talk about people seeing pictures, Martin Odegaard knows what he is doing before this ball comes he knows what he’s doing and Martinelli knows what he is doing and he’s away. He is running with pace full pelt with the ball.

“That is Ronnie O’Sullivan in football, he’s looking at the pots and that is what Martin Odegaard. A lot of people don’t see that pass, he is probably the only player on the pitch who sees that.

“Kevin de Bruyne sees it, Odeegard sees it but I don’t think any other player in the Premier League sees it open up.”

On Arsenal’s chances of going all the way this season and beating Manchester City to the title, Merson added: “They’re good to watch. It’s not a fluke, it’s not like we’re sitting here scratching our heads.

“You’ve got to look at Man City who we’re talking about as the only team who can chase them down – they lost at home to Brentford and they’ve drawn at home to Everton who are on a bad run. It’s not like they’re ripping it up as well.

“They were games they were expected to win. That’s where when you talk about expected goals, I look at expected games you should have won and they’re two games they should have won. That’s where five points are dropped.

“At the moment, I don’t see anybody stopping Arsenal.”

Mikel Arteta’s side will likely face a stern test of their title credentials on Tuesday as they welcome Newcastle, who currently sit third behind City, to the Emirates.

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