Arsenal: Wright reveals who Arteta should have started over Havertz v Bayern for ‘more intricacy’

Jason Soutar
Ian Wright thinks Gabriel Jesus should have started for Arsenal against Bayern
Ian Wright thinks Gabriel Jesus should have started against Bayern

Arsenal legend Ian Wright says he would have liked Gabriel Jesus to start over Kai Havertz against Bayern Munich on Tuesday night.

The Gunners drew their Champions League quarter-final first leg 2-2 at the Emirates after going ahead early on.

Arsenal legend Wright: Jesus should have started v Bayern

A couple of defensive disasters gave Bayern a 2-1 lead at half-time but Mikel Arteta’s men showed more maturity in the second 45 minutes to salvage a draw.

Arsenal’s equaliser came thanks to some great work on the ball from Jesus, who was introduced from the bench in the 66th minute, replacing Jorginho.

As he often does, sometimes to the frustration of the Arsenal supporters, the Brazilian faked and feinted in the box before teeing up fellow substitute Leandro Trossard 14 minutes from time.

It was a crucially important cameo off the bench from Jesus and former Arsenal striker Wright thinks the former Manchester City forward should have started the match, potentially over Havertz, who led the line again.

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“I would like to have seen maybe Jesus start that game for some reason,” he said in the latest episode of Wrighty’s House.

“Just because he came on and he just gave us a little bit of something different when he got on the ball when the ball was on the ground, rather than Kai’s physical presence trying to link play and all that.

“I thought in the first half, I would like to have seen a little bit more intricacy in and around their box. I would have liked to see a little more of that.”

In fairness, the physical style Havertz has played into the hands of the Bayern defence, with Matthijs de Ligt and Eric Dier in the middle.

Both players you’d feel were there for the taking but De Ligt in particular had an excellent game up against the German.

It was Jesus’ dribbling skills that unlocked the Bayern defence in the end and will be something Arteta surely considers when selecting his starting XI for the return leg in Munich.

Tuesday’s clash had plenty of controversial moments, mainly involving penalties that were not given.

Right at the end of the match, Bukayo Saka went down in the box under a challenge from Bayern goalkeeper Manuel Neuer but the referee did not give a penalty, much to the disbelief of the Arsenal players.

But an even bigger controversy came to light after the full-time whistle, when footage emerged of Gabriel Magalhaes handling the ball after David Raya appeared to take a goal kick.

Raya passed the ball to his centre-back, who stopped the ball with his hand to re-take the goal kick, with a couple of Bayern players running to the referee to protest.

Speaking after the match, incensed Bayern head coach Tuchel said the referee saw the incident but gave Arsenal the benefit of the doubt for a “kid’s mistake” and did not want to punish them in a Champions League quarter-final. Yikes.

READ MORE: An ’embarrassing display of cheating’ from Bukayo Saka or ‘stepping over a short barrier’


📣 Straight to the comments! Do you think it should have been a penalty against Neuer and/or Gabriel? Let us know below…