‘If he gets that back’ – Arsenal star’s decision-making in key moment criticised after Bayern defeat

Will Ford
Martinelli Arsenal
Gabriel Martinelli missed a big chance for Arsenal against Bayern.

Gabriel Martinelli will wish he had the chance to do something different in a key moment for Arsenal during their defeat to Bayern in the Champions League, according to Martin Keown and Owen Hargreaves.

Having drawn the first leg at the Emirates 2-2, Arsenal limped out of the Champions League at the Allianz Arena, with Joshua Kimmich’s second half header the difference between the sides.

Poor decision-making by Martinelli

Arsenal chances were few and far between, but Martinelli had a great chance to give them the lead before the break, side-footing a left-foot shot straight at Manuel Neuer when well-placed after Martin Odegaard had drilled in a cross.

Speaking on TNT Sports at halftime, Keown reflected on what was a missed opportunity for Arsenal.

He said: “He [Martinelli] has picked up a really good position there, just waiting and you think why would you hit that with your left foot?

“You’re a right-footed player and he’s coming on to that, perfect angle, lovely approach play. Surely you’d hit that with your right foot?”

“I think if he gets that back he hits that with his right,” Owen Hargreaves added. “He can see it coming and you always want to hit that with your good foot.

“In the end he just wants to make contact and get it on goal, because sometimes you say pass it in the goal, but he needs to hit that with his right foot. If he hits it with his right I think it’s a goal.”

Experience told for Bayern

Arteta said after the game that he believes experience was key for Bayern, with his players relative novices in the competition.

“I cannot find the right words to lift them, I wish I had,” Arteta said. “We have to go through it. We tried against a team that has a lot of experience and through the tie I think the margins have been very small.

“There have been moments where we have been better. We gave them two goals, a big advantage to give away, and today you could see it was margin of error zero, we made a mistake defending the goal and we conceded.

“Then it was difficult. We tried in many different ways but it’s difficult. It is the moment to stay next to the players, give them support, because they are the ones who have taken us on this journey.”

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