Vieira waxes lyrical about ‘brilliant’ Arsenal duo who have become ‘very important’ under Arteta

Jason Soutar
Arsenal legend Patrick Vieira after a match

Patrick Vieira was high in praise of two Arsenal players prior to the Gunners’ disappointing 4-1 defeat at title rivals Manchester City.

The reigning Premier League champions were at their best on Wednesday night to brush aside Mikel Arteta’s side.

First-half goals from John Stones and Kevin De Bruyne put City in a commanding lead before the latter made it 3-0 in the 54th minute to make sure of the win.

Rob Holding did manage a late consolation goal to make it 3-1 before Erling Haaland rubbed salt in the wounds with his 33rd league goal of the season – a new record for a 38-game campaign.

The majority of the post-match reaction has been about the brilliance of City, with many seeming to let Arsenal off the hook.

The title is certainly in City’s hands now after closing the gap to two points, with their two games in hand giving them the edge.

Many Gunners fans are happy to see their team return to the Champions League and insist it has been a successful campaign after missing out on top four last term.

There are certainly plenty of positives to take and they are sure to be a thorn in City’s side for many years to come given the amount of young talent at Arteta’s disposal.

Two of the best young players at Arsenal are Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Martinelli.

And Gunners legend Vieira was high in praise of the two wingers prior to the 4-1 defeat at the Etihad.

“I think they are brilliant, they are really important, they score some really important goals,” Vieira told BT Sport.

“It’s just they way they approach the game, they work hard out of possession, they run in behind. There’s a lot of activity. They help the team out of possession and they are showing such maturity in these games.

“When the team are in a really difficult area, you can see them being really disciplined and working with the team and accept that they have to defend. And then of course when they have possession, running in behind, stretching the opposition team.

“And their strength in the 1v1s. They are really good runners and today they will be important for Arsenal.”

Arteta’s men are not in action until next Tuesday when they will host Chelsea in a London derby.

Playing the Blues is a great chance to end their winless run. In his five matches in charge after replacing Graham Potter, Frank Lampard has failed to win, with his side scoring one goal.

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