Football

Gabriel Martinelli scores on debut against Colorado Rapids

Gabriel Martinelli scored on his debut against Colorado Rapids.

Gabriel Martinelli scores on debut against Colorado Rapids, The Brazilian scored on his debut for Arsenal to help Unai Emery’s side to a 3-0 win over the Colorado Rapids in the opening match of their pre-season tour.

The 18-year-old, who was signed for an undisclosed fee from Brazilian side Ituano FC on July 2, fired home a cross from Dominic Thompson in the 61st minute in Denver.

First-half goals from Bukayo Saka and James Olayinka had put the Gunners in control as they kicked off their tour, with Emery giving his younger players the chance to shine.

Martinelli almost scored after just five minutes but his finish went wide of the mark.

Another teenager, 17-year-old Saka, eventually put Arsenal in the lead after 13 minutes, dinking the ball over Colorado goalkeeper Clint Irwin following some impressive work in the build-up from Eddie Nketiah.

Olayinka then doubled Arsenal’s advantage on 29 minutes with a strike into the top left-hand corner.

Gabriel Martinelli celebrates scoring the 3rd Arsenal goal during the pre season friendly between Colorado Rapids and Arsenal. (Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)
Gabriel Martinelli scores on debut against Colorado Rapids.

Mesut Ozil, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette came on in the closing minutes, with Emery keeping them fresh for their three upcoming matches in the International Champions Cup.

Arsenal faces Bayern Munich, Fiorentina and Real Madrid in Los Angeles, Charlotte, and Washington DC respectively.

They then open up their Premier League campaign with a trip to Newcastle on August 11.

During the post-match conference, Emery said he is still waiting for a decision from Laurent Koscielny after the captain refused to travel with the squad for their pre-season tour to the United States.

Koscielny, whose contract runs until next year, made it clear to Arsenal that he wished to be released this summer in order to sign for another club. But the Gunners have stood firm, leaving the French center-back facing disciplinary action for his self-imposed strike.

Addressing the incident after the game, Emery said: “I spoke with him three times for his situation. We wanted him to come with us but he decided to stay.

“For me now, it’s clear. We need to keep moving ahead. We’re playing with the spirit to create a new way.

“Now it’s a matter for him and the club. “They need to speak and are speaking about his situation … I’m waiting for his conversation and decision.”

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