Arteta credits Martinelli 'energy' after Brazilian downs Leicester City
Mikel Arteta believes managing the minutes of Gabriel Martinelli gave the Brazilian the energy to score the winner for Arsenal at Leicester City on Saturday.
In Arsenal's previous four games, Martinelli had either been substituted for new arrival Leandro Trossard, or in the case of the 4-2 win at Aston Villa, came off the bench for the Belgian.
Both started the 1-0 victory at King Power Stadium though, and it was Martinelli who scored the only goal of the game in the first minute of the second half to cement the Gunners' place at the top of the Premier League.
"Sometimes you have to give someone a breather to come back with even more energy and enthusiasm," Arteta said, adding he was "delighted" that Martinelli had recently signed a new deal until 2027.
Arsenal otherwise struggled to get going in the game in an attacking sense, but impressively restricted the hosts to just one shot overall and none on target.
Arteta was pleased with the performance and the win, which increased his team's lead at the top of the league to five points prior to Manchester City's visit to Bournemouth.
He added: "We dominated the game almost from start to finish. In general, I think our play and understanding of spaces was excellent.
"We just lacked that final pass to score more. We had the decision with [Bukayo Saka's] disallowed goal, which was frustrating to take, but to restrict Leicester to one shot at home is great."
Leaders Arsenal have two home games next week against Everton and Bournemouth as they bid for a first league title since 2004.