Martinelli ends long wait for goal as Arsenal sweep aside Sheffield United

Gabriel Martinelli marked a rare Premier League start with his first goal since January 2020 as Arsenal claimed a 3-0 win over Sheffield United at Bramall Lane.

Martinelli scored in the second half after Alexandre Lacazette had finished off a fine team move in the first half. The result lifts Arsenal into ninth place as they look to end the season with positive momentum. And after a run of four games without a win, it came at a welcome time.

Mikel Arteta had answered questions about Martinelli’s involvement in the buildup to the game. He proceeded to hand the Brazilian striker a rare start.

The hosts had a decent chance within the first 10 minutes. David McGoldrick controlled with one touch and shot with the next, but his effort went wide.

An opening came for Arsenal after some incisive forward play. However, Martinelli could only divert the ball into the side-netting.

Martinelli had another chance when cutting inside from the left, but Aaron Ramsdale caught his deflected effort.

The Brazilian turned provider next when pulling the ball across the box for Calum Chambers, whose shot was blocked on the line.

Moments later, the Gunners found the breakthrough. Alexandre Lacazette played it across for Bukayo Saka, who sent it back in the same direction.

Lacazette continued his run and Dani Ceballos backheeled it into his path before the Frenchman finished past Ramsdale.

Arsenal went in search of a second before the break and McGoldrick had to make a block to deny a powerful Martinelli strike.

They started the second half with similar intentions and Lacazette tried his luck. However, he curled an effort wide.

Martinelli makes it two

There was a concerning moment for Arsenal when Martinelli went down with an injury. Then, Saka also went down with a thigh problem.

Saka had to go off but Martinelli managed to continue, and got on the end of a Ramsdale parry to tap home for his first goal in over a year in the 71st minute.

The teenager had a chance for another when stretching to meet a through ball from Nicolas Pepe. However, he couldn’t quite reach.

Instead, it was the other previous goalscorer who added another to his individual tally. Lacazette got on the end of a through ball from Thomas Partey before firing past Ramsdale to make it 3-0.

It marked the 50th Premier League goal in the Arsenal striker’s career.

Arsenal move on to 45 points as a result of their victory, rising above Leeds and Aston Villa in the table. They are still 10 points off the top four, though.

Sheffield United, meanwhile, are 18 points from safety with only 21 left to play for. They have long since been resigned to their fate of relegation but it seems it will soon become a reality.