‘It’s like watching Brazil’ as Arsenal’s forward line shines in the sun to make Leicester’s job easier


n Saturday it felt like Rio de Janeiro and not North London as Arsenal went wild against Leicester.

And no, it wasn’t because of the sweltering 37 degree heat, but rather the impressive performance of Arsenal’s Brazilian strikers.

For much of last season, Arsenal’s reliance on attack weighed on the shoulders of Bukayo Saka and, at times, Emile Smith Rowe too.

If the first two games of this campaign have anything to do with it, however, that burden will be shared much more evenly.

Gabriel Jesus and Gabriel Martinelli were the stars here, with the latter scoring twice and also claiming two assists to cap off a dream start at home.

Jesus was the undisputed star of the show and the man of the match. His first goal was a thing of beauty, as he rolled it into the top corner, while his second was a classic poacher’s effort to be in the right place at the right time as he headed home to the back post from a corner.

The striker’s first assist was a similar story as Leicester goalkeeper Danny Ward awkwardly dropped a cross on the Brazilian’s foot, allowing him to launch Granit Xhaka for Arsenal’s third.

The Arsenal look transformed with Jesus up front. He’s bright and busy, with and without the ball, and that attack should pose a lot of problems for teams this season.

A key part of this is the obvious chemistry between Jesus and Martinelli, who was on display against Leicester.

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The pair just seem to know where the other will be and it was no surprise to see Martinelli involved in both of Jesus’ goals.

There’s a huge buzz surrounding Jesus after his £45million from Manchester City, but equally exciting is the new partnership he’s forming with Martinelli.

The 21-year-old seems to have taken a step up from the player he was last season, especially physically, and he’s making his presence known.

Leicester defender Wesley Fofana will certainly be happy to see him from behind as Martinelli gave him a steamy moment, which pressed and harassed him without the ball.

It’s an important part of what Jesus and Martinelli offer and they’ve turned this Arsenal attack into a deft pressing unit.

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It was no clearer then for Arsenal’s fourth goal, which settled what would otherwise be a nervous final 10 minutes after James Maddison had made it 3-2.

Martinelli pressed on a sloppy pass from Leicester, winning the ball back, and from there he took off.

The ball was sent to Martin Odegaard, to Jesus, then to Martinelli, who found the bottom corner with his left foot from outside the box.

He turned away happily, celebrating with Jesus as they finished what was the perfect afternoon for them and Arsenal.

The Gunners have now won their first two games of the Premier League season and the mood compared to a year ago is completely different.

At the time, the club was in crisis as they lost three games on the spin.

This afternoon was like watching Brazil.

standard Sport

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