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Tough rivalry, Martinelli points out Alexander-Arnold after the Arsenal game

By Charles Cornwall

Tough rivalry, Martinelli points out Alexander-Arnold after the Arsenal game

Martinelli scored his fifth goal against Liverpool on Sunday as Arsenal beat the Reds.

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Gabriel Martinelli has suggested Arsenal targeted Trent Alexander-Arnold and Liverpool's right side during Sunday's match at the Emirates. The Reds suffered just a second Premier League defeat of the season as it was beaten 3-1 by Arsenal. The result saw Mikel Arteta's Gunners close the gap a the top of the Premier League table to just two points, with Manchester City also now breathing down Liverpool's neck. Alexander-Arnold made his first start in the match for several weeks in the absence of Conor Bradley after recovering from injury.

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Despite the England international's undoubted attacking skills, his defensive ability has often come under scrutiny. And Martinelli, who scored Arsenal's second goal, suggests the game plan was to get at the Liverpool defender. Martinelli shared after the game: "We knew that was the area of the pitch that we could get something from. Me personally I always do well against Liverpool."

Alexander-Arnold had the challenging job of managing Martinelli, but seemed to struggle. The Brazilian forward had one of his best performances this season, scoring Arsenal's second goal. The Liverpool defender was not involved in that incident though as Virgil van Dijk and Alisson made a mess of a long ball, allowing the Brazilian to tap into an empty net.

Martinelli has netted five goals against Liverpool for Arsenal, the most he has scored against an opponent, along with Crystal Palace. And Liverpool boss Jürgen Klopp is an admirer of the 22-year-old.

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Praise your coach

The boss of the Reds once said he was the "talent of the century" when Martinelli netted two goals at Anfield. The Arsenal star also received heaps of praise from Klopp in a game at Emirates last season. Klopp stated: "Martinelli, very early on I was excited about him. He's become exactly the player I expected. He deserves everything coming his way."

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