Pep Guardiola insists Arsenal would be making a “big mistake” if they decide to sack Mikel Arteta following yet another defeat.
The Gunners were outclassed by Guardiola’s Manchester City, who reached the Carabao Cup semi-finals with a comfortable 4-1 win at the Emirates Stadium.
Arteta has not seen his side win a domestic game since November 1 but he opted to make eight changes to the team that lost at Everton on Saturday and, while his former boss Guardiola made seven alterations of his own, the difference in the respective squads was clear for all to see.
The Spaniard also played down fears of another long-term injury to Martinelli and praised the teenager’s impact on his first start since March.
“Gabi has a unique energy and a way to transmit his passion for the game,” he added.
“I think he plays the game in a different way to any other player so it is hard to compare him.
“But it is great to have him back, to bring that spirit, that fight and after such a long time to play against this opponent, the way he did it I think in the first half, it is something to be really proud of.”