Arsenal have played Martinez in goal since Bernd Leno’s injury
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Arsenal fans are still on a high after their 2-1 win over Liverpool on Wednesday night.
Considering the Gunners were on the back of losing the North London Derby in devastating fashion, nobody was expecting them to secure a confident win over the Premier League champions.
However, you’d be mistaken for thinking normal service had resumed during the early exchanges when Andrew Robertson turned provider for Sadio Mane to open the scoring.
Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool
But Liverpool were the architects of their own downfall minutes later with a woeful Virgil van Dijk pass allowing Alexandre Lacazette to go through on goal and duly round the ‘keeper.
Alisson Becker then had a nightmare of his own before half-time with Lacazette once again intercepting a wayward pass and Reiss Nelson, 20, provided the finishing touch.
As you would expect, Liverpool reemerged from the Emirates Stadium dressing rooms with their minds hellbent on victory, but nobody could have predicted how well Arsenal defended.
Emi Martinez masterclass
However, it wasn’t without help from ‘keeper Emiliano Martínez, who has been something of a revelation since taking over in the wake of Bernd Leno’s injury at Brighton & Hove Albion.
No one has ever been under the illusion that Martinez was a bad goalkeeper, but nobody knew he’d be putting a case forward for being the Premier League’s finest back-up shot-stopper.
His superb display against Liverpool didn’t come without wobbles, though, as he survived an early scare when Roberto Firmino deflected one of his clearances on to the outside of the post.
But from that point onwards, he didn’t put a foot wrong.
Slow-motion footage of Martinez’s save
First came a brilliant save to tip a Mohamed Salah shot over the bar and then the pièce de résistance: stunningly denying a deflected effort from Trent Alexander-Arnold in stoppage time.
It’s such an incredible piece of goalkeeping, tipping the effort on to the post, that it should come as no surprise that slow-motion footage of it has gone viral. Check out the clip down below:
Save of the season?
What. A. Save.
Professional footballers strike the ball so powerfully that sometimes real-time footage can be a little bit deceiving, but you can always rely on the replays to show every last detail.
And in this instance, the incredible effort and determination that it took for Martinez to scramble across his goal and get a finger to it after reacting to the deflection can be seen in all its glory.
Frankly, if Martinez continues making wonderful saves like that, then perhaps Mikel Arteta will be forced to consider keeping Leno on the sidelines a little longer than his injury will.
Besides, it’s not just the fantastic saves that have been drawing compliments from Arsenal fans, but also the type of fantastic distribution that Alisson and Ederson have become revered for.
It’s a point proven by the fact Martinez completed the most passes overall – as well as into the final third – and touches of any Arsenal player during the victory. Now that’s a ‘keeper who’s a keeper.
- Match report: Arsenal 2-1 Liverpool
- Jurgen Klopp accused of David Luiz dig
- Harry Maguire’s stats compared to Van Dijk