Premier League

Mikel Arteta announces Gabriel transfer decision after Arsenal win at Crystal Palace

The Gunners made it two wins from two to open up their Premier League title bid this term, with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Crystal Palace at Selhurst Park.

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta insisted that Gabriel is not for sale and will not be leaving.

The Brazil defender was only a substitute at Selhurst Park on Monday night as the Gunners held on to a precious away win thanks to Martin Odegaard’s penalty despite having Takehiro Tomiyasu sent off for a second yellow card after 67 minutes.

It prompted big celebrations among the travelling fans and the players as Arsenal made it two straight wins to start their season.

Asked post-match about Gabriel’s future, after the centre-back failed to start for a second consecutive game amid strong interest from Saudi Arabia Pro League Club Al-Ittihad and whether there was any meaning to his absence from the starting XI, Artet responded: “Nothing at all.

It’s about the games we were expecting, how I wanted to defend and attack.

“I believe it was the best thing, he played in both games and helped us win both games.

“He was really good today when he came on, he was dominant and will play a lot of games.”

Arteta stated that he “loved” seeing the 10-man Gunners celebrate a precious win.

He added: “I love it, I absolutely love it. When it was 11 against 11, we dominated and then we had to play half an hour with ten men and we had to adapt but the players were fantastic because they did not give anything away.

“Their concentration, focus and momentum was great. I was really happy. Great win. I’m so happy.”

Arteta refused to condemn referee David Coote for what looked like a very harsh decision against Tomiyasu for his second yellow while the first booking was for time wasting.

“This is the standards. I don’t know how long it was. [On being told it was 23 seconds]. It wasn’t.

I think it was eight seconds. We might have to play with a stop watch,” said Arteta who admitted he had no idea that Odegaard was going to take the penalty.

“I have no clue. It’s about leadership of players and if they felt it was the right thing to do then fine. They have to make those decisions on the pitch. The most important thing is he scored it.”

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