Martinelli admits UCL debut was perfect

Having had to be patient to make his Champions League debut, Gabriel Martinelli admitted that it went as well as he could have dreamt.

The winger was forced to miss our opening two group games with a hamstring injury, but he didn’t waste any time in introducing himself to the competition by netting a sublime long-range goal to open the scoring in our 2-1 win at Sevilla.

And he was thrilled with his contribution post-match, saying: “Last night I was just in bed thinking about this moment and how it could be, and how I wanted it to be. 

“It couldn’t be better. I think we played really well, I scored and the team won so couldn’t be better. I’m so happy with the performance of the team.”

Gabi’s big moment came in the dying second of the first half, when our trio of Brazilians linked up to produce the first 45’s telling moment.

A pass from Gabriel Jesus sent him through on goal with 50 yards of space to play with, and having missed a similar opportunity earlier in the contest, he did well to stay composed and tuck the chance away to give us a huge boost going into the break.

Jesus added the all-important second with an excellent strike to score for the third successive European game, and his fellow goalscorer was keen to highlight his massive contribution to the result.

Recollecting his goal, Martinelli added: “Big Gabi made the clearance to the other Gabi, and then he was amazing with a nice skill and played it to me. I just waited for the keeper, looked at him, and I thought I couldn’t miss it again. It was good I scored!

“The guy is unbelievable, I’ve said it many times, he is so good and I love to play with him.

He is a big player, he has played in the World Cup, Champions League, and big games in his career, so he helps us a lot. 

“He helps me a lot, talks to me and today he was important for the team and for me as well because he gave me my assist.”

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