Feature

#WHUARS: Three things we noticed

Pepe

FABULOUS GABI

Freddie Ljungberg's team selection was designed to add energy to our performance, and Gabriel Martinelli was the epitome of that. The Brazilian teenager's standout moment was obviously his goal - taken with the economy of effort you'd associate with someone who's been banging them in for a decade. He made history too - he's now the youngest player to score for us on his first Premier League start. But his workrate was just as impressive as his end product. Time and again Gabi tracked back to help Kieran Tierney and then Sead Kolasinac once our starting left back was forced off. Indeed, most of Gabi's best work in the first half was done in his own half as we spluttered going forward. That changed in the blink of an eye with his unerring finish to equalise - and we never looked back. 


PEPE STEPS UP

Perhaps the most heartwarming image of Monday's game was the moment Pepe embraced Ljungberg after he was taken off. Pepe's wide smile is something we've not seen a lot of since his record-breaking move, but he had plenty to be happy about after scoring the goal that gave us lift-off at the London Stadium. We'd grown in confidence with Martinelli's opener but Pepe's strike - a curler into the top corner - was the moment the handbrake came off. The outpouring of emotion from Pepe, his teammates and our jubilant fans (in the stadium and across the world) was an explosion of joy that we've all waited a long time for. Pepe celebrated with his trademark salute and his goal capped a confident display. No one drove us forward as much as Pepe did and, although his flicks and feints didn't all come off, his assertiveness our biggest plus for much of the match.


WE LOVE YOU FREDDIE

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's well-taken volley did a couple of things. It took him back alongside Jamie Vardy as the Premier League's joint top scorer since Auba made his debut in the competition in February 2018. And it gave our travelling fans the belief - finally - that an overdue three points were ours. They responded by breaking into their repertoire of songs, kicking off with an ironic "We are staying up!" and culminating in their ode to Freddie. The "red hair" celebrated in the classic 2002 chant has long gone - but Freddie's as revered as ever.

Freddie

 

 

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