LONDON — Gabriel Martinelli said that Arsenal’s inherent belief will be boosted by beating champions Manchester City as Mikel Arteta’s men seek to go one step further than last season.
The Gunners looked set to win their first Premier League title in nearly two decades in 2022/23 before Pep Guardiola’s side reeled them in to win a third straight title.
But Arsenal beat City in the league for the first time since 2015, building on their Community Shield shootout triumph against the treble winners.
Martinelli, introduced as a half-time substitute after three weeks out with a hamstring injury, hit a late winner that deflected in off Nathan Ake to seal a 1-0 victory.
“We know how hard it is to play against them,” the 22-year-old Brazil international said. “It was a great performance from the team and a great win.
“Of course (it gives us more belief we can win this season’s title). We are Arsenal and we always believe about the title.
“To win against a big side like them is great and we just need to carry on.”
Arsenal is unbeaten in eight league matches and is second in the table behind Tottenham on goals scored.
“When you play for Arsenal you have to always believe and this is what we do,” Martinelli said, as the club targets their first Premier League title since 2004.
“We play for Arsenal and we always believe we can win the titles,” he added according to AFP.
“It’s another year. We’re going to try to improve things and try to do better than last year.”
For the first time since December 2015, the Gunners could savour a victory over City and they embraced the moment amid jubilant scenes on the pitch and among the 60,000 sell-out crowd.
Arsenal had already beaten City on penalties in the Community Shield at Wembley in August.
But this was a far more important result, coming not in a glorified friendly but in the red-hot atmosphere of a crucial clash between the champions and their closest rivals last season.
Arsenal held an eight-point lead at the top of the table in April, only to collapse in the final furlong as City lifted a third successive title en route to an incredible treble.
Rather than let the pain from that meltdown break them, Arteta and his players are using it as fuel to land the club’s first title in 20 years.
It was instructive to see Arsenal tigerishly push City back in the closing stages of the second half as they searched for a winner with the champions appearing content with a point.
Arsenal’s hunger was rewarded and Arteta is convinced it could be a defining moment in their development.
“It’s a great feeling. You could sense it. It’s been so many years without beating them, but now we have beaten the best team in the world without a question of doubt,” he said.
“We have done it in a great way because there were moments we had to suffer. It sends a message to our team to keep believing in what they are doing.
“I don’t know if it was a barrier, but it was something we needed to go through.
“We lost in two different ways to them last season. But the team showed a real maturity today and that comes from experiences.”