Gabriel Martinelli’s winner on Saturday against Leicester City was the 200th goal scored in the Premier League for Arsenal under Mikel Arteta reign as manager.
However which of those 200 goals of Mikel Arteta’s era meant the most to Arsenal?
Mikel Arteta was appointed as Arsenal manager on December 20th 2019, just one month after his fellow Spaniard Unai Emery got the sack. Arteta’s first game in charge was an away trip to Bournemouth, where the first goal of Arteta’s reign was scored.
The first goalscorer of Arteta’s era was former Arsenal captain and superstar Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. It is worth mentioning that the goalkeeper for Bournemouth in that game was the current Arsenal keeper Aaron Ramsdale… Funny how things work out.
Some great team goals & also some individual brilliance has been produced under the boss so far, so let’s remind ourselves of some of the best…
1. Nicolas Pepe’s curler against Manchester United:
The third game under Mikel Arteta was a big test as Arsenal faced rivals Manchester United at The Emirates Stadium. The Red Devils came to North London full of confidence and belief that they could win. However, Mikel Arteta and his players had other plans.
A fantastic opening of the game was crowned with Nicolas Pepe’s fantastic left foot curler after the cross from Sead Kolasinac in the 8th minute. It was Pepe’s second of the season. After that, in the 42nd minute Sokratis scored after a corner from the right side, setting the final score 2-0 and marking Arteta’s first win as an Arsenal manager.
2. Granit Xhaka’s free-kick & Bukayo Saka’s chip against Chelsea:
In December 2020, Mikel Arteta was on the verge of losing his job after a horrible start to the season. The Gunners were sitting in 15th after a winless run of seven games. Arsenal’s rivals Chelsea came to The Emirates and Arteta put all his faith in the young guns with the likes of Saka, Martinelli and Smith Rowe all starting & it paid off…
Alex Lacazette opened the scoring with a penalty in the 35th minute, but the goals that will live forever in Arsenal’s fan memories are the next two. Firstly, in 44th minute Xhaka’s thunderbolt from the freekick at the edge of the box flown in the top right corner, impossible for Mendy to save it.
Later on, in the 56th, Smith Rowe passed to Saka, who did his magic by lobbing Mendy from seventeen yards. The game finished 3-1 and it was the turnaround that Mikel Arteta needed for the season & his Arsenal managerial career.
3. The Saka, Auba and Smith-Rowe show in the North London Derby:
After a tough start to the season and three losses from the first three games, Mikel Arteta’s boys picked up the pace getting six points from the next two games. The third game was the North London Derby at The Emirates and Arsenal duly delivered.
Smith Rowe opened the scoring in the 12th minute by meeting the cutback from Bukayo Saka and burying the ball past helpless Hugo Lloris. After that, in the 27th fantastic one-two passes by Smith-Rowe and Aubameyang meant that the Gabonese had an open shot, which he took and the ball flown into the bottom right corner. That goal was followed by an iconic Thierry Henry knee slide, and it created one of the most iconic photos in North London Derby history.
The third goal was scored by Bukayo Saka after a fantastic team play which allowed Saka to get a shot in the penalty area, making the score 3-0 in the 34th minute. The game finished 3-1, and Arsenal won their second North London Derby in a row.
A dream North London Derby for the two Hale End boys & you could see how much it meant to them.
4. Alex Lacazette’s last minute winner against Wolves:
Although recorded as an own goal from Jose Sa, I don’t think anyone would disagree if I say it was Lacazette’s goal. The Gunners were trailing by one goal to nil to the Wolverhampton Wanderers, up until the 82nd minute when super-sub Nicolas Pepe received the ball in the penalty area, turned around in spectacular fashion and buried the ball into the bottom right corner.
13 minutes after the equalizer, Saka’s shot fell right to Lacazette’s feet, who reacted immediately, shooting the ball at Jose Sa who got his fingertips onto it but was unable to prevent the Frenchman from scoring in the 95th minute, and giving Arsenal a huge three points in the race for the top four.
The Emirates erupted like you’re rarely seen before. It was a special goal under Mikel Arteta for sure, despite the season not ending how we would have wanted.
5. Thomas Partey’s rocket and Granit Xhaka’s redemption goal in anothernNorth London Derby win:
In October 2022, Arsenal hosted Tottenham at The Emirates Stadium. A win would mean the Gunners would stay top of the Premier league table and deepen Tottenham’s crisis
Arteta’s boys delivered, with Thomas Partey’s rocket opening the scoring in the 20th minute, before Jesus’s strike after Romero mistake in the 49th minute.
The game was done as soon as Xhaka’s shot from seventeen yards went past Hugo Lloris and rippled into the back of the net. It was a moment when Xhaka completed his redemption and celebrated it with a knee slide and sent kisses to the Arsenal fans.
The game finished 3-1 to The Gunners & Mikel Arteta got another victory in a North London Derby.
6. Eddie Nketiah’s 89th minute winner against Manchester United:
An in-form Man United team came to the Emirates Stadium in January,2023, with The Red Devils being the only team to defeat Arsenal so far this season
It was a game that had everything, with the score being 2-2 up until the 90th minute. Arsenal caught United’s defence on the break before Zinchenko sent a cross to Nketiah who reacted phenomenally by slotting the ball into the back of the net in injury time.
The limbs have already started, before VAR intervened. Every Arsenal fan and player held their breath for three minutes when VAR finally deemed Eddie Nketiah onside and the celebrations began.
A massive win for Mikel Arteta as Arsenal mount a title charge which nobody thought was possible at the beginning of the season.
7. Jorginho and Gabriel Martinelli’s goals in additional time at Villa Park:
After a little dip in form, Arsenal went away to Aston Villa for their first win in three games while still sitting at the top of the Premier League table. Arsenal had to win.
The game was played end to end with the score being 2-2 going into additional time when Arsenal got their chance in the 93rd minute. The ball went to Martinelli’s feet who laid it off to the new signing Jorginho at the edge of the box who shot the ball first time, hit the crossbar and went in the net off of Emiliano Martinez head.
That goal meant that Aston Villa had to go all out attack which made Martinez head be up for a corner. However Arsenal dealt with the corner, cleared the ball and countered with no opposition keeper in the net.
Fabio Vieira played a through ball to Gabriel Martinelli who had an open net in front of him. He celebrated first, scored second and set the final score at 4-2 to Mikel Arteta’s side.
There is no doubt that Arsenal have scored some other brilliant goals during Mikel Arteta’s short tenure as Arsenal boss so far. Let’s hope there’s many more important goals to come, especially this season as Arsenal look to win their first league title for nearly 20 years.
The best looking Spaniard we know…