Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli plays a key role as Brazil set World Cup record

Gabriel Martinelli made his second cap for Brazil as they set a new points record and the Arsenal youngster played a role in one of his country’s goals

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Arsenal star Gabriel Martinelli talks about the form of the club

Arsenal striker Gabriel Martinelli continued his rapid start to life as a senior Brazil international, coming off the bench to help Tite’s team secure a 4-0 World Cup qualifier win in Bolivia.

It was the 20-year-old showed his qualities in training, after being given a senior job due to an impressive form at club level. And now, with just a few months to go before the World Cup in Qatar, he’s pleading for his inclusion.

Martinelli had made his debut in the previous qualifier against Chile with a late appearance in the home win. This time, however, he played an active role in the Selecao’s third game with an impressive level of pressing from the front.

Martinelli started the game again on the bench but came on as a substitute for Philippe Coutinho just 10 minutes into the second half. Just 10 minutes later, Brazil’s 2-0 lead had become three, with the Gunners’ forward playing a huge role.

His pressure from the front saw a mistake from the Bolivian defence, allowing Lucas Paqueta to capitalize. The Lyon man thumped a pinpoint pass down Bruno Guimaraes’ run, and the newcastle The United midfielder scored home with a volley.

Martinelli was congratulated by his teammates for his part in the move. The third goal almost sealed victory for Tite’s men and a late fourth from everton Striker Richarlison brought extra sparkle to the goal line.

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Martinelli was a handful for Bolivia’s defenders


(Getty Images)

The victory for Brazil gave them 45 points from 17 qualifiers, with 40 goals scored and just five goals conceded. It breaks the previous record for South America qualification, with Marcelo Bielsa’s Argentina team amassing 43 points en route to the 2002 World Cup.

Brazil still have a game to play. The September 2021 meeting with Argentina was abandoned just minutes after kick-off amid a Covid-related controversy and FIFA has yet to set a new date for the rearranged game.

While Brazil and Argentina had already qualified ahead of the March games, the remaining CONMEBOL nations have now concluded their campaign, with all places confirmed. Uruguay and Ecuador have both secured their spots, while Peru’s win over Paraguay in their last qualifier was enough to propel them into an intercontinental play-off.

Ricardo Gareca’s side now face off against the winners of an AFC playoff between Australia and the United Arab Emirates. The game between the confederations takes place in Qatar in June, with teams from CONCACAF and Oceania meeting in the same week to decide the final two qualifiers for the World Cup.

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