Gabriel Martinelli ‘is out for the rest of the season with ligament damage from Brighton defeat’

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Arsenal may have to see out the rest of the season without star forward Gabriel Martinelli, after the Brazilian went off injured in Sunday’s devastating 3-0 loss to Brighton.

The 21-year-old was taken off in the first half to be replaced by Leandro Trossard, after picking up an ankle injury.

Martinelli has been one of the Gunners’ leading performers this term, and is their joint-top scorer on 15 with captain Martin Odegaard.

Now, though, his season looks to have been curtailed prematurely, with Trossard likely to replace him as Arsenal look to win both their remaining games to have even the faintest of hopes of catching Manchester City.

The Athletic’s David Ornstein reports that the player suffered ligament damage in the match, which left the north London side’s title dreams in tatters.

As well as his 15 goals, Martinelli has also contributed six assists, forming a fearsome attacking triumvirate alongside Bukayo Saka and Gabriel Jesus.

The forward was involved in a challenge with Ecuadorian midfielder – and reported Arsenal target – Moises Caicedo in the first half, leaving the Arsenal star in pain.

Having been taken off earlier in the game, Martinellli was then seen in a protective boot on his left leg soon after the final whistle.

However the player did come in for some criticism for a challenge he made on Brighton star Kaoru Mitoma earlier in the game.

The Brazilian jumped into an aerial challenge with Mitoma, ‘dangerously’ clashing with the midfielder, but was not shown a sanction for the foul.

‘He was never there to start with and it wasn’t his ball,’ claimed Gary Neville on commentary for Sky Sports.

‘Mitoma was always going to win it so anything he did was going to either be a head-on-head. Or a shoulder or an elbow on head. Maybe a bit of a barge.

‘The ball just goes up in the air and he [Mitoma] has his eyes on the ball. That’s not great at all that.

‘Is he not booking him? Wow. That’s incredible.

‘I don’t think I’d have complained if it was a red, or have I lost my mind?’

The Gunners need to win both their final two fixtures if they are to have any hope of a first Premier League title in 19 years, however they require City to drop points in all their games, and pick up just one.

Mikel Arteta’s side will take on Nottingham Forest at the City Ground on Saturday, before welcoming Wolves to the Emirates on the final day of the season eight days later.

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