Watch: Martin Odegaard pulls off dummy in impressive Arsenal move
It took a while to find the breakthrough but Arsenal eventually secured a 2-1 victory over Brentford to keep them in the Champions League hunt.
Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith-Rowe found the back of the net whilst the Emirates Stadium serenaded them to the tune of Status Quo – but it was Martin Odegaard who ran the show for most of the game.
In a first-half filled with quality and frustration in equal amounts, the 23-year-old was silky with his passing and kept the ball ticking as Arsenal pushed forward.
Despite not being able to find the breakthrough in the opening 45, Odegaard set up a number of opportunities and was a joy to watch as Brentford had no answer to his deft touches and immaculate vision.
It was a performance reminiscent of the likes of Mesut Ozil and the playmaker seemed to have eyes in the back of his head.
He really showed this off near the end of the first period, linking up well with the excellent Bukayo Saka, and creating another nice Arsenal move through a dummy that Ozil and Santi Cazorla would have been proud of.
Running towards a pass from Cedric Soares in his own half, the Norway captain pulled off the perfect dummy, which confused the pressing Brentford players and allowed Saka to receive the ball and play it back to him.
It was the kind of move which can make a crowd purr and Odegaard was unfortunate that it did not lead to a goal.
The former wonderkid, who joined Arsenal permanently from Real Madrid in the summer window for around £30million, is really coming into his own at the Emirates and has emphasised his commitment to the project despite his team’s recent struggles for goals.
“I think it is the team’s job to make sure we score goals, it is not up to one or two players,” he told Premier League Productions ahead of Saturday’s match.
“I am sure we have the qualities in this team to score many goals. Of course, it’s an area we want to improve and we have to do a little bit better – but I am sure we have the quality in the team and the way we play.”
“I am sure we will create chances, so I don’t see it as a problem.”
This was just exquisite.
Stop that Odegaard. pic.twitter.com/8gLOrzLpDO
— Stop That Football (@stopthatfooty) February 19, 2022