David Luiz praises debutant Pablo Mari after performance in Arsenal’s FA Cup win

Arsenal defender David Luiz
The Brazilian centre-back likes what he saw from the January recruit (Picture: Getty)

David Luiz has praised ‘amazing’ Pablo Mari after the Spanish centre-back impressed on his Arsenal debut in the FA Cup against Portsmouth on Monday night.

Mari, who moved to the Emirates in January from Brazilian club Flamengo, has been made to wait to get his chance in the Arsenal first-team, not making a matchday squad since he joined the Gunners.

But he was picked to start against Portsmouth in the 2-0 FA Cup fifth round win, partnering Luiz in the heart of the defence, and the Brazilian has been impressed with his new teammate.

Arsenal defenders David Luiz and Pablo Mari
Luiz and Mari lined up in the centre of defence while Sokratis was at right-back (Picture: Getty)

Asked about the young Arsenal side’s clean sheet, and Mari’s debut, Luiz told BT Sport after the game: ‘It’s great, these kind of things we have to learn.

‘I think we did great tonight, everybody was 100 per cent focused and we didn’t concede. I’m so happy for Pablo, he’s a great guy.

‘A great player and he had an amazing game so we are here to help each other and we are here, 25 players, ready to play, ready to play for Arsenal and ready to give the best job.

‘When it’s like that it’s a pleasure to play football as I will say to the guys, especially to these young lads who are starting football.

‘They are starting with a great opportunity at a big club and they are doing great, so it’s a pleasure to play with them.’

Sokratis scores for Arsenal against Portsmouth
Goals from Sokratis and Eddie Nketiah either side of half-time secured Arsenal’s win (Getty)

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta also spoke about Mari’s debut, saying: ‘I think he looked comfortable.

‘He is very vocal and very comfortable on the ball, always commanding the back four and he looked like he’s played here for months. I think we have a good player.’

MORE: Mikel Arteta rates Pablo Mari’s debut for Arsenal against Portsmouth

MORE: Sokratis was moaning about playing right-back in Arsenal win over Portsmouth, admits Mikel Arteta

Follow Metro Sport across our social channels, on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

For more stories like this, check our sport page.

No comments