Mikel Arteta says he was surprised as anyone that Arsenal captain Martin Odegaard took the match-winning penalty against Crystal Palace.
Odegaard stepped up and cooly slotted home from 12 yards, after Eddie Nketiah had taken down by Palace goalkeeper Sam Johnstone, to confirm a 1-0 win in Monday night’s London derby.
Bukayo Saka had been considered Arsenal’s first-choice penalty taker, but missed his last spot-kick last season against West Ham in a damaging draw which contributing to their title race collapse.
Arteta says he was unaware who would take the penalty last night, and insists he leaves it up to the players to make such decisions on the pitch.
Asked if Odegaard is now the first-choice penalty taker, he told reporters: “I have no clue, it’s about leadership of players, and if they felt it was the right thing to do, for me I’m fine.
“They have to make those decisions on the pitch. I was surprised like everybody else, but he scored the goal which is the important thing and we won the game.”