Manchester United and England legend Rio Ferdinand has defended Gabriel after the Arsenal star taunted Brentford striker Ivan Toney on social media.
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The Gunners secured their sixth win from seven top-flight games and returned to the top of the Premier League with a 3-0 victory at Brentford on Sunday.
First-half goals from in-form William Saliba and £50m summer signing Gabriel Jesus put Arsenal in control, before Fabio Vieira capped an impressive display with a strike from 25 yards after the break.
Arsenal succumbed to a demoralising 2-0 defeat in the corresponding fixture last season and certainly enjoyed putting things right over the weekend.
After last year’s game, Brentford’s Toney took a subtle swipe at Arsenal by tweeting ‘nice kick about with the boys’, which Gabriel referenced after Sunday’s routine victory.
Speaking on his YouTube channel, Ferdinand said: ‘Do you know what? I loved Gabriel’s tweet. I loved that banter.
‘Toney hammered them last season with his tweet, now it’s Arsenal’s turn. It was lovely, I love to see it.
‘If I was playing, that’s what I’d be doing all the time. I would be smoking people on Twitter before the game. I’d take the fines, I would.’
Toney, meanwhile, has admitted he had to stop himself from ‘nibbling’ back at Arsenal and called the social media posts ‘a bit cringey’.
Former Gunners striker Alexandre Lacazette also used the formula to mock Brentford after Arsenal won 2-1 in their home fixture last season.
‘I think once was funny, second time a bit cringy but I bit my tongue, I wanted to reply, I wanted to nibble but fair play to them they played very well,’ Toney told a press conference on Tuesday following his England call-up.
‘They are a different Arsenal side to what we played before and they played very well, fair play to them, they are doing well.’
Following the international break, Arsenal return to Premier League action against north London rivals Tottenham. Brentford, meanwhile, face Bournemouth next.
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