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“He was brilliant” – Southampton’s Russell Martin hails Aribo after late winner against Birmingham

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Joe Aribo played just a hundred and nine minutes of football with the Super Eagles of Nigeria at the AFCON 2023 tournament in Ivory Coast.

Southampton head coach, Russell Martin, has heaped praise on Super Eagles midfielder, Joe Ayodele Aribo after he scored a 96th-minute goal to snatch all three points for the Saints last night, Soccernet.ng reports.

Aribo, 27, has struggled for game time this season with club and country, starting just eight games all season for the Saints, and one at the AFCON 2023 tournament for Nigeria, accruing just over a hundred minutes of football in Ivory Coast.


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He returned to Saint Mary’s with a silver medal and boots laced with goalscoring touch, finding the back twice in his last five games for Russell’s men.

With twenty minutes left on the clock, the Scottish manager sent Aribo on in search of an equalizer against ten-men Birmingham at the Saint Andrew’s Knighthead Park.

A corner kick in the closing seconds of the game found Taylor Harwood-Bells in space. The English man fired straight to goal, but the shot fell kindly into Aribo’s feet before the Nigerian took his time and sent the ball into the bottom left corner, causing despair for Mark Venus’ men.

After the game, Russell revealed how impressed was with the former Rangers man, and explained why he had not been starting more games.

“I love all the players so I don’t mind who gets the winner. Aribo was brilliant today and unlucky not to start after the Liverpool game on Wednesday,” the 38-year-old manager said in quotes revealed by The Daily Echo.

Aribo’s goal takes Southampton to within three points of Daniel Farke’s Leeds United, as they press on the throttle en route to the English top flight.

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