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Bukayo Saka knew he was going to score against Manchester United, as Arsenal star's pre-match comments proved

Ryan Sidle

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Bukayo Saka knew he was going to score against Manchester United, as Arsenal star's pre-match comments proved

Bukayo Saka had a lot of confidence that he was going to score before Arsenal's game with Manchester United, and he delivered by equalling a club record.

Sunday's game between first and fourth in the Premier League was one of the game's of the season so far, with momentum swinging one way and then the other.

In one of the Gunners' biggest tests of their title credentials, they went behind thanks to Marcus Rashford's excellent goal, despite having the momentum at the time.

However, the lead didn't last too long, with Eddie Nketiah levelling things up just seven minutes later, and that's how it stayed till the second half.

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The hosts took the lead for the first time in the game when Saka curled brilliantly into the far corner past David de Gea, having cut in from the right.

Throughout the game, the England forward was causing problems for his national teammate Luke Shaw, who was one of the players criticised by Roy Keane.

He needn't have felt too bad, because Saka was so full of confidence before the game, it almost felt like he knew he was going to score.

Ahead of kick off, the 21-year-old was told by Sky Sports that a goal would level him with Thierry Henry and Freddie Ljungberg as the only Arsenal players to have scored three games in-a-row against United.

"Challenge accepted," Saka replied, "It'd be a pleasure to be in the company of those two elite players, so I hope I can do it."

Speaking after the game, the Londoner said, "I'm happy I accepted the challenge - hello Freddie, hello Thierry! I'm happy.

"I was so close [to getting a second goal] but I'm just happy I got that first one and it gave me confidence to keep shooting. I had a lot of shots today so next time hopefully another one will go in."

Lisandro Martinez's inventive header from a United corner soon levelled the game up again, before Mikel Arteta's team really got on the front foot.

After around 20 minutes of pressure on the away side goal, it looked like the league leaders were going to have to settle for a draw.

In the dying minutes of injury time, Nketiah, who has had his critics, cleverly got on the end of a ball and flicked it past David de Gea.

Nketiah scores the winner. Image: Alamy
Nketiah scores the winner. Image: Alamy

Saka was named Player of the Match, after his contribution to the win, but he was in typical generous mood when handed the trophy by Nketiah, saying, "We should actually share this."

The win leaves them five points clear of Manchester City in second, having played a game less than the champions, although they still have to play them twice.

The Premier League title hasn't gone to north London since the likes of Henry and Ljungberg went the whole season undefeated in 2003/04.

United made sure that the invincible part of that couldn't be repeated earlier in the season, but they were helpless when it came to slowing down Arsenal's title march.

Featured Image Credit: Sky Sports

Topics: Manchester United, Bukayo Saka, Arsenal, Premier League, Thierry Henry

Ryan Sidle
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