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Ross Barkley says Arsenal star begged him to stop running at him during Luton clash

Ross Barkley says Arsenal star begged him to stop running at him during Luton clash

Barkley has revealed all.

Luton midfielder Ross Barkley says an Arsenal star begged him to stop running at him during the recent Premier League clash between the two sides.

The Hatters and Arsenal played out one of the best Premier League matches of the season earlier this month at Kenilworth Road, with the Gunners running out 4-3 winners.

Arsenal took an early lead through Gabriel Martinelli, but Rob Edwards' side twice came from behind to level the scores.

Barkley then made it 3-2 on 57 minutes, before Kai Havertz found an equaliser three minutes later.

Mikel Arteta's side then secured a last-gasp victory when Declan Rice's header found the bottom corner of the net on 97 minutes.

The goal sparked jubilation among the away section of Kenilworth Road - and Luton staff were said to be 'taken aback' by how the Gunners celebrated the victory in their dressing room.

After the match, though, plenty of attention was placed on the quality of Barkley's performance, with the England midfielder recently displaying the sort of form that saw him rated as the one of the hottest prospects in English football while at Everton.

And, according to the man himself, his star display left one Arsenal star literally pleading with the ball-carrying midfielder to stop running at him.

Barkley revealed in an interview with The Times: "Martin Odegaard did say, 'You have to stop running at me with the ball!'

"Teams expect Luton to be more direct. With me, I try and bring calmness to the middle of the park, suck a few players in and give other players more time on the ball.

"Declan [Rice] is physical. Odegaard is less physical, but is world-class on the ball. When I had the ball, I knew I could move the ball away from him."

Odegaard's own composure on the ball was shown in great style in the final minute of the game.

After receiving the ball outside the area, the Norwegian resisted the temptation to whip the ball in straight away, calmly moving the ball onto his left foot before directing his cross directly onto the head of Rice for the winner.

For Barkley, who scored his first Premier League goal of the season in the defeat, the 30-year-old will be looking to play a key role in Luton's battle to stay in the division.

On his reasons behind joining the Hatters, he explained: "Before I came in, Rob [Edwards] said over the phone he wants me to 'play with the handbrake off, express yourself, chip in with goals, make things happen and just enjoy your football'. That's what swayed me to come."

Featured Image Credit: Getty

Topics: Ross Barkley, Arsenal, Premier League, Luton Town