Get all your news in one place.
100’s of premium titles.
One app.
Start reading
Daily Mirror
Daily Mirror
Nathan Ridley

Bukayo Saka knew what was coming against Man Utd as pre-match tunnel comments resurface

Bukayo Saka beamed with confidence before becoming only the third Arsenal player to score against Manchester United in three successive games.

The Gunners winger, 21, fired home Arsenal's second goal in their statement 3-2 victory over United on Sunday, as Eddie Nketiah 's 90th-minute winner restored their five-point lead over champions Manchester City at the top of the Premier League table. It could be a historic campaign for Mikel Arteta 's side, one of whom has already made a piece of his own.

Saka's well-struck effort from outside of the United penalty area meant he followed in Arsenal legends Thierry Henry and Freddie Ljungberg 's footsteps, who'd previously netted against the Red Devils in three consecutive games. Pre-match, the England international accepted the challenge in typically humble but determined fashion.

"Challenge accepted," Saka laughed to Sky Sports in the Emirates tunnel. "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 Gunners ran out 3-2 winners, the 21-year-old was asked about his feat, to which he replied with a smile: "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."

While Saka has a long away to go before matching the two Arsenal icons' greater feats, the Hale End academy graduate certainly has the ability to do so after being described as "unplayable" in the wake of Sunday's victory by ex- Liverpool midfielder Jamie Redknapp. The humble Saka isn't getting carried away, though, and he didn't even think he deserved the Man of the Match award.

Have your say! Will Arsenal win the Premier League title? Give us your prediction in the comments section.

Bukayo Saka became only the third Arsenal player to score against Man Utd in three successive games (David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images)

"We should actually share this," he said to to team-mate Nketiah, who scored twice. On what aspects earned the Gunners their hard-fought win, Saka added: "Many, many things, I could be here for days. I think firstly of course is the belief that we have.

"When we come to the Emirates, the way our fans are supporting us, I'll say again we went 1-0 down and you can see the fans cheering us - they understand what that does for us players so that’s one thing, and definitely the way the coach is setting us up, the players they've brought in, it's changed us a lot."

Nketiah's late goal took Arsenal to the 50-point mark, the Gunners' best ever tally after 19 Premier League games. "That's really significant and it's definitely something we can be really proud of," Saka acknowledged. "But we have to stay humble at the same time because it's only halfway through the season, things can change very quickly. But if we keep playing like we are doing now we’ll be in a good place at the end of the season. We just have to keep it up."

Sign up to read this article
Read news from 100’s of titles, curated specifically for you.
Already a member? Sign in here
Related Stories
Top stories on inkl right now
Our Picks
Fourteen days free
Download the app
One app. One membership.
100+ trusted global sources.