Arsenal’s Bukayo Saka is no longer a rising star, he’s the heart of the Premier League favorites
When did “star boy” seem like a completely inadequate label for Bukayo Saki? For all that it must be very nice to be described in this way, there is a feeling of incompleteness in the nickname Saki. This suggests that he is still new, that he has yet to develop the biggest gravity force in the Premier League.
Nothing is further from the truth. If there is one thing that unites the best players in this league – and by extension, in world football – it is that they only need half an opening to turn the tide of the competition. Last month at the Emirates Stadium, this was confirmed; Takehiro Tomiyasu didn’t prepare a back pass Aaron Ramsdalewho was trapped in no man’s land. However, if Kevin De Bruyne had to score, he needed to hook the ball around and over Arsenal a goaltender on full swing, gaining enough power to overtake recovering defenders without overcooking a shot that can naturally loop or even bounce off the bar. Of course he did.
Make a mistake against the best in the league and they will make you pay. And so it was when Everton a largely exceptional defense left a gap in the right corner of the penalty area, Saka filled it in before the blue jerseys could see the danger. Oleksandr Zinchenko got him into the first vantage point that an Arsenal player found all night, but there was still a lot of work to do. His first two touches allowed him to move forward, but the angle narrowed and with Vitaly Mykolenko in hot pursuit, there would be no time to make a touch to move the ball to his stronger left foot.
His right hand did the job empathically, disproving the old adage about hitting a goalkeeper at the near post with one punch. If Jordan Pickford touched the ball with his fingertip, both could be in goal.
At some point the tension eased, a game that seemed set to be decided in the last 10 minutes turned into a convincing 4-0 win that extended Arsenal’s lead to five points at the top of the Premier League. WITH Manchester meet Newcatle, crystal palace And Liverpool in the next three games, this could be seen as the start of a period in which the Gunners open up a lead.
No one noticed after a terrible first half hour, during which Everton defended with numbers and purposefully broke through, with Brazilian centre-back Gabriel being arguably the best player on the pitch. Similarly, Butterscotch didn’t have a player who wins the game in an instant. Frankly, in Neil Mopey they have one who just doesn’t fit into the ranks of the premier league forwards. Twice in the opening exchanges, he missed promising chances, curling up in the arms of Aaron Ramsdale as he was given the opportunity to turn around on the edge of the penalty area before finishing a dangerous counterattack with an anemic heel strike.
Everton may not have looked like the team that were going to score, but they didn’t really enjoy conceding within 39 minutes, limiting the hosts to Jorginho hit from the edge of the box. Most likely, the determination of Sean Dyche’s charges was broken not by the debut, but by the second moment later, when Idrissa Guie Saka initially appeared to have knocked the ball down due to an offside move by Gabriel Martinelli, who scored his 10th goal of the Premier League season. On first viewing, the Brazilian was considered ahead of the game, but the VAR system quickly concluded that he was almost in the game.
Bar short flurry off Demaray GrayEverton understandably concluded that there was no better strategy for the second half than to save their legs for the upcoming relegation battle, starting with a worrying Sunday trip to Nottingham. Martin Odegaard and Martinelli helped wipe out City’s lead on goal difference in the second half, where Arsenal became even more authoritative and insightful.
They might never have made it there if it wasn’t for their best player. He is a star, he plays on the right. His name is Bukayo Saka… You may know what the rest of this chant sounds like.