Bukayo Saka urged Arsenal to “stay humble” in the Premier League title race but expressed pride at the “really significant” late victory over Manchester United.
Mikel Arteta’s side moved five points clear at the summit, with a game in hand over second-placed Manchester City, after Eddie Nketiah’s 90th-minute strike snatched a 3-2 victory over United on Sunday.
The triumph saw Arsenal boost their points total to 50 after 19 games, surpassing their previous best of 45 after as many matches in their title-winning 2003-04 campaign.
When asked about the Gunners’ remarkable return at the halfway point in the season, Saka told Sky Sports: “That’s really significant. It’s something we can be proud of, but we have to stay humble.
“It’s only halfway through the season and things can change very quickly. But if we keep playing like we have then we’ll be in a good place at the end of the season, we just have to keep it up.”
Arsenal 3-2 Man Utd: A brilliant game of football. Based on quality of chances, Arsenal deserved that late winner and they hit 50 points at the halfway points of their Premier League season.
Mikel Arteta’s young side go from strength to strength. pic.twitter.com/jq4Rj6p6pG
— Opta Analyst (@OptaAnalyst) January 22, 2023
The Gunners fell to a 3-1 defeat at United in September, their only loss of the league campaign thus far, but exacted revenge with a vital victory in their tussle with City for the title.
“You can see how much it means to everyone. They’re the only team that have beaten us this season, so we really wanted to beat them for the fans,” Saka said.
Nketiah cancelled out Marcus Rashford’s first-half opener before Saka produced a moment of magic after 53 minutes to edge Arsenal ahead, firing into the far corner after dancing in from the right flank.
That strike saw the England international join Freddie Ljungberg (between 1998-2000) and Thierry Henry (between 2000-2001) as the only Arsenal players to score in three in a row against United in the competition.
On joining Ljungberg and Henry, the 21-year-old said: “Hello Freddie, hello Thierry – I’m happy. I was so close to getting two, but I’m just so happy I got that first one, and it gave me the confidence to keep shooting.”
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