Arsenal qualified for the UEFA Champions League knockout stages last night for the first time in seven years, following their 6-0 thrashing of French side, RC Lens at the Emirates Stadium. Mikel Arteta’s have now qualified top of the group with a game to spare.
The Gunners had six different scorers throughout the game with Bukayo Saka, Kai Havertz, Gabriel Jesus, Martin Odegaard, Gabriel Martinelli and Jorginho all getting on the scoresheet.
Bukayo Saka grabbed another goal and an assist last night which makes him only the third player in the history of the Champions League to score and assist in three consecutive home matches.
Bukayo Saka becomes only the third player in the history of the Champions League to score and assist in three consecutive home matches.
1️⃣ Karim Benzema
2️⃣ Luis Suarez
3️⃣ Bukayo Saka
— now.arsenal (@now_arsenaI) November 29, 2023
However it wasn’t all good for Bukayo Saka as he admitted after the game that he was not too happy with one decision Arsenal manager, Mikel Arteta made during the match on Wednesday night.
The game was all but done in the first-half with the Gunners finding themselves 5-0 up going into the break. With qualification wrapped up, Mikel Arteta decided to take Saka off just before the halfway mark in the second-half.
However, Saka did not feel that way as he was asked about whether he was happy to come off: “Not really. I wanted to play 90 minutes if I’m honest. But yeah, I understand his decision. Now I’m focused on Wolves and trying to do my best for that game as well.”
Of course a player never wants to come off the pitch, especially when there’s more goals to be scored. However Bukayo Saka has played so many games already this season and with the Wolves match in under three days time, Arteta made the smart decision in taking off his winger halfway through the second-half.
Saka’s two goal contributions las night means he now leads the way for goals and assists combined in the Champions League. It’s made even more impressive by the fact Saka is yet to complete 90 minutes in the competition so far this season.
Bukayo Saka will look to get on the scoresheet again against Wolves on Saturday And if he does, Arteta will definitely feel he was right to take him off early on Wednesday night.