'It came off my lips!' - Saka delighted after unconventional winner

By Sports Desk October 13, 2022

Bukayo Saka was thrilled his fortuitous goal gave Arsenal a hard-fought 1-0 away win at Bodo/Glimt in the Europa League to continue their strong start to the season.

A lovely move in the 24th minute gave Saka the ball in the box and, though his initial shot was deflected, it came back off the 21-year-old and nestled into the back of the net to put the Gunners ahead.

Though they underwent spells of sustained pressure in the second period as the hosts pushed for an equaliser, Arsenal held on to make it 11 wins from 12 in all competitions to start the campaign and put them on nine points at the top of Group A.

Bodo had won 14 consecutive home games in European competition prior to the defeat and Saka knew it would be hard work putting an end to that run.

"It was very difficult, and we knew that before," Saka told BT Sport. "There's no way they can win their last 14 games in Europe here and we'll come here and it will be easy."

Asked about his unorthodox winner, the England international added: "I think it came off my lips!"

Bodo had multiple chances to level the game, with Amahl Pellegrino spurning a couple of great opportunities while Runar Espejord and Ola Solbakken also went close.

But Saka had little sympathy for the Norwegian champions after the match, recounting previous experiences of being on the end of unjust results.

"This is football, if you don't score you get punished," Saka added. "We've had games like that and we've left the game feeling quite hard done by, but you quickly learn this is football.

"It was quite end-to-end, it was quite difficult. I feel like they were on us for quite a big period, especially in the second half.

"They did well. That's why it's extra nice for us to leave here with three points because we know how difficult it was out there."

Arsenal return to London with another three points, but Saka wants his team-mates to re-sharpen their focus ahead of Sunday's Premier League trip to Leeds United, who are yet to lose at Elland Road this season.

"We have to be happy with the three points and focus on Sunday," he added.

"Like I always say, we have to keep focus on each game because each game is coming every three days and it's getting more and more difficult, so we have to keep our focus as high as ever and try and win each game."

When questioned on his own personal goals, Saka replied: "To win.

"It's the most important thing for me. I'm a big believer in being a team player first, so if the team wins, I leave the pitch happy."

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