I can’t believe what Bukayo Saka did in last minute of Bayern Munich Champions League defeat

By Staff

There was plenty of hope, a good deal of optimism and a certain sense of expectation as Arsenal travelled to the Allianz Arena in Germany to take on Bayern Munich in the second leg of the Champions League quarter-final.

But that all evaporated following a pretty meek display by Arsenal as they crashed out of the Champions League to their old foes. At least it wasn’t another 5-1.

Joshua Kimmich scored the only goal of the game in Munich, to see Bayern through 3-2 on aggregate to face Real Madrid in the semi-finals, after they knocked out holders Manchester City. The excitement over a potential all-England semi-final has become a Germany vs Spain last-four clash.

The expected goals tells the story of the two-legged encounter – Bayern racked by 3.69, while Arsenal finished on 1.95. The German side deserved it over the two legs.

That will not take away the disappointment for Arsenal fans, who now have to hope their team can bounce back from this reverse, and the loss to Aston Villa in the Premier League at the weekend to get their title challenge back on track. Wolves this Saturday will be huge.

Arsenal’s disappointing display in the Allianz Arena was somewhat summed up by what happened in the final seconds of injury-time a the end of the match. The Gunners won a corner, after a quick free-kick found Ben White but he was quickly pounced upon in the box. Up came David Raya. This was it. Last chance saloon.

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Bukayo Saka stood over the ball and sent it into the box. Well, not really into the box, it went straight in towards the near post where it was easily dealt with by the first man. The referee’s whistle sounded straight after and that was that.

When the Gunners needed a good delivery into the box to cause mayhem in the final seconds, they did not get it. It was an awful corner, from their starboy.

But the tie does not rest on his shoulders. Let’s not forget the impressive goal he scored in the first leg and the work he put in to try to give Arsenal that home advantage last week. Let’s not forget everything he has done for the Gunners. He has been sensational since breaking into the first team and he is a wonderful talent.

But is there too much weight of expectation on his shoulders? We’ve asked this question before, and yes Arsenal have Martin Odegaard and Declan Rice now to turn to, but still, Saka is the one that the fans gravitate to, the one the fans expect greatness from, the one who can dig them out of any hole, right?

He is just 22 years old. His rise has been phenomenal and he cannot do it all by himself. He has played 3,435 minutes so far this season, added to the 3,744 he racked up last season and the 3,359 in 2021/22 and 3,606 in 2020/21. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again – he needs a break.

He will have expected so much better from, not just that corner, but the entire night, he puts that pressure on himself. It was a poor, poor moment when Arsenal needed him to deliver his best. And it was out of character for the Gunners too.

Since Nicolas Jover was appointed as set-piece coach in 2021, Arsenal have scored more set-piece goals than any other team in the Premier League. The tag ‘set-piece FC’ has been levelled at them on social media with 18 so far in the top flight this season, three more than next best Everton.

Zero goals, zero assists, zero shots on target, zero chances created, zero accurate crosses and zero successful dribbles. It was not his, or Arsenal’s night.

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