Arsenal: Bukayo Saka verdict on Man City title challenge as Gunners hope for slip-up

The Gunners talisman insists another close-fought battle with Manchester City is “beautiful”

Bukayo Saka insists Arsenal are not getting frustrated by the title race being out of their hands — and instead view it as a "beautiful challenge".

Arsenal are top of the Premier League and a point clear of Manchester City with two games to go, but Pep Guardiola's side have a game in hand.

The Gunners, who head to Manchester United on Sunday, have dropped five points and lost just once in the Premier League this year.

But it has not been enough to keep at bay City, who thumped Wolves 5-1 on Saturday to stretch their unbeaten run in the league to 20 matches.


"You can see it in two ways," said Saka. "You can either view it as frustrating or as a beautiful challenge. Everybody knows [City] are one of the best teams in the world, they have been on the top for the past five years, challenging for everything.

"So, for ourselves to be up there competing with them is good. We are pushing them the whole way and let's see what happens.

"But we're not getting frustrated, we see it as a challenge that we want to fight until the end. They have set a standard and it's up to the rest of us to try to be better than them."

Saka has scored 20 times in a season for the first time in his career. The 22-year-old has excelled despite being targeted by defenders, and he believes that is down to him learning on the job.

Man City have set a standard and it's up to the rest of us to try to be better than them

Bukayo Saka

"I try to avoid the big tackles, so I think I'm much smarter now, as well as being more physical," Saka said. "It's just the hunger to win that keeps me going — that's why I keep getting up. It's part of it.

"I feel like I'm physically much stronger than I was four or five years ago. I've got more experience now, in terms of knowing which tackles to go through and which ones to jump. If I stay on the floor, then it can disrupt the momentum we've built up, so I just try to get on with it."

This is the fourth season in a row Saka has played more than 50 games for club and country.

Manager Mikel Arteta wants the winger to be available every week "like the top players in the world". Saka added: "He (Arteta) told me that elite players all do that, so if I want to be at that level too, then I need to be ready to play that many games."