Nigerian Youngster Secret Instrument for Arsenal

Anglo-Nigerian youngster Bukayo Saka, has emerged as a secret weapon for struggling English Premier League side Arsenal in the UEFA Europa League.

Saka scored and created to complete an emphatic come back draw for last season's Europa League runner-up Arsenal in their 2-2 draw against Belgian Jupiter League strong side Standard Liege.

Arsenal went into the game knowing that a win would seal top spot in the group and ensure a seeded place in next week's draw for the round of 32.
There was a danger of them not progressing through to the next round, but they would merely need to avoid a defeat in Belgium.

Ljungberg picked a mostly young side with a sprinkle of experience as the likes of Konstantinos Mavropanos and Emile Smith Rowe were offered support by David Luiz and Alexandre Lacazette.

The first half was a pretty miserable affair for anyone watching the match, with chances for either side few and far between.

But just a minute into the second half, Standard Liege took the lead through Samuel Bastien, whose shot went in via a heavy deflection.

And with 20 minutes to go, they extended their lead with another deflected effort, this time Selim Amallah scoring.

Things were looking ominous for the Gunners, but an Alexandre Lacazette header from Bukayo Saka's cross got them back in it, before the young winger cut inside before curling a great effort into the bottom corner.

And with Eintracht Frankfurt falling to a surprise 3-2 loss at home to Vitoria, it meant Arsenal topped the group heading into the knockout draw.

Saka completed The Gunners come back in the Europa League with a goal as Freddie Ljungberg side qualified for the round of 32.

"He was amazing. He was a bit upset with me before the game that he had to play wing-back and full-back. He’s a tremendous talent.

“His final ball and last bit is always effective.

“I feel sorry for our young players. A lot of them haven’t been on loan, they’ve not had that exposure to men’s football.

“Some of them made mistakes but they’ll learn from those mistakes and won’t do them again.

“Bukayo had a tremendous night.” Arsenal Caretaker manager, Freddie Ljungberg praises the impact of the 18-year-old at the Post match press conference.

Meanwhile Saka who confessed some months back that he is a Nigerian has been nominated for the Europa League Player of the week alongside Wolverhampton Wanderers Diogo Jota, Joris Gnagnon and Mason Greenwood.

By Olamide Oyetunji

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