Bukayo Saka reveals Arsenal dressing room stance on title race as Man City sent clear message

Bukayo Saka of Arsenal celebrates scoring a goal from the penalty spot during the Premier League match between Arsenal FC and AFC Bournemouth at Emirates Stadium on May 4, 2024

Bukayo Saka has insisted that he and his Arsenal teammates have been relishing the Premier League title race against Manchester City. The Gunners currently lead Pep Guardiola's side by a point, but the reigning champions have a game in hand – which could prove pivotal by the end of the campaign.

Last term, Arsenal established a five-point lead over Manchester City before stumbling at the final hurdle after losing William Saliba due to injury. This season, Saka has been determined to finally get his hands on some silverware, taking the treble winners down to the wire.

The 22-year-old winger, who fired the Gunners to a 3-0 win over Bournemouth at the weekend, has featured 34 times in the English top flight, scoring 16 goals and providing nine assists. He's placed a crucial role for Artea's side, stepping up in some big games against the likes of Tottenham Hotspur, Liverpool and Chelsea.

"You can see it in two ways," said Saka, as quoted by the Evening Standard. "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 been on the receiving end of some nasty tackles this season, yet he's only missed games due to injury. The Hale End graduate added: "I try to avoid the big tackles, so I think I'm much smarter now, as well as being more physical.

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"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."

Erling Haaland is just as focused on the task at hand. Speaking to the official club website after Manchester City stormed past Wolves, the Norwegian striker issued a call to arms as Manchester City close in on another title.

He said: "Great game, important win. Feels fantastic to score four goals, [and an] important win. It was a difficult game, they can play football so it was not easy, but we were solid and we were on a mission, we were so focused on the game and now we focus on the next one."