- Bukayo Saka proved to be the difference in Arsenal’s round of 32 tie against Benfica
- The Gunners left it late with an 87th minute winner from Aubameyang to progress to the last 16
- Former Arsenal man Cesc Fabregas was thoroughly impressed by Saka’s performances throughout the game
Arsenal youngster Bukayo Saka was so impressive against Benfica on Thursday, February 25 that he earned a rare endorsement from former Gunner Cesc Fabregas.
Fabregas, who has developed a tendency of online commentary during games, hailed the 19-year old as a “game changer” for his performances which helped the Gunners to a 3-2 comeback win over their Portuguese rivals.
Saka, a very versatile winner, assisted two of Arsenal’s three goals in a game which Mikel Arteta’s side looked to be on the way out.
For his first assist, he laid off a beautiful ball to Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang who lifted the ball over the Benfica goalkeeper.
Aubameyang the hero as Arsenal spring sensational comeback vs Benfica to reach Europa League last 16
He also set up Arsenal’s winner in the 87th minute, finding Aubameyang again at the back post with a neat pass.
Aside from his two assists, Saka’s numbers throughout the game were extremely impressive for a boy still in his teens.
He had a 92% pass accuracy and recorded 57 touches on the ball throughout the match.
In addition, he was also integral in some defensive duties for his side as he won 100% of his aerial duels , with two ball recoveries.
Fabregas, who was following proceedings took to his Twitter to comment, “Saka is such a good player. Such a maturity and intelligence for his age. Game changer.”
It is safe to say Saka reminds the Monaco man of himself when he was a young Arsenal player.
After the game, Saka also took to his own social media to appease Arsenal fans, who were on the edge of their seats for most of the game prior to Aubameyang’s winner.
“Yes we almost gave you a heart attack but we love you all! More nights like this please boys,” he tweeted.
Earlier, Legit.ng had reported how Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang missed a couple of chances during Arsenal's 1-1 draw with Benfica but the Gabonese striker has tendered his apologies to fans.
The North London club should have buried the game but hold an away goal advantage going into the second leg at the Emirates.
Hector Bellerin released a beautiful pass across to Aubameyang and all he needed to do was to apply a simple tap-in to put his side ahead in the 19th minute.
Ibitoye Shittu is an award winning Sports Journalist with more than 10 years experience in News-writing, reporting and Public Relation. He is an HND and B.SC holder of Mass Communication and can be reached on Twitter @Ibishittu