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'My ankle is a bit bloody' – Arsenal's Saka reveals 'more protection' talk with referee after Aston Villa win

19:35 GMT+3 19/03/2022
Bukayo Saka, Arsenal away, Premier League 2021-22
The Gunners star will not be stepping off from his approach to matches despite the risk to himself after helping Mikel Arteta's side to another win

Bukayo Saka says he was left with bloody ankles after Arsenal's Premier League victory over Aston Villa on Saturday, but the England star does not intend to compromise his game.

The Gunners winger bagged a milestone finish on the road at Villa Park as Mikel Arteta's side further consolidated their place in the top four, to give them the upper hand in pursuit of a Champions League place.

The youngster was on the end of several hefty challenges throughout the game and was seen in conversation with match officials at the full-time whistle, but speaking afterwards, Saka stated that he would not be cutting down on his style and approach to matches.

What has been said?

"My ankle is a bit bloody, but I’ll be going again in the next game," Saka told BT Sport at full-time at Villa Park, "It’s part of my game, so I’ll be doing it again next time.

"We defended really well. Credit to the goalkeeper and defence, who were so solid again.The way we defended and saw out the game, we’ve done that quite a few times this season. It’s making a real difference."

The England winger was seen speaking to the officials at full-time and added to BBC Match of the Day: "I wasn't complaining, but I wanted to let him know that is my game. I'm going to run at players; sometimes I need a bit more protection when the opposition is trying to kick me."

Saka backs resilience on record-breaking day

On a day where Saka nabbed Arsenal's 2000th goal in the Premier League, the Gunners once again dug in to deliver the kind of performance where they might have faltered and allowed opponents a way back in this time last season.

Their improved aptitude and ability to stay strong under pressure is something that the 20-year-old admits they have been working on, while stating that the club can not get ahead of themselves in their European place pursuit just yet.

"We are better at it," Saka added. "We have been working on it and improving, you can see that. The Champions League is the goal, but we've got to stay humble."

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