Bukayo Saka has reflected on the Arsenal celebrations that followed the club’s recent win over Manchester United.
Bukayo Saka grabbed the assist for Rice’s match-winning goal. In the 96th minute, Saka swung in a deep corner, which Arsenal’s club-record £105 million summer signing was able to control on his chest before firing a low shot which deflected past Andre Onana and into the back of the net.
The Emirates Stadium erupted in celebration, and after the match the Vanilla Ice hit ‘Ice, Ice Baby’ was played out over the stadium’s PA system, with the Gunners fans chanting along with “Rice, Rice Baby”, in honour of the midfielder’s crucial contribution.
Saka details Rice’s response to Arsenal fans
Speaking to TalkSport whilst on England duty, Saka was asked about his recollections of the post-match celebrations that took place on the pitch, and how Rice felt about his reception from the fans.
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The 22-year-old said, “yeah, that was amazing. I think I’ve watched the goal back over twenty times. It was an unbelievable moment for him [Rice], his family, and even the stadium. You know, he even told me the Emirates is ‘crazy’, like, when he felt the atmosphere. He’s right, you know, it’s really special to play there. So I’m just happy that he’s happy, that he’s performing, and obviously he got his first goal as well. I don’t think there’s a better moment for him to get his first goal. So yeah, I’m happy for him.”
A winning goal against Manchester United was the perfect way for Rice to establish himself at the north London club. The goal also came at the end of a brilliant all round performance from the player. The 43-cap England man was a dominant force in the middle of the park against the Red Devils, exemplifying all of the combative and technical qualities that Mikel Arteta brought him to the club to show.
Arsenal fans will be expecting plenty more such displays from Rice this season. Whilst he wasn’t signed for his goalscoring prowess, his strike on Sunday showed that he is a player, like Saka and Odegaard, capable of stepping up on the biggest of occasions.