Arsenal winger Bukayo Saka frustrated the Gunners’ captain, Martin Odegaard, as the Emirates Stadium club won 1-0 away at London rivals Crystal Palace on Monday night.
That is according to James Benge, who reported that Saka angered Odegaard late in the first half at Crystal Palace. The Arsenal captain was ‘absolutely bawling’ at the 21-year-old having not fulfilled his defensive duties against Jordan Ayew in the opening period at Selhurst Park.
A 54th-minute penalty by Odegaard proved the difference at Crystal Palace, despite Arsenal ending the game with 10 men. Referee David Coote irked the away side by showing Takehiro Tomiyasu two yellow cards. Both instances were, arguably, harsh on the Japanese full-back.
Odegaard secured Arsenal a 1-0 win with 10 men at Crystal Palace
Coote initially cautioned Tomiyasu for time wasting with a throw-in, despite Kai Havertz first delaying the fixture for far longer. While the official quickly reached for his cards again after Ayew fell to the ground after Tomiyasu lightly held onto the forward’s shirt after being spun.
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Yet Ayew should, potentially, have already seen red for two yellow card instances. Coote had shown the 31-year-old a yellow card in the 27th minute for clipping Havertz. But the official later kept his cards in his pocket when Ayew wrestled Saka to the ground on the right flank.
Gabriel Martinelli took the resulting free-kick quickly and found Eddie Nketiah, whose quick burst caught the Eagles cold. Sam Johnstone then tripped the striker inside the box to yield the penalty from which Odegaard scored. His spot-kick would, just about, be the difference.
Why was Odegaard furious with Saka away at Selhurst Park?
Saka, who Rio Ferdinand calls ‘phenomenal’, had infuriated Odegaard in the first half during Arsenal’s win at Crystal Palace, though. The Gunners skipper unloaded on the forward late in the opening period for not covering Ayew. Saka believed he was due to track Tyrick Mitchell.
Odegaard let rip at the forward for staying with Mitchell and not Ayew. But the left-back did cause Arsenal some problems and would flash a threatening cross across Aaron Ramsdale’s area early in the second half. He also blazed his shot over the bar later in the second period.