Oleksandr Zinchenko summed up the feelings of every Arsenal fan with his incredible reaction to Bukayo Saka’s late penalty which secured a 3-2 win over Liverpool.
The Gunners had failed to win in their last five games with Jurgen Klopp’s side – in fact, they had failed to score and conceded 11 times – but produced a superb display to reclaim top spot in the Premier League on Sunday.
Gabriel Martinelli got Arsenal off to a flying start in the very first minute, darting in behind Liverpool’s defence and sliding the ball beyond Alisson.
The visitors grew into the game and dominated for large spells, eventually finding a equaliser through Darwin Nunez, but were undone again by a swift counter that saw Saka restore the Gunners’ lead in the fifth minute of added time.
Liverpool again hit back in the second half, this time through Roberto Firmino, but Arsenal exerted more pressure and were awarded a controversial penalty when Gabriel Jesus was brought down by Thiago.
The Merseysiders were furious with the decision and Saka – was made to wait a long time before stepping up, but dispatched his spot-kick superbly.
Zinchenko was unavailable for the game after picking up another injury and was forced to watch from the stands – and he reacted just like every Arsenal supporter when Saka found the back of the net.
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The Ukrainian’s celebrations have become something of a trademark, having dropped to his knees to celebrate Xhaka’s goal against Tottenham last week, and was just as exuberant in the players’ box, fist-pumping and letting out a huge roar of delight.
Speaking about Zinchenko before the match, manager Mikel Arteta said: ‘He’s had another muscle injury. Let’s see how it evolves in the next few days.’
Saka spoke to Sky Sports after the game and was thrilled to finally get one over Liverpool, saying: ‘In the past two or three years, Liverpool have been a team we have struggled against.
‘To win in front of our fans is special and it shows how much we are progressing.
‘It gives us more confidence because they are a fantastic team and we have a lot of respect for them. I feel like we deserved to lead at half-time so to get that goal was crucial. I want to score more now.’