Arsenal were held to a 2-2 draw by Sporting Lisbon in the Europa League last night, and Mikel Arteta was furious with Bukayo Saka and Ben White late in the game.
The Gunners went to Portugal as the favourites to get the job done, but Ruben Amorim’s side, unsurprisingly, made things difficult for the North Londoners.
William Saliba and Granit Xhaka scored either side of Sporting’s two goals, but it was Arteta’s angry reaction to what White and Saka did towards the end of the game that caught our eye.
Mikel Arteta shouted at Arsenal stars Bukayo Saka and Ben White
Arteta made six changes to his side yesterday from the win over Bournemouth last weekend – White for Takehiro Tomiyasu was one of them.
The Englishman has had a phenomenal season. He has formed an incredible partnership with Saka on the right flank, and that has benefitted the Gunners massively.
Sporting, however, came in with an excellent game plan to stop Saka. White constantly tried to overlap the winger, but it didn’t make much of a difference as the Arsenal number seven barely found him in a dangerous position.
Both players worked extremely hard throughout the game though, and that took its toll. Saka and White were absolutely knackered, and you could see how much they were struggling towards the end of the game.
At one moment in the final few minutes of the second half, Sporting won a goal kick. White and Saka looked extremely tired and were slowly hobbling back. That’s when the camera panned to Arteta.
The Arsenal boss was absolutely livid. He screamed at Saka and White, wildly gesturing for them to get back in position before Sporting could exploit the vacant space.
The two players noticed how angry Arteta was and tried to get back quickly, but it was evident for everyone to see that they were exhausted.