Roy Keane brands Arsenal slip up ‘self-inflicted’ but spares blushes of star man

Roy Keane has detailed how he felt Arsenal had a “self-inflicted” slip up against West Ham, but he feels Bukayo Saka will “respond” to his penalty miss.

Arsenal have held top spot in the Premier League for much of the season. Mikel Arteta has turned his side into one of the Premier League’s best, following a fifth-placed finish last season.

Second-placed Manchester City closed the gap at the top to six points through their 3-1 win against Leicester City before Arsenal faced the Hammers.

As such, Arsenal already knew they needed to win to extend the lead again. That was easier said than done, though, despite them going two goals up within the first 10 minutes.

Indeed, West Ham pulled one back from the penalty spot through Said Benrahma not long before half time. Jarrod Bowen then scored the equaliser not long after the break.

The Gunners did have a chance to go back ahead. Indeed, they won a penalty in the 52nd minute and up stepped the usually reliable Saka, who blazed past the left-hand post.

While that spurned an opportunity go ahead and keep Arsenal’s commanding lead at the top intact, pundit Keane feels Saka will have no problems in bouncing back.

“We’ve seen great players miss penalties. It’s pressure, as simple as that. He’s a brilliant player and he’ll respond to that as he always does. It’s a big point for West Ham and they deserved it in the second half,” Keane said on Sky Sports.

Keane did, however, feel Arsenal were the architects of their own downfall, after having also drawn 2-2 against Liverpool the game prior.

“Last week, we forgave them because they were at Liverpool and it’s a big ask,” he said.

“Today was self-inflicted, particularly with the first penalty they gave away [for West Ham’s first goal].”

While the result is disappointing, the Gunners will want to put that out of their minds. They’re still four points clear of City, and will remain one point clear even if City win their game in hand.

As such, Arsenal’s destiny is still in their own hands. They’ll hope they can make the most of that, and Saka will hope if he gets another big chance to impact the title race, he does manage to bounce back in a positive manner.

READ MORE: Mikel Arteta admits Arsenal ‘lost purpose’ as title jitters get the best of his side again

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