Aston Villa boss Steven Gerrard believes that Bukayo Saka will need to toughen up after the forward asked for more protection following their 1-0 win in the Premier League. Saka revealed that he spoke to referee Andrew Madley about the tackles that he was subjected to. Tyrone Mings was booked after he caught Saka with his studs with Arteta finally taking the youngster off with 20 minutes to go.

“I wasn’t complaining to the ref but I just wanted to let him know that that’s my game, running at players with pace, and sometimes I need a bit more protection when players are purposefully trying to kick me,” Bukayo Saka said.

“It’s part of the game. The last time I checked it’s not a no-contact sport. I think tackles are allowed, physicality’s allowed,” Steven Gerrard said about Bukayo Saka. “He’s a good player, he’s an outstanding talent and I love him. But he can’t complain about that side. That’s football. I’m sitting here now with screws in my hips, I’ve had about 16 operations, I’m struggling to go to the gym at the moment. That’s all on the back of earning a living in English football. He’ll learn and he’ll learn quick.”

“We have to listen to the players. They are the reason why we are all here,” Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta said. “We have 10 games to go and what we did yesterday or today, it’s not relevant, it’s what we’re going to do tomorrow, how we’re going to prepare, and how we’re going to improve the team and play better to win more games. When we’re so dominant like we were, we have to score the second and the third one. We need to be more positive and have more belief from the first whistle.”

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