Bukayo Saka scored Arsenal's winner at Leeds
AFP News

Arsenal star Bukayo Saka relived his Euro 2020 nightmare after he missed a penalty and was once again subjected to sickening racial abuse on Sunday.

Arsenal surrendered a two-goal lead against West Ham at London Stadium, with Saka missing a second-half penalty for the Gunners shortly before Jarrod Bowen equalised for the Hammers.

Bukayo Saka misses penalty

Chasing their first Premier League title since 2004, Arsenal gave up a two-goal lead for the second time in consecutive weeks. They suffered a massive setback in the title race when they dropped points at West Ham. Now they are now just four points ahead of second-placed Manchester City, who still have a game in hand. If Pep Guardiola's side wins their next game, they'll be just a point gap between the two teams in the Premier League title race.

Manchester City and Arsenal are scheduled to face off against each other at Etihad Stadium on April 26, which could be the title decider.

After Saka missed the decisive penalty at the London Stadium on Sunday, he received some horrific racial abuse on social media that had glimpses of what he received when he missed a crucial penalty for England in the Euro 2020 final against Italy. Saka, along with Marcus Rashford and Jadon Sancho, were racially slammed for not scoring in the penalty shootout for England and all three were on the receiving end of some nasty comments from some England fans across social media platforms.

Many fans condemn racist posts directed at Saka

Following that, Saka came out stronger as he went on to become one of the most important players of the Three Lions as he produced some excellent performances at FIFA World Cup 2022 in Qatar.

Unfortunately, soon after the full-time whistle in London on Sunday, several racist tweets were aimed at Saka, and there was more abuse on his Instagram page as well. However, other Arsenal fans condemned the abuse directed at Saka.

One Arsenal fan - @PascalAbuka – tweeted in defence of Saka: "Bukayo Saka didn't have the best day today, go ahead and criticise his performance if you must, but if I see any racism towards him I will not hesitate to report & block you."

In response to one of the racist posts, @kattia_olsen1 tweeted: "I'm very angry why someone would be so nasty towards Saka. This is one of the worst racism I've ever seen."

Another, @TwelveTribesNo wrote: "I swear, racism has no place in football or anywhere else. Saka missed a pen, that happens to the best. If anyone see any racist slurs used against Saka, please report it asap. My lad needs all the support of Arsenals fan."

Later on, 21-year-old Saka broke his silence after missing the penalty, apologising to Arsenal fans, saying he'll always accept his responsibility.

"Regardless of the outcome, I'll always accept my responsibility. Apologies Gunners, I'll do everything I can to make it right," Saka wrote in a social media post.

While it was just an off day for Saka, the young English forward's performances are one of the key reasons behind Arsenal's great run this season in the Premier League. Saka has netted 12 goals and provided 10 assists in 31 league games for Arsenal. Overall, he has 13 goals and 10 assists in 41 matches in all competitions in the 2022-23 campaign.

Meanwhile, Saka received support from his boss Arteta, who said he would pick Saka again for a penalty.

"A player who takes penalties misses penalties, I don't know anyone who hasn't. If I had to pick one player to do it, it would be him again. At that moment we missed it and this is football," Arteta said after Arsenal's 2-2 draw.

Saka, who is the academy product of Arsenal, has been named the club's Player of the Season for the last two campaigns in a row.