As he was substituted towards the end of Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Liverpool, Oleksandr Zinchenko appeared to be in tears while sitting on the Arsenal bench.
In what turned out to be an enthralling contest at Anfield, Arsenal found themselves 2-0 up after 28 minutes thanks to goals from Gabriel Martinelli and Gabriel Jesus.
Zinchenko just laid the Easter egg. pic.twitter.com/56xSULkjwP
— Abdurahman. (@matovium) April 9, 2023
Why was Zinchenko crying at Anfield?
Mikel Arteta reacted by making his third and final substitution of the afternoon, sending Kieran Tierney on for Zinchenko, who was visibly emotional in the stands.
PertalkSPORT, Zinchenko was upset because he thought he’d thrown the game away for the Gunners.
Zinchenko sitting on the bench head in hands knew he was responsible for their equaliser.
But we win, lose and draw as a team pic.twitter.com/Y7cdHX0aah
— Gilles 🇳🇬🏴 (@_Grimanditweets) April 9, 2023
After the match, Sky Sports’ pundits debated whether Zinchenko could – and perhaps should – have done more to prevent Liverpool’s equalising goal.
“I can’t get Zinchenko out of my head,” Anfield legend Jamie Carragher said. “The league title’s on the line, you’ve got to be more aggressive. That can’t happen. There’s got to be more intensity from Zinchenko. It’s almost like he’s training and doesn’t want the ball to go through his legs.”
Roy Keane then added: “You think about the modern full-back and the obsession is how good they are going forward. I think they have lacked that real pride in defending. Zinchenko had to get down low. It’s all far too easy – especially if you’re going to win titles.”
“The league title is on the line! It’s almost like he’s training!”
Was Zinchenko at fault for Liverpool’s equaliser? 🤔 pic.twitter.com/1hXdF2t6GJ
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) April 9, 2023
The Premier League title race is still wide open, and while Arsenal has a strong chance of clinching the trophy, they cannot afford to take their foot off the gas as Manchester City, currently in second place, will be breathing down their necks and pushing them to the limit.
The gap between Arsenal and City currently stands at six points, but with a game in hand and a crucial upcoming fixture against the league leaders at home, Guardiola’s side will be eager to capitalize on the opportunity and challenge Arsenal for the top spot in the Premier League.
That’s the game that could ultimately determine where the Premier League trophy goes at the end of the campaign.