David Raya’s gesture to Declan Rice speaks volumes after Arsenal star bails him out

Arsenal goalkeeper David Raya was a relieved man after making two huge errors in the 4-3 win over Luton Town and was quick to thank match-winner Declan Rice after the final whistle David Raya was spotted thanking Arsenal match-winner Declan Rice after the goalkeeper cost his side two goals in Tuesday night’s dramatic 4-3 victory over Luton Town.

Raya was initially caught out when Arsenal were 2-1 up after he was beaten to a routine delivery by Elijah Adebayo at a corner. And he was then left red-faced after allowing a tame effort from Ross Barkley to squirm beneath him to leave Mikel Arteta’s men with a mountain to climb.

Rice spared Raya’s blushes by heading home a 97th-minute winner after Kai Havertz restored parity on the hour mark – and Raya was quick to thank Arsenal’s £105million man at the final whistle.
A clip shared on social media showed the goalkeeper giving Rice a long embrace after the final whistle as Arsenal players celebrated a win which could prove vital in the title race.

It remains to be seen, though, if Rice’s late winner will ease the scrutiny on Raya. Arteta’s decision to drop Aaron Ramsdale for the Spaniard, who joined the club on an initial loan deal from Brentford back in the summer, has divided opinion at The Emirates and been criticised by pundits.

He refused to condemn Raya after the match when was asked about the mistakes on Amazon Prime. He simply said: “I am so happy with the team,” before adding: “I was so happy with the team. I spoke with all of them and they’re all jumping and so happy. so I’m a really happy manager.”
Rice also spoke post-match following his dramatic late winner and admitted it felt like a moment which could be decisive in terms of the title race between the Gunners and Manchester City.

Speaking alongside Bukayo Saka, he said: “Yeah look, we have to take it every game as it comes. He [Saka] was here last year when they were eight points clear, and I feel like we have learned a lot as a group, especially with me coming in and understanding the team.
There are so many good teams in the league this year and anything can happen, so we have to not be worried about anyone else and what the manager wants and keep ticking the games off.”
Arsenal’s late winner means they are now five points ahead of Manchester City after they dropped points against Tottenham at the weekend. The champions can cut that lead to two points with a positive result against Aston Villa on Wednesday.

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