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Bukayo Saka ‘apologises’ to Kostas Tsimikas – but “I didn’t think it was a foul”

Bukayo Saka offered a hollow apology to Kostas Tsimikas for the challenge that broke the defender’s collarbone, insisting it wasn’t a foul.

Saka was fortunate to come away from Arsenal‘s 1-1 draw at Anfield with only a yellow card, following a series of questionable tackles.

His side-on shove on Tsimikas – which sent the left-back flying into Jurgen Klopp in the technical area and with what the manager described as “at least” a broken collarbone – was arguably not even the worst.

But the England winger, while apologising to Tsimikas in his post-match interview with Sky Sports, insisted he “didn’t think it was a foul.”

“Oh yeah, I’ve heard he’s gone to hospital, so I want to apologise to him. I didn’t mean it, of course,” he said.

“For me, it was just a 50-50 and I’ve gone shoulder to shoulder with him. I didn’t see him, but he must have taken a bad fall, I didn’t see that he went into Jurgen Klopp either.

“I was focused on running forward because I didn’t think it was a foul.

“But yeah, that’s my take on it.”

LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Saturday, December 23, 2023: Arsenal's Bukayo Saka, already on a yellow card, takes out Liverpool's Ryan Gravenberch with a reckless challenge but no second yellow is shown, during the FA Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Arsenal FC at Anfield. (Photo by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Referee Chris Kavanagh blew his whistle and it eventually went to a drop ball for Liverpool, with the stoppage in play more due to the severity of the injury.

Minutes later, Saka was booked for taking out Curtis Jones, before avoiding a second yellow for slipping into a nasty tackle on Ryan Gravenberch.

Whether intentional or not, both the challenges on Tsimikas and Gravenberch endangered the safety of the opponent, but that part of the law appears to be flexible among officials.