Bernd Leno was absolutely outstanding in last night’s victory on penalties at Anfield last night, saving two Liverpool spot-kicks in the process.
To be fair, Leno has lñooked a bit rusty lately and there were many articles suggesting that Arsenal had sold the wrong keeper, but there will be no-one suggesting that this morning after Leno was easily man of the match last night.
Obviously Arteta was asked about Leno after the game, and he responded: “We had two fantastic goalkeepers and they were both performing really well. Bernd, before he had the injury, and then Emi when he came in.
“But we had to make a decision and I think it was a moment when Emi needed the next step and financially it was a really interesting proposal for us. We need to manage the resources that we have to strengthen the team. I am really happy for Bernd and for his performance, the character that he’s shown tonight. It was really helpful to get us through to the next round.”
Normally it would have been Martinez in goal last night as it was a cup game, but Arteta made it clear that new signing Alex Runarsson was not yet ready to take his place in the side. “When Emi left, we were looking for a second goalkeeper. We were in the market and it took a little bit longer than expected to get that position filled in, so Alex came in and has only been with us a week and had a small issue as well. Again, in time things will evolve and Alex will be more comfortable here and they will both play.”
So, thanks to Leno for last night, and it seems like he has got all his confidence back. Also it is good that Arteta has made it clear that Martinez decided he “needed the next step”, so maybe we can now accept that he has gone and get behind Leno from now on…