Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has shown his support towards goalkeeper Bernd Leno, who made a blunder in the 2-1 Premier League defeat to Chelsea on Sunday.
The Germany international has been one of the standout performers for the Gunners in recent months and he was awarded with the November Player of the Month accolade for his consistent and strong displays between the sticks.
However, the 27-year-old had a forgettable London derby against the Blues over the weekend as his failure to judge the flight of the ball from a Mason Mount free-kick allowed Jorginho to grab the equalising goal with an easy tap-in in the 83rd minute.
The west London side went on to seal the victory few minutes later with Tammy Abraham slotting the ball past Leno’s legs and that capped off a frustrating afternoon for Arteta’s side, who were defensively solid for most of the second half.
Speaking in the post-match press conference, Arteta acknowledged that Leno will be disappointed after the error leading to the goal and added that the team will be behind the German, who has barely put a foot wrong over the past few months.
“He will be down. When an error costs the team points, it’s harder. We have to lift him. He’s done a really good job since he joined this football club and we have to respect that. We just need to bring the confidence back in and that’s it,” he told.
Leno has the chance to redeem himself in the New Year’s Day clash against Manchester United but the onus will be more on whether the outfield players can play with the same intensity from the London derby.
The Gunners showed plenty of energy and ambition during the course of the first half but the same was not the case after the break, where the players were mostly confined to their own half.
Arteta should be aiming to address the issue for the forthcoming clash and it remains to be seen whether there are any changes in the attacking department where Alexandre Lacazette, in particular, failed to manage a single shot on target leading the line.