ARSENAL goalkeeper Bernd Leno finally ‘arrived’ in their 1-1 draw with Tottenham last Saturday.
That’s according to Gunners fan and football writer James McNicholas, who has hailed the German for making a ‘breathtaking’ double save.
Arsenal missed a golden opportunity to claim three points at Wembley.
After Aaron Ramsey had given them liftoff in the 16th minute, Harry Kane equalised from the spot with 15 minutes remaining after Shkodran Mustafi was deemed to have brought down the England captain inside the box.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang then had the chance to snatch a late win for Unai Emery’s side in stoppage time when Davinson Sanchez felled him in the penalty area, but the forward was denied from 12 yards by Hugo Lloris.
While Aubameyang fluffing his lines was undoubtedly a huge disappointment for the Gunners, McNicholas was quick to praise Leno for his outstanding display – which included a phenomenal double save to keep out Christian Eriksen and Moussa Sissoko’s strikes.
“It’s the stuff goalkeepers work on all the time in training, making the first save but being able to spring up and make the second,” he told the Arseblog Arsecast podcast.
“I suppose he doesn’t overcommit on the first one, he doesn’t make it overly flashy, he doesn’t go to ground too much – so he is able to produce that second save. But it was a really breathtaking moment.
“He’s been in goal for the majority of the season and there haven’t been too many moments where you’ve gone: ‘wow! what a save!’ or ‘what a crucial moment in a game.’
“I feel like this was a real moment for him and it felt like the moment he arrived at Arsenal”
“But actually, in the past couple of games at the Emirates Stadium he made pretty decent saves early on that proved quite important – and then this was the icing on the cake.
“I feel like this was a real moment for him and it felt like the moment he arrived at Arsenal. I thought his all-round game was good, but that moment was particularly memorable.
“I think it will help him too and it will help his confidence.”
Despite failing to register a famous win over their arch-rivals, Emery insisted he was proud of his players for ‘doing it our way’.
“We are fine in our way, being competitive and adapting our performance,” he said.
“It demanded a lot of transition for us and it is good, not the result because we can win, but we can be stronger in our mentality after this match going forward.
“We are thinking each match for three points, to continue in our way, our target is clear.
“We can be proud of everybody in our work. We showed everybody we are creating and doing it our way.”