Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno admits they were inspired to seek revenge on Manchester United by Jesse Lingard’s celebrations in the FA Cup clash last month.
The Gunners ended United’s 100 per cent away record under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday, with Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang securing what could be a vital three points in the top-four race.
United won 3-1 at Emirates Stadium in the FA Cup in January, with Lingard’s moonwalking after his goal apparently still fresh in the minds of the Arsenal players.
The club’s official Twitter account and Mesut Ozil each poked fun at the idea of the Emirates being Lingard’s ‘dancefloor’, and Leno concedes it had been hard to forget the scenes of that cup defeat.
— Arsenal FC (@Arsenal) March 10, 2019
— Mesut Özil (@MesutOzil1088) March 10, 2019
“In your mind you will never forget something like that, when someone is celebrating,” he said. “You don’t want to see it again, so we were motivated.
“We knew before the game about our chance because Manchester United had one point more than us. Now we have two points [more than them] and that was enough motivation for us.
“We are in the top four and the other teams now wait for our mistakes. There are still eight games and we want to win every game. We don’t play against the other top-six teams, so I think we can beat the others.”
Leno had an impressive game, making some key saves from Romelu Lukaku in particular to help preserve a clean sheet and see the Gunners move back into the top four.
“I feel for a long time now I have adapted to this team, to this club,” he said. “The manager gave me the time and when I got the chance, I played good, so he said, ‘you will stay in goal’. I am pleased to play for Arsenal and I want to give the club and the team something back with my performances.”
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