Leno: Arsenal must stick with risky style despite Watford draw

By Matt Dorman 17 September 2019 24
Leno: Arsenal must stick with risky style despite Watford draw

Bernd Leno believes Arsenal must continue to take risks at the back despite that approach contributing to a disappointing collapse at Watford at the weekend.

The Gunners gave up a two-goal lead in an error-strewn second half to draw 2-2 at Vicarage Road on Sunday.

The most egregious gaffe was the misplaced pass from Sokratis Papastathopoulos that gifted Tom Cleverley a goal and the hosts a way back into the game.

Centre-back Sokratis attempted the pass from inside his own penalty area but goalkeeper Leno, signed last year in part for his ball-playing ability, does not think Arsenal should discard their tactics.

"That's our style to play," Leno told reporters.

"We try to take the risk because if we beat the press of Watford, then there is a lot of space for our strikers.

"In the first half we did it very well but in the second we didn't create too many chances from playing out from the back. It is still a process we have to work on. Everybody was angry and disappointed after this game.

"The manager is a very positive guy. He wants to be positive and he said we will analyse this game with time. Now everybody was with emotions, very mad and crazy.

"But that is normal after the game. He said 'calm down and then on Tuesday we analyse this game and then on Thursday we have another game'."

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's quickfire brace had given Arsenal a comfortable buffer but David Luiz's late foul on Roberto Pereyra enabled the Watford winger to seal a share of the points from the spot.

Leno said: "It was very frustrating because we controlled the game but also in the first half, you could see that we made two easy mistakes and then at the end we conceded two goals from these kinds of mistakes and we were lucky we didn't lose this game.

"I think in the second half we completely lost the control of the game. The distance from the midfield to the strikers and all the distances from the players were too big.

"Watford deserved at least the draw."

Arsenal, now seventh in the Premier League, are winless in three games.

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