Leno hurting after Everton defeat but calls for unity under Arteta at Arsenal

By Joe Wright 20 December 2020 5
Leno hurting after Everton defeat but calls for unity under Arteta at Arsenal

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno called for unity under embattled boss Mikel Arteta following Saturday's 2-1 defeat at Everton.

The Gunners' winless run in the Premier League stretched to seven games thanks to Yerry Mina's header and a Rob Holding own goal, either side of Nicolas Pepe's penalty.

Arsenal's 14 points from their first 14 games of the season is their worst return since 1974-75, while they have not scored from open play in any of their past five away matches in the top flight.

With his side just four points above the relegation zone and 10 adrift of the top four, pressure is mounting on manager Arteta ahead of two huge matches next week: an EFL Cup quarter-final with Manchester City on Tuesday and a league game at home to Chelsea on December 26.

Leno admitted the squad are hurting but says the second-half performance at Goodison Park proved they are prepared to fight to turn their situation around.

"Of course, there's big disappointment, it hurts a lot," he told Arsenal media. "It's not the time to feel sorry for ourselves. We have to stick together, we have to stay positive and this is the only way because on Tuesday we have another big game. We have to win games to come out of this situation and have a positive mood again.

"I think the second goal was probably the key because, when you concede a goal right before half-time, it's always very difficult, especially in our situation. I think in the second half we showed good body language, good attitude, so you can see this team is alive and we want to turn the situation around.

"Now the confidence is not on the top level but the only thing that can be said is we should stick together and come out of this situation.

"A lot of things are going wrong for us but we don't have time to feel sorry for ourselves, we have to fight for every ball, for our team-mates."

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