Bernd Leno 'never feared' for Arsenal spot as Mikel Arteta, Jurgen Klopp salute goalkeeper

Arteta explains Emi Martinez exit and says after Carabao Cup victory: "I really have belief in Bernd."; Jurgen Klopp jokes: "I wasn't too happy with his performance!"; Arsenal face Man City in quarter-finals

Bernd Leno celebrates after Arsenal's Carabao Cup win on penalties
Image: Bernd Leno celebrates after Arsenal's Carabao Cup win on penalties

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno says always believed he was the club's No 1 after a Carabao Cup performance that drew praise from both Mikel Arteta and Jurgen Klopp.

Emiliano Martinez impressed when he stepped in during Leno's injury lay-off last term but was sold to Aston Villa this summer in a move that surprised many supporters.

That decision put the spotlight back on Leno, but after a man-of-the-match performance in the penalty shootout win over Liverpool, the German spoke of his enduring confidence in his credentials.

Asked if he had ever feared for his position, Leno told Sky Sports: "No. I've never feared it. The club always gave me the feeling I was the number one, I am the number one and will be the number one.

Arsenal's penalty hero Bernd Leno says he's very pleased to get through to the next round of the Carabao Cup, but would have preferred to have got through without needing to save penalties

"That was always very good from the club - my job is to prove it every week and I think I've done it again.

"It was a very tough game. We made a few changes but you could see our philosophy, our intention to win the game. It's a chance to win another trophy.

"Of course it's very good for a goalkeeper to make saves from penalties and see laughing faces after the game, but I'd prefer next time to win the game without a shoot-out! When it happens though it's even better."

Arteta's belief in Leno

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta says that his side controlled the game more than Liverpool and were deserved winners as the Gunners won 5-4 win on penalties in their Carabao Cup tie.

Arteta admitted it had been a tough decision to sell Martinez but believes Leno's performance was more vindication.

"I really have belief in Bernd. I know what he can give us.

"We have to adapt to the circumstances; we can't do everything we want in the market and we have players with value."

He added in his press conference: "We had two fantastic goalkeepers and they were both performing really well
but we had to make decisions.

"I think it was a moment when Emi needed the next step and financially it was an interesting proposal for us.

"We have to use the resources we have to strengthen the team. He (Leno) was really helpful to get us through to the next round."

Klopp: I told Leno I wasn't happy with him!

Jurgen Klopp says that if there was a team that deserved to win in normal time it should of been his team after Liverpool were beaten on penalties by Arsenal in the Carabao Cup.

Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp felt his side more than deserved to win the game but accepted their fate in the shootout - even if he admitted he had scolded his German compatriot in the opposition goal.

"I told him after the game, I was not too happy about that!" the former Borussia Dortmund boss said.

"We had some really good moments - as a manager I wish that we scored but I want to see us create.

"We showed the quality, it just didn't work out tonight and that is completely OK. We will try again, I will promise.

"Yes, we could have been a bit more clinical in finishing but Leno made a really good game.

"In the end the penalty shoot-out, it is luck and a lot of things, but Arsenal shot really well and us not exactly the same and that is why we lost."

Redknapp's praise for Arsenal

Jamie Redknapp to Sky Sports:

"Arsenal defensively look a lot more structured, a lot more organised.

"They're defending for their lives, the goalkeeper was exceptional and he's got them working hard - everyone is buying into what Mikel Arteta wants.

"I've been very impressed with them and it's going to be a very good game against City. Arteta was smiling about the draw - they're good friends but he'll still want to win!"

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