Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta insists Bernd Leno’s impressive performance in the Carabao Cup win over Liverpool did not give him any extra satisfaction having chosen to make the German goalkeeper his number one.
The Gunners sold Emiliano Martinez to Aston Villa last month, replacing him with Runar Runarsson, and that decision put the spotlight on first-choice Leno but he delivered at Anfield with a string of second-half saves to keep the game goalless.
That allowed Arsenal to win their second penalty shoot-out against Liverpool in just over a month, having done so in the Community Shield in late August, with midfielder Joe Willock scoring the decisive kick to make it 5-4 in sudden death.
“We had two fantastic goalkeepers and they were both performing really well but we had to make decisions,” said Arteta, who is now unbeaten in eight domestic cup matches since taking charge, having led them to last season’s FA Cup.
“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.”
Arsenal, who are in their fourth League Cup quarter-final in five seasons, have drawn holders Manchester City in the last eight, which means a meeting with his mentor Pep Guardiola for Arteta.
“I was enjoying the victory when I got he news,” he added.
“A massive challenge for us, we are not getting very lucky with the draws at the moment.”
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