David Luiz was full of praise for Bernd Leno despite the goalkeeper’s mistake against Rapid Vienna, arguing it’s just a risk of the team’s philosophy.
Bernd Leno had far from his best night away in Vienna on Thursday. A lax pass led to the opening goal for the hosts, after which he looked nervous and almost gave away another goal.
It’s not the first mistake Leno has made at Arsenal, but it’s the first one that’s ever seemed to really affect him like that. Fortunately, he has the backing of his teammates to see him through the off-day. David Luiz says it’s just part of the team’s style of play.
“I think Bernd is amazing,” said Luiz. “It is part of our philosophy to build from the back, this is a normal thing. You always play to eliminate players from the beginning when you build then it is going to be much easier for the strikers.
“So, if you count how many times it went well… but just one he did wrong and this is part of our philosophy. He is great and he gives us the opportunity to play from the back to try to help us.”
Leno is far from the first member of Arsenal’s back four or five to make an error in possession leading to an opposition chance. Those making comparisons to Emi Martinez seem to have forgotten he did the same thing with Roberto Firmino not long before leaving.
As Luiz says, those are the risks you take to enable all the times it goes well.
Thankfully, Luiz bailed his Arsenal teammate out on the pitch. He scored a nice header and helped keep their opponents to just one goal before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang grabbed the winner.
The Leno error becomes a footnote to the match instead of dropped points hanging over us for the rest of the group stage.