Arsenal defender David Luiz has heaped praise on goalkeeper Bernd Leno despite his shaky performance between the posts in the Europa League against Rapid Vienna.
The centre-back told the Evening Standard after the game of his admiration of the custodian despite his below-par showing during the win.
Luiz netted Arsenal’s equaliser on the night before Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired home a winner for Mikel Arteta’s men.
After the game, some supporters took to Twitter to speak of their disappointment at Leno but Luiz isn’t interested in the criticism.
He told the Evening Standard: “I think Bernd is amazing. It is part of the 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 found, how many times did it go well? But just one he did wrong and this is part of the philosophy. He is great and gives us the opportunity to play from the back and try and help us.”
Luiz has earned a reprieve since Arteta arrived and he looks to be currently enjoying his football again.
The ex-Chelsea man still has erratic moments but it’s fair to say that he’s convinced a lot of Gunners fans that the is capable of doing a job.
Leno has also been in fine form under Arteta’s management and one mistake doesn’t instantly make him a bad goalkeeper.
The German is allowed the odd blip and thankfully his moment of madness last night didn’t cost the Gunners anything other than a bit of pride.
Leno earns £100,000-a-week and is firmly established as Arsenal’s number one goalkeeper.
Runar Runarsson isn’t quite up to scratch just yet but when he does he will surely put some pressure on Leno to maintain his high standards.