The Gunners shot-stopper kept a clean sheet in a 1-0 win over Manchester United, with Mikel Arteta’s side collecting a rare elite scalp on the road
Bernd Leno admits Arsenal have spent “too long” toiling against the ‘Big Six’ away from home, with the hope being that a 1-0 victory over Manchester United will act as a springboard for the Gunners.
An unfortunate run stretching back to 2015 was finally brought to a close at the 30th time of asking on Sunday, with Mikel Arteta’s side collecting a narrow win on their latest visit to Old Trafford.
That venue has not been a happy hunting ground for the Gunners in recent times, with their last triumph on the red half of Manchester coming way back in September 2006.
With that sequence snapped, along with the struggles endured against fellow members of the Premier League elite, optimism is building again in north London.
Consistency will be required if Arsenal are to hit their ultimate targets, with those at Emirates Stadium determined to force their way back into the top four, but Leno sees signs of progress as the Gunners become a tougher nut to crack.
The German goalkeeper told the club’s official website on the back of a welcome clean sheet and three much-needed points against United: “First of all it was a very important win for us when you look at the table.
“It’s been a long time since we won away against a team from the big six, and as well at Old Trafford. It’s been 14 years I think, so too long but finally we’ve done the job.
“It was a very collective, strong performance from us. Our players were brilliant and I think everybody had the right attitude and mentality to win. It was very hard for Man United to create chances.
“At the end of the day, this is the key. The collective performance and defensive work were really important and I think we’ve worked on that. You can already see that it’s much more impressive than it was one or two years ago.
“It’s a long, long process and we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We need consistency. This season we’ve had a lot of good games but also some games where we could have done better. We’ll keep working on that though.
“We’re all doing a great job and the most important thing is that we stay grounded, we know where we come from and hopefully it goes in the same direction.”
Arsenal will be back in Europa League action on Thursday against Molde, before then playing host to Aston Villa in their next domestic fixture.