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Man Utd & Lingard celebrations inspired Arsenal to victory - Leno

17:19 SAST 2019/03/11
bernd leno - cropped
Watching the Red Devils celebrate beating Unai Emery's side in the FA Cup left the goalkeeper and his team-mates desperate to beat them on Sunday

Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno admits the Gunners were inspired to seek revenge on Manchester United by Jesse Lingard's celebrations in the FA Cup clash last month.

Unai Emery's side ended the Red Devils' 100 per cent away record under Ole Gunnar Solskjaer on Sunday, with Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang securing what could be a vital three points in the race to finish in the top four.

Man Utd won 3-1 at Emirates Stadium in the FA Cup in January, with Lingard's moonwalk after his goal apparently still fresh in the minds of the Arsenal players.

The club's official Twitter account and Mesut Ozil each poked fun at the idea of the Emirates being Lingard's 'dancefloor', and Leno concedes it had been hard to forget the scenes of that cup defeat.

"In your mind you will never forget something like that, when someone is celebrating," he told reporters. "You don't want to see it again, so we were motivated.

"We knew before the game about our chance because Manchester United had one point more than us. Now we have two points [more than them] and that was enough motivation for us.

"We are in the top four and the other teams now wait for our mistakes. There are still eight games and we want to win every game. We don't play against the other top-six teams, so I think we can beat the others."

Leno had an impressive game, making some key saves from Romelu Lukaku in particular to help preserve a clean sheet and see the Gunners move back into the top four.

"I think I’ve played a good season. It is my first season and of course I need time to get a feeling and adapt to the league and my new team. 

"Goalkeeper is a special position but now I think I am in a good moment, like the team, when you forget the Rennes game. I keep working like before for the last eight games to show my best performance, to help the team and I think [against United I did the same like the weeks before.

"I feel for a long time now I have adapted to this team, to this club," he said. "The manager gave me the time and when I got the chance, I played good, so he said, 'you will stay in goal'. I am pleased to play for Arsenal and I want to give the club and the team something back with my performances."