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Arteta vows to lift Leno, hopes Xhaka does not leave Arsenal

Sunday29 December 2019 | 20:37
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Granit Xhaka's omission from Arsenal's starting line-up for their 2-1 defeat to Chelsea fuelled speculation he could leave the club.

Mikel Arteta vowed to lift Bernd Leno's spirits after the goalkeeper's error cost Arsenal in a 2-1 defeat to Chelsea, and the new Gunners boss also said he hoped Granit Xhaka would stay at the club.

Leno allowed a Mason Mount cross to pass him by before Jorginho scored Chelsea's equaliser at Emirates Stadium, cancelling out Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's opener in a game Arsenal dominated before half-time.

Arsenal collapsed in the closing stages, with Tammy Abraham sliding Chelsea's winner through Leno's legs three minutes from time to ensure Arteta suffered his first defeat since taking charge.

Arteta admitted the defeat would affect Leno's confidence, but called upon his players to look forward to their clash with Manchester United on New Year's Day.

"He will be down, but we have to lift him," Arteta said of Leno. "He's been brilliant for this football club.

"I'm really disappointed with the result, the way we conceded and the timing. I'm pleased with lots of things, but I'm disappointed to lose.

"I thought the structure was good. We need to control those situations but they are really good in transition.

"We have to move on."

The omission of Xhaka from Arteta's starting line-up added weight to speculation linking the Swiss midfielder with a move to Hertha Berlin in January.

Arteta insisted an illness was behind the decision to leave him out, telling reporters: "He started to feel ill after the Bournemouth game.

"I hope he doesn't leave in January."

"We have to move on."

The omission of Xhaka from Arteta's starting line-up added weight to speculation linking the Swiss midfielder with a move to Hertha Berlin in January.

Arteta insisted an illness was behind the decision to leave him out, telling reporters: "He started to feel ill after the Bournemouth game.

"I hope he doesn't leave in January."


source: SportMob