Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno says his side were motivated for Sunday’s clash with Manchester United by Jesse Lingard’s celebration during their FA Cup clash in January.
Lingard scored United’s second goal in a 3-1 FA Cup victory at the Emirates and celebrated the strike by moonwalking in front of the Arsenal fans.
Arsenal have the last laugh over United: five key things to know…
- Jesse Lingard scored United’s second goal in their 3-1 FA Cup over Arsenal in January.
- The England international celebrated by moonwalking in front of the Arsenal fans, later posting it to Instagram.
- Lingard had previously scored twice in another 3-1 United victory at the Emirates last season.
- However, Arsenal ran out 2-0 winners over the Red Devils on Sunday, leapfrogging them into fourth place.
- Goalkeeper, Leno, says Lingard’s antics motivated the Arsenal squad ahead of the game.
The 26-year-old scored another two as the Red Devils pulled off a league victory by the same scoreline in north London last season, while he posted his moonwalk celebration on his Instagram page with the location set as ‘dancefloor’.
However, Arsenal had the last laugh as goals from Granit Xhaka and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang sealed a 2-0 win for the Gunners, extending their winning streak at home to nine games.
And Leno, who made a number of crucial saves during the game, has revealed it was Lingard’s antics that inspired Arsenal to victory.
“In your mind, you will never forget something like that, when somebody is celebrating,” the German said when asked if the win was revenge for the FA Cup loss and Lingard’s dance.
“You don’t want to see it again, so we were motivated.
“And we knew before the game about our chance, because Man United had one point more than us [in the race for fourth].
“Now we have two points and that was enough motivation for us. We are in the top four and the other teams now wait for our mistakes.”
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Leno backs Arsenal for top four
Arsenal’s win over United on Sunday saw them leapfrog the Red Devils into fourth place and with no more fixtures against the supposed ‘big six’ left for the Gunners, Leno is backing them to secure Champions League football for the first time in three years.
Leno added: “There are still eight games and we want to win every game but we have to focus on each one, because the other teams will wait for small mistakes.
“We don’t play against the other top six teams, so I think we can beat the others.
“The next game is against Newcastle at home and it is an opportunity to win and stay in the top four.”
Attention now turns to the Europa League as Arsenal host Rennes on Thursday looking to overturn a 3-1 deficit from the first leg.