‘Very unlucky’ – Bernd Leno gives verdict on Granit Xhaka error after Arsenal’s draw with Burnley

Xhaka's misjudged pass proved to be costly for the Gunners
Xhaka’s misjudged pass proved to be costly for the Gunners (Picture: Getty Images)

Bernd Leno has defended Granit Xhaka after his costly error in Arsenal’s frustrating 1-1 draw with Burnley at Turf Moor on Saturday.

The Gunners took an early lead through Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang before Xhaka’s misplaced pass cannoned against Chris Wood and into the back of the net to level up the scores going into half-time.

Arsenal scorned multiple chances across the 90 minutes and Mikel Arteta’s side felt aggrieved when they were denied a penalty after the ball hit Eric Pieters’ arm in the box in the second half.

Xhaka's stray ball cannoned in off Wood
Xhaka’s stray ball cannoned in off Wood (Picture: Getty Images)

Leno also received criticism for Burnley’s goal as he passed the ball to Xhaka despite the midfielder being quickly closed down by opposition players.

The Gunners ultimately dropped points due to their failed attempt at playing out from the back, however, Leno feels the tactic is worth the risk and admitted his team-mate Xhaka was ‘very unlucky’.

We wanted to build out again because it had been working and it was very unlucky from Granit [Xhaka] but it happens,’ Leno told BBC Match of the Day.

‘There is always risk to play out from the back but this is our style. I think we have more than enough situations where it works to our advantage.’

Leno also rued his side’s missed opportunities in front of goal and felt they should’ve been awarded a penalty for handball.

‘We had many big chances,’ he added. ‘I think we should have got a penalty and at the end it is only one point and I think we deserved more.

‘In the first half we played our game and we dominated. It should have been two or three nil and it was 1-1.

‘In the second half we played too much of Burnley’s football and it doesn’t suit us or anybody in the Premier League.’

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