Bernd Leno says Arsenal struggled to implement their game plan in the second half against Norwich City and were lucky to come away with a point.
The German goalkeeper had to make a series of important stops with the scores level at 2-2, including one spectacular fingertip to deny Kenny McLean.
While the Gunners started well at Carrow Road, two goals conceded on the counter-attack left us trailing at the break.
Having scored a retaken penalty to cancel out Teemu Pukki’s opener, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang grabbed his second goal of the game to level the scores on 57 minutes. It was a matter of frustration for the German that his teammates couldn’t then kick on to end their winless streak.
“It was confusing because in the first half we played exactly how we wanted but conceded two goals in transition,” Leno told Arsenal.com.
“In the second half we lost control of the game and we were lucky to draw.
“I think in the first half we conceded a deflected goal and then again before half time.
“The second goal was unlucky because Norwich didn’t have too many chances in the first half and in the second half it was important that we didn’t concede another goal and Norwich defended very deep and very good.
“The game was still open but it wasn’t meant to be.”
Attempting to pinpoint where we have room for improvement, he said, “It’s not only about the defence, midfield or the strikers, I think in the second half the distances were too big and we didn’t press like we did in the first half.
“Against a team like Norwich they can play very well and on the counter-attack and this was the main problem because it was a personal mistake or losing the ball and I think this was the difference.”
Unsurprisingly, after an emotional week at the club, Leno admitted the players were frustrated not to get a win.
“We’re disappointed because Freddie said in the dressing room that in the first half this was the gameplan that we wanted, and the two goals by transition were not good, but in the second half we lost the control.
“I think when we analyse the game the first half was good because we controlled the game but only the two goals were not good. In the second half we have to work in transition.”
Arsenal face Brighton on Thursday and then travel to West Ham United the following Monday.