Mikel Arteta Praises Kasper Schmeichel for Performance in Frustrating Draw

Kasper Schmeichel
Arteta was impressed by Schmeichel at the Emirates | James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta admitted he was impressed by the performance of Leicester goalkeeper Kasper Schmeichel in his side’s 1-1 draw at home to the Foxes on Tuesday night.

Danish international Schmeichel made several impressive saves to keep the Gunners from adding to their solitary goal – the best coming to deny Alexandre Lacazette after the Frenchman was found by Bukayo Saka’s cross.

Mikel ArtetaMikel Arteta
Arteta lauded Schmeichel following several saves | Pool/Getty Images

When asked if he was frustrated by the Gunners’ missed chances, Arteta responded: “Absolutely,
but they have a great goalkeeper who saved them in the specific moment that we needed it.

“We should have killed them off, by scoring two, three or four goals. I’m pleased with the way we dominated this type of opponent,” said Arteta, as quoted by the Leicester Mercury. “They have a very good goalkeeper who made the saves.”

Schmeichel saves Neal Maupay's penaltySchmeichel saves Neal Maupay's penalty
Schmeichel saves Neal Maupay’s penalty | Pool/Getty Images

The 33 year-old Dane has been in good form since the restart, having saved a penalty in the 0-0 home draw against Brighton and Hove Albion and kept clean sheet against Crystal Palace.

Schmeichel’s heroics meant that when Jamie Vardy restored his two-goal lead over Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang late on in the match, his strike was enough to snatch a 1-1 draw and keep the Foxes’ top four destiny in their own hands.

The game was marred by more VAR controversy, however, as Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah was sent off by referee Chris Kavanagh following a lengthy review.

Eddie NketiahEddie Nketiah
Nketiah walks off following VAR decision | Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Arteta felt a sense of injustice over the situation, insisting that goalscorer Jamie Vardy should also have seen red for an incident in the first half.

“Leicester City should be down to ten men for a challenge between the 40th and the 45th minute. If we review the incidents, we have to review them all. It should be equal. If Eddie’s is a red card, so is the other one.”

Up next for Arsenal is their first ever trip to the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, while Leicester will be looking to cement their place in the top four when they travel to relegation-threatened Bournemouth.

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