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Leno determined to take Arsenal chance after Cech injury

By Opta
Petr Cechs injury has opened the door for Bernd Leno at Arsenal.

London, October 1: Bernd Leno promised to show Arsenal boss Unai Emery his quality as he prepared for a run in the team, while offering sympathy to the injured Petr Cech.

A hamstring injury forced Cech out of Arsenal's 2-0 victory over Watford in first-half stoppage-time, with Leno stepping off the bench to replace him while the score was still 0-0.

It was the German goalkeeper's first Premier League appearance since his £19.2million move from Bayer Leverkusen, but with Cech expected to be side-lined for two-to-three weeks the 26-year-old is braced for more.

"It is a big chance for me, yes, but I do not want to say it wrong that I am happy for Petr to be injured," Leno told the Independent.

"I feel sorry for him but now I have more opportunities to play and I will concentrate on these games.

"Now that he is injured — and we do not know exactly how long for — I have the opportunity to play more games and show the coach my quality."

That quality was evident against Watford, with Leno pulling off a reaction save from Hornets striker Troy Deeney before two goals in the last 10 minutes of the game secured three points for Unai Emery's men.

Having spent Arsenal's six previous league games sat on the bench, Leno described the difficulty of suddenly being thrown into the heat of the action.

"It was a very difficult moment because I was sat on the bench and it was a little bit cold," he said.

"I hoped the referee would finish the half but he didn't, so there was one minute more.

"I was happy when it was half-time, so I had fifteen minutes to warm up and concentrate on the game. It was a clean sheet, we won, so it was a good day for me.

"It was a good start to save the first ball. It was a good save. And it was important for the team not to concede the first goal, as well as being good for my confidence."

Leno gave supporters an indication of what to expect from him as Arsenal face Qarabag in the Europa League on Thursday before taking on Fulham in the Premier League on Sunday.

"My style is to play with the team and to play a little bit higher when the defence is very high," he said.

"To play high and to reduce the space between the defence and me. But I can learn very many things from his experience of difficult situations and I think that it is very good for me to work with him."

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    Story first published: Monday, October 1, 2018, 14:50 [IST]
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