Bernd Leno notes Arteta’s biggest Arsenal change with subtle Unai Emery swipe

Bernd Leno has praised Arsenal’s defensive improvement under Mikel Arteta, with a subtle swipe at former boss Unai Emery.

The Gunners claimed a 1-0 win over Manchester United on Sunday, a first win at Old Trafford since 2006.

Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored the only goal of the game in the 69th minute, converting from the penalty spot after Hector Bellerin had been fouled by Paul Pogba.

That spot-kick proved the difference, in a game where Arsenal's German ‘keeper was largely untroubled and had few saves of genuine note to make.

It meant Arsenal have kept five clean sheets in their 12 games in all competitions so far this term.

And Leno believes that the defensive side of the game is now much improved – noting that it is “more impressive” under Arteta than his predecessor.

“First of all it was a very important win for us when you look at the table.

“It's been a long time since we won away against a team from the big six, and as well at Old Trafford. It's been 14 years I think, so too long but finally we've done the job.

“It was a very collective, strong performance from us.

"Our players were brilliant and I think everybody had the right attitude and mentality to win. It was very hard for Man United to create chances.

“At the end of the day, this is the key. The collective performance and defensive work were really important and I think we've worked on that.

“You can already see that it's much more impressive than it was one or two years ago.

“It's a long, long process and we still have a lot of work ahead of us. We need consistency.

“This season we've had a lot of good games but also some games where we could have done better. We'll keep working on that though.

“We're all doing a great job and the most important thing is that we stay grounded, we know where we come from and hopefully it goes in the same direction.”

The victory moved inconsistent Arsenal into ninth in the Premier League table, with four wins and three defeats from their opening seven matches.

They face Molde in the Europa League on Thursday – having taken six points from two group games – before returning to domestic action against Aston Villa at the Emirates next weekend.

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