Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has lavished praise on goalkeeper Matt Turner for his “phenomenal” display in their 1-0 Europa League win over Bodo/Glimt.
The USA international was making his third consecutive start in the competition and cut a cool and composed figure at the Aspmyra Stadion to help Arsenal maintain their 100% record in Europe.
Turner did not have many proper saves to make on the night, but he was quick out of his area to snuff out any danger as Bodo/Glimt found their way in behind the Arsenal backline.
The 28-year-old has only conceded one goal in his three Europa League games for Arsenal so far, but he remains second choice in the pecking order behind Aaron Ramsdale.
Nevertheless, Arteta hardly had a bad word to say about Turner in his post-game press conference, hailing his adaptation to coaching methods that were previously unfamiliar to him.
“He’s improving, he’s getting better, we are demanding things that are different to what other managers have demanded him to do,” arsenal.com quotes Arteta as saying.
“He was much better in the first half than the second half. In my opinion we can have more control, he was phenomenal in goal, the way he reads the situation, especially the defending the back of the central defenders, when he needs to control the space there, the way he set himself in the one on one situation he had, was really good. “
When asked if he was confident in Turner’s ability to perform in the Premier League should Ramsdale ever be absent, Arteta simply responded: “Yes”.
An unorthodox goal from Bukayo Saka settled the contest in Arsenal’s favour in Norway, as the ball struck the 21-year-old on the lips before nestling into the back of the net after his initial close-range shot was blocked.
The Gunners had to withstand copious amounts of pressure from Bodo/Glimt, who had previously won 14 European games on the spin at home, but Arteta focused on the positives from a good night’s work in the Arctic Circle.
“Really happy to win here against a team that has won the last 14 games in European competitions in a row, so they deserve a lot credit to do that. There’s not many European teams that can do that, we have come here on 15 and won it,” Arteta added.
“The second half obviously there are a lot of things to improve, we know that, I’m not going to get too deep into that, I understand as well, why this is happening. But I think the boys deserve credit as well for the way they tried.
“Obviously, the conditions, the pitch, is another element that you could see sometimes that it was too fast for us but there is no excuse.”
Arsenal remain at the top of Europa League Group A with nine points to their name – two clear of PSV Eindhoven, who thumped FC Zurich 5-0 – and the Gunners only need a draw against the Dutch giants next week to guarantee a top-two finish.
Arteta will now prepare his side for Sunday’s Premier League contest with Leeds United as they endeavour to maintain their one-point advantage over Manchester City at the top of the table.