You know when people say a penalty shoot-out is a lottery? They are talking absolute horse bollix. A lottery is random. Penalties are a test of a player’s nerve and technique and character, and that includes goalkeepers too.
For the second time in little over a month, Arsenal beat Liverpool on penalties and there was nothing about it that was like a lottery. We scored more than they did, our goalkeeper saved more than theirs did, and we went through to the quarter-finals of the Carabao Cup.
I quite enjoyed this game, not because we played particularly well – we didn’t; or that I’m especially invested in this competition – I’m not; but because it’s a fixture without any great pressure. If we’d gone out, I wouldn’t feel anywhere near as bad as I would if we dropped points in the Premier League. If the shoot-out had gone the other way, I wouldn’t have liked it, but it would have been a small thing to get over.
It wasn’t a great game, there was lots of pressure from Liverpool, and that Bernd Leno was our very obvious man of the match tells you plenty. He made some superb saves throughout, and in the second half he was…