What is Bernd Leno's best save as Arsenal number one?

Bernd Leno added yet another superb save to his impressive highlights reel against Manchester United on Saturday, but where did his stop from Fred rank among his best as Arsenal's number one? Dan Mountney trawled the archives to find out.

What is Bernd Leno's best save as Arsenal number one?

Was Leno's save from Fred his best for Arsenal? CREDIT: OFFSIDE

Now, before we delve in Bernd's back catalogue, it's important to note just how I have gone about ordering this list of dives, blocks and stops.

Firstly, the quality of the save. The ones that are for the cameras and make you say wow are always going to rank highly, but, secondly, the importance of the stop is also key. I believe a save on the big stage or to earn points is far more impressive than any top corner stop at 3-0 up.

Now, let's get into the top 10.

10- One-on-one save from Romelu Lukaku: Arsenal 2-0 Manchester United (March 10, 2019)

We start with an impressive save against Manchester United in a must-win game for the Gunners.

With Unai Emery's men chasing a top-four spot, only a win would do for the Gunners, who took a 1-0 lead into half-time thanks to Granit Xhaka's deflected strike.

With United pressing for an equaliser after the break, Leno made a number of key saves, with the best of those denying Romelu Lukaku.

As the ball fell for the striker inside the area, the German rushed from his and made himself big, getting his outstretched right leg on the shot to turn the ball over the crossbar.

It was a save that kept Arsenal ahead and helped maintain their European ambitions as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's penalty secured victory.

9 - Reflex stop from Maya Yoshida's header: Southampton 3-2 Arsenal (December 16, 2018)

With the Gunners on a 22-game unbeaten run, Unai Emery's men visited Southampton looking to continue their fine form.

Arsenal had fought back twice from two Danny Ings goals thanks to a Henrikh Mkhitaryan double, but with the game tied at 2-2, Maya Yoshida rose highest to meet a corner from the left.

The Japanese defender powered his header towards the near post from just six yards out, but Leno somehow shot up a hand to stop the ball crossing the line.

This save would have ranked higher had it not been for the German's mistake that allowed Charlie Austin to score the winner. The perils of being a goalkeeper.

8 - Diving save from Harry Maguire's header: Arsenal 3-1 Leicester (October 22, 2018)

Most Gooners will remember this game for a sublime team goal finished off by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, but vital save from Leno in the first half kept the Gunners in the game.

When an unmarked Harry Maguire met a free-kick at the back post, the outcome seemed certain, but Leno shot down to his left to get a big hand on the ball and claw it away from the bottom corner.

It was a superb stop and one that helped set Arsenal on their way to victory.

7 - Double save from Andy Carroll: Arsenal 2-0 Newcastle United (January 9, 2021)

The first of two double saves on this list comes from the third round FA Cup tie against Newcastle last month.

With the tie level at 0-0 and the clock ticking into injury time, a shot deflected into the path of an unmarked Andy Carroll who looked certain to score.

Leno had other ideas, racing from his line and sliding out to block the ball with his chest. It fell kindly back to Carroll though and just as he went to slot home, the German stopper threw himself down to his left to push the ball away.

Emile Smith Rowe and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored in extra-time to send Arsenal through, none of which would have happened with Leno's heroics.

6 - Fingertip save from Kevin De Bruyne: Arsenal 0-3 Manchester City (December 15, 2019)

Unlike the previous save, this meant little in the context of the game, but it was equally as impressive.

A woeful first 45 minutes against a rampant City side saw the Gunners 3-0 down, but it would have been four just moments before the break had it not been for a superb Leno stop.

Kevin De Bruyne - who was on a hat-trick - curled a powerful effort from the edge of the box that was destined for the top corner, but the German goalkeeper launched to his left and got his fingertips to the ball to turn it onto the post.

I was in the Emirates press box that day and recall being left stunned by the save. It was truly a stop only a world-class goalkeeper could make. Just a shame it was already game over.

5 - Close range save from Dominic Calvert-Lewin: Arsenal 3-2 Everton (February 23, 2020)

As Mikel Arteta's Arsenal revolution began to kick into gear, Everton visited the Emirates and an entertaining encounter ensued.

Dominic Calvert-Lewin put the visitors ahead before Eddie Nketiah and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang turned the game around.

Richarlison levelled just before the break, but Aubameyang's second put the Gunners ahead once again.

As Everton pressed for another equaliser, the golden opportunity fell to Calvert-Lewin inside the six-yard box. With the goal at the striker's mercy, Leno somehow reacted, getting up a strong right hand to block the effort.

Arsenal went on to win the game with Leno the saviour as he often was throughout last season.

4 - Reflex save from Max Aarons: Norwich City 2-2 Arsenal (December 1, 2019)

Now for the first of two saves from the same game.

Arsenal visited Carrow Road with caretaker manager Freddie Ljungberg in charge for the first time following Unai Emery's sacking.

Much like his predecessor, the Swede was thankful for the brilliance of Leno as the German earned his side a point with a string of superb saves.

One of those saw him deny Max Aarons when the right-back charged forward and cut in on his left foot before taking aim from the edge of the area.

He went for the far corner and so did Leno, but a deflection off Lucas Torreira not only sent the ball towards the other corner, it also changed the height of the shot.

Arsenal's goalkeeper somehow transferred his weight and launched upwards, getting a hand to the ball to turn it behind.

The brilliance and importance of the save was duly noted by his team-mates who rushed to thank him, but it wasn't even the best save he made that afternoon.

3 - One-on-one save from Kenny McLean: Norwich City 2-2 Arsenal (December 1, 2019)

Just before the save from Max Aarons, Leno had made another stop that denied a certain goal.

Kenny McClean pounced on a loose ball in midfield and charged through the middle of the Arsenal defence, finding himself in the centre of the goal and faced with Leno.

The Scot had virtually all of the net to aim at and it look as if the goalkeeper had little chance of denying him.

The Norwich man picked bottom right and struck his effort with plenty of power, but Leno shot down to get just enough of a hand on the ball to turn it onto the post.

McLean stood head in hands, shocked that his effort had somehow been saved despite the odds being massively in his favour, while the Arsenal players rushed to their saviour - and not for the first time that season either.

2 - Diving save from Fred: Arsenal 0-0 Manchester United (30 January 2021)

Leno's latest highlight-reel save only comes in at number two, but what a stop it was.

With United pressing for an opener at the Emirates, Arsenal cleared a corner that fell to Fred outside the penalty area.

The Brazilian took aim and clipped a shot towards the far corner. It looked bound for the net, but Leno strained every sinew to dive, reach out a long left arm, and claw the ball behind to safety.

It was Leno at his best.

1 - Double save from Christian Eriksen and Moussa Sissoko (March 2, 2019)

Before diving into the top 10, I mentioned the importance of a save.

When it comes to importance, they don't come much bigger than a north London derby against European rivals Tottenham at Wembley. It was also a sublime double save to boot.

With the Gunners 1-0 ahead and just minutes left before the break, a clipped Harry Kane pass over the Arsenal defence found an unmarked Christian Eriksen, but Leno made himself big to deny the Dane from close range.

The danger wasn't over though, with the ball falling straight to Moussa Sissoko just inside the area. The goalkeeper had just seconds to react to the first-time effort, but he dived to his left and shot up a hand to divert the ball over the bar.

Wembley was stunned by the magnificence of Leno's double stop, and although the Gunners would go on to draw the game, it could have been far worse had it not been for the goalkeeper.

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