Martin Keown slams Matt Turner after Sporting Lisbon draw and names Arsenal star who ‘stood out’

Martin Keown criticised Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner (Picture: BT Sport)

Martin Keown criticised Arsenal goalkeeper Matt Turner as the Premier League leaders were held to a 2-2 draw in the Europa League last-16 first leg tie in Portugal.

USA international Turner was handed a rare start for the Gunners on Thursday as one of six changes from the side that came from behind to beat Bournemouth last weekend.

The 28-year-old is keen for more opportunities at the Emirates but was at fault for Sporting’s first goal as he failed to come off his line and deal with a corner, allowing Goncalo Inacio to head home.

Arsenal, sitting five points clear at the top of the Premier League, had taken the lead through William Saliba but Sporting’s equaliser saw the momentum change, with the hosts almost taking advantage of a Turner blunder to take the lead before half-time.

Sporting did go ahead shortly after the break – Paulinho poking home following a Turner save – but Arsenal were back level when Granit Xhaka’s cross was deflected in off Hidemasa Morita.

‘Really he killed everybody with the first goal because he starts to come and then he goes back,’ Keown said of Turner.

‘Kiwior has got to do more than that too but if I’m playing regularly with this goalkeeper, I’m thinking I’m going to have to try and head things, because I can’t necessarily trust him.

Turner was at fault for Sporting Lisbon’s first goal (Picture: Getty)

‘He had a first scary moments in the first half. He’s got to come and be dominant and win the ball from the corner, but he didn’t do it.

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‘Arsenal could have even conceded again after Sporting score when Turner made another error on the ball.’

The 2-2 draw means the tie is evenly-poised ahead of the second leg at the Emirates Stadium this time next week.

While Keown was concerned by Turner’s display, the Gunners legend heaped praise on Arsenal goalscorer Saliba and said he continues to ‘grow in stature’.

‘The game lacked some rhythm in the first half but William Saliba really stood out for me,’ Keown added.

‘The goal obviously caps his performance, it’s a great header. There was only one person winning that cross.

Sporting equalize ✅

Not the best moment for Matt Turner ❌#UEL

— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) March 9, 2023

‘He’s growing in stature now. Weak in, weak out, we’re seeing really good performances from him.’

Arsenal will look to maintain their five-point lead at the top of the Premier League on Sunday when they make the short trip across London to face Fulham.

Marco Silva’s Fulham are enjoying a brilliant first season back in the English top-flight and sit seventh – just six points outside the top-four – ahead of this weekend’s round of fixtures.

MORE : Why Martin Odegaard missed Arsenal’s Europa League clash against Sporting Lisbon

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