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Forgotten Arsenal loanee impresses

Forgotten Arsenal loanee impresses

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Iceland's goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson (L) saves a shot by Israel's forward Liel Abada (C) during the UEFA Nations League football match on June 2, 2022. (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)
Iceland’s goalkeeper Runar Alex Runarsson (L) saves a shot by Israel’s forward Liel Abada (C) during the UEFA Nations League football match on June 2, 2022. (Photo by JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Arsenal loanee Runar Alex Runarsson has had no trouble getting games on loan with Alanyaspor in Turkey, starting every league game since his debut on August 22nd.

At the weekend, his side took on Turkish giants Galatasaray, whose team contains the likes of Mauro Icardi, Dries Mertens, and former Gunner Lucas Torreira. Undoubtedly, a tough test.

So it proved, with Mertens and Icardi scoring in the first 22 minutes to help their team into a 2-0 lead. There was nothing Runarsson could do about either goal, with the shots coming from seven or eight yards out and no defenders providing pressure.

But the game started to turn after that. Sacha Boey was sent off for a last-man foul, and Runarsson got down well with a near-post save to deny Mertens a second goal in the 38th minute.

Jure Balkovec scored a free-kick to get Alanyaspor back in the game in the 68th minute, before Runarsson stood tall a minute later to keep out a chip from Kerem Akturkoglu.

As the game moved into injury time, Ahmed Hassan levelled the scores at 2-2. But Galatasaray had another huge opportunity to retake the later immediately afterwards, as Runarsson made a one-on-one save from Emin Bayram.

Galatasaray had another man sent off in the 94th minute, and the game finished 2-2.

Runar Alex Runarsson with Iceland (Photo via Runarsson on Instagram)
Runar Alex Runarsson with Iceland (Photo via Runarsson on Instagram)

Despite conceding twice, the xG stats suggest Runarsson prevented a net 1.35 goals, facing 3.35 xGOT across the 90 minutes. He also completed 30 of 34 passes and seven of 10 long balls, as well as making a couple of punches.

It was perhaps the goalkeeper’s best performance so far, to earn his team a point against a tricky opponent.



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