Martin Keown told BT Sport (broadcast on 25/2; 20:02) that Kieran Tierney was immense as Arsenal produced an incredible comeback to beat Benfica in their Europa League last 32 tie.
Mikel Arteta’s men are through to the last 16. However, they made it difficult for themselves in Greece. The Gunners went 2-1 down on the night, meaning that they had to score twice in the final 29 minutes to avoid a hugely disappointing exit.
Ultimately, Arsenal were able to provide two moments of inspiration. And the first came from Tierney shortly after Benfica’s second.
The left-back received the ball from Willian on the edge of the box. He then took a couple of touches to get the ball out of his feet before unleashing a thunderous drive into the far corner.
Also as impressively, Tierney showed no interest in celebrating his goal. Instead, the Scotland international started urging his teammates to get back and get ready to go again.
And Keown suggested that he was delighted to see Tierney’s reaction to his brilliant goal.
“He’s been immense,” he told BT Sport. “And you just saw the way that he was waving his team on. That’s the sort of symbolism we want going forward. You want that player who really wants to drive the team on.
“He’s not going to stand back and let somebody else do it. No, he’s going to take charge of his own destiny. And really, the course of history’s just changed there in a moment, and you can do it. And it is in your own hands.
“But he’s got to keep doing that. And we’ve got to keep him fit.”
Tierney – who earns around £81,000-a-week, according to Spotrac – has been a remarkable signing for the Gunners. His consistency and work-rate has already made him a fan favourite.
Some supporters have already earmarked the 23-year-old as a future captain. And his brilliance when Arsenal were crying out for a moment of inspiration may well have only reaffirmed the belief that he will one day wear the armband for the club.