Arsenal

David Raya praised by Arsenal legend for reaction to ‘double mistake’ against Tottenham

David Raya was at fault for Tottenham’s first goal in Arsenal’s 3-2 win over their north London rivals but the goalkeeper’s reaction to his error was praised by David Seaman

Arsenal legend David Seaman has lauded David Raya for his ‘brilliant’ response to a ‘double mistake’ during the Gunners’ 3-2 triumph over Tottenham. The Spanish goalkeeper’s error in judgement allowed Spurs to claw their way back into the game, but Seaman believes Raya’s reaction demonstrated his quality.

The north London derby seemed set for an easy Arsenal win as Bukayo Saka and Kai Havertz built on Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg’s own goal. However, Raya’s 64th-minute blunder gave Tottenham a lifeline, with Cristian Romero capitalising on the keeper’s misjudged pass.

Despite Son Heung-min’s late penalty, Arsenal held onto their slender lead, securing top spot in the Premier League at the weekend’s end. Mikel Arteta defended Raya in his post-match press conference, praising the ‘sensational’ reaction of goalkeeper, who he said they were ‘lucky’ to have in their squad.

Raya himself reassured fans that he would learn from the experience and emerge a better player, acknowledging the potential cost of such an error in future games. On the Seaman Says podcast, Arsenal legend David Seaman analysed the club’s derby victory and criticised goalkeeper Raya for ‘guessing’ Romero’s move instead of waiting after his initial mistake. However, he praised Raya’s ability to recover from the embarrassing moment, stating that the Spanish international ‘passed the test with flying colours’.

Seaman said: “[I was nervous] for the last 20 minutes after Raya messed up with the back pass. He got caught in two minds. He wanted to play it and then he saw that somebody had closed the avenue off for his pass and then he ended up doing nothing.

“He knocked it straight to Romero and then, even on Romero’s finish, he guessed which is not what you do. You have to try and wait. It was a double mistake but I’ve got to give him credit because as much as that put a load of pressure on the team when we were coasting, if I’m honest, his performance after the mistake was really good.

His reaction was great because he came out for every cross, he was solid at the back still, and it’s a good sign in ‘keepers when they make a mistake, especially like that where you know the fans are up and at it again because they’re thinking they can get back in it. The way he reacted was brilliant and it just shows you that he is a quality goalkeeper. He didn’t have a great deal to do save-wise, but when he made that mistake it was a test and he passed it with flying colours.”

Seaman singled out Ben White for his exceptional performance, criticising Spurs for not ‘doing their homework properly’ and allowing the defender to cause havoc for Guglielmo Vicario in the first half.

“He is brilliant at blocking the goalkeeper off and the goalkeepers are silly for getting involved because they should know,” the former England goalkeeper added.

Tottenham didn’t do their homework properly because they left Ben White on Vicario in the first half. Second half, they got somebody to mark Ben White but it was too late by then. Ben White was brilliant and Vicario needed to not get involved. Ben does it perfectly where he just gives a little nudge and it’s enough to block his momentum because he should have come out for that third goal, he should have come out and punched it.”

Seaman expressed hope that Thomas Partey can maintain his fitness for the rest of the season after the Ghanaian excelled in midfield alongside Declan Rice and Martin Odegaard.

“Hopefully Partey stays fit now for the rest of the season. He’s that calming influence,” he continued. “Jorginho is like that as well because he’s got so much experience but with Partey you’ve got this tall, strong, athletic midfielder that can hold and then let Declan do what he needs to do.”

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