Macey pleased with Euro stepping stone. Wenger impressed

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No matter what happens in Matt Macey’s career from this point, he’ll always be able to say he kept a clean sheet in for Arsenal in Europe. That’s pretty great if you ask us, even if the 0-0 draw with Red Star Belgrade wasn’t the greatest spectacle.

The 6ft 7inch keeper, who made his competitive first team debut against Norwich last Tuesday, proved his quality with a brilliant fingertip save to nudge a header onto the post in the first half and kept his cool after the break despite being left exposed on a couple of occasions by errant play in front of him.

Deputising for the rested Petr Cech and injured David Ospina, Macey reflected that he enjoyed his first European experience.

“Obviously that’s the aim for all the young lads here in the academy,” he told Arsenal.com.

“That’s the dream when you join Arsenal as a kid, to go on and be a regular and it’s just part of the stepping stones, but there’s a lot more hard work and I’ve got a lot more to do to make the next step.

“It was obviously a big occasion for me. To play in Europe is a big step in my career, but the boys made it easy in front of me, they defended well and it was good test because they’re a good side, but it’s about building on that now.”

The 23-year-old’s performance was a positive for Arsene Wenger on a drab night at the Emirates.

“I think he took his chance very well,” noted the boss. “He is huge, he is quick and you do not often find combinations of that size and that speed, he is very agile as well for a guy who is tall like that.
“He came late to us considering normally goalkeepers come at the age of 16, he came at 20, but he is intelligent and very focused.
“That’s why I was pleased to give him a chance tonight and I think he took it already against Norwich and as well tonight he played very well.”

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