Leno loses in final of PES 2020 tournament

Goal.com

Schalke midfielder Nassim Boujellab struck a late winner to defeat Arsenal goalkeeper Bernd Leno and claim victory in the StayAtHomeWithPES tournament.

11 players from well-known clubs across Europe took part in the compeition on video game Pro Evolution Soccer 2020 amid the coronavirus lockdown, which has brought real-life football across the world to a standstill.

Several virtual football tournaments have sprung up in the meantime, such as the FIFA Ultimate Quaran-Team competition and the ePremier League, and on Sunday night some of the biggest names from European football faced off on PES.

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They included Barcelona forward Antoine Griezmann, Bayern Munich defender Javi Martinez, Juventus playmaker Miralem Pjanic, Manchester United midfielder Scott McTominay, as well as Leno and Boujellab, among others.

Leno had looked the most impressive performer leading up to the final, scoring 12 goals in three matches and winning each fixture by a minimum of three goals.

The German keeper beat Milan's Rafael Leao 3-0 in round one, before dismantling Martinez 4-1 in the quarter finals despite a brilliant early free kick by the Spaniard, while in the semis he crushed Griezmann 5-1.

Boujellab meanwhile had a tougher route to the final, beating Celtic striker Odsonne Edouard 2-1 in the opening game, before a 1-0 victory over Pjanic in round two, and a final four win against Inter forward Sebastiano Esposito.

However the Morocco international held his nerve against Leno in the final, to seal a 1-0 victory and the championship.

For Boujellab, it provides some salve amid a season where he looked set to break into the Scahlke first team before the coronavirus pandemic disrupted his progress.

The 20-year-old has made five Bundesliga appearances for the club this season, having come through the youth team ranks at the Gelsenkirchen club.

Leno meanwhile has been an ever-present figure on the pitch for Arsenal, amid another turbulent season of transition for the North London side.

He played every minute of Arsenal's 28 Premier League games before the campaign was put on hold due to coronavirus, keeping his place as number one after Mikel Arteta replaced the sacked Unai Emery as manager.

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