The 25-year-old Iceland international was named in Mikel Arteta’s starting lineup to face Pep Guardiola’s Man City in Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup quarter-final tie at the Emirates.
Unfortunately for Runarsson and Arsenal, the ‘keeper was in poor form, letting a Riyad Mahrez free-kick through his hands to allow City to go 2-1 up en route to a 4-1 victory.
Arteta refused to blame Runarsson following the match, and insisted that there was “no point” regretting the exit of Martinez – especially given that Martinez had asked to leave the club to become a No1 ‘keeper at Villa.
On Wednesday, Runarsson’s Twitter account (@runaralex) no longer existed, with the ‘keeper having received abuse online following his performance.
Arteta said of Runarsson: “He has not played a lot of games for us, we all make mistakes and have to support him.
“We know that Bernd (Leno) has played a lot of minutes and he needs a rest.
“We have to give opportunities to other players and he (Runarsson) did well in other games. These things happen in football.”
Mahrez said Runarsson’s positioning for the all-important free-kick confused him:”I was surprised by the position of the goalkeeper, he was so close to the post.
“I thought he was going to move, but luckily he did not catch it.”