Arsenal: Martinez, Nelson, Luiz, Sokratis, Holding, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Guendouzi, Ozil, Pepe, Lacazette
Subs: Leno, Mavropanos, Ceballos, Willock, Saka, Martinelli, John-Jules
Arsenal secured passage into the fourth round of the FA Cup, and a game against Bournemouth, as a second half Reiss Nelson goal gave us a 1-0 win over Leeds at the Emirates.
Mikel Arteta picked a stronger team than expected, with big names throughout. Rob Holding started for the first time since November and while on paper it looked like a back three, Sokratis surprisingly started the game at right back.
The visitors had the first sniff of a goal, Bamford flicking on from a whipped free kick, and after a poor Holding pass the striker had another opportunity but the centre-half got back to make a crucial block.
At the other end Pepe had a pop from outside the area, Xhaka’s great run forward deserved a better final ball, but it was Martinez who was called into action making a good stop from Harrison.
There was more danger from Leeds when lovely passing saw Bamford crash a shot off the bar, Harrison tested the Arsenal keeper again, and Martinez was saved by Holding when a free kick was flicked on and he fumbled the ball.
Lacazette’s poor form was on display again when he drove into the box but indecision cost us possession, and Leeds almost punished that by going up the other end and shooting just wide.
Despite Leeds’ domination of possession and chances, Arsenal should have gone ahead in the 31st minute when Luiz had a free header from a corner but put it wide. Again, Martinez kept the scores level, clawing away a ball at the back post which might have come off Sokratis, who later had to defend well to prevent a one on one chance.
Gotts had a super chance to score but put it over the bar from close range, which meant the sides went in level at the break.
The second 45 began with no changes in personnel for either team, and there were some early signs that Arsenal might be better. Pepe shot over, before Nelson drove at pace into the box but couldn’t quite get a shot off, and Lacazette clipped the top of the bar with a free kick from just outside the box.
Good work from Guendouzi saw Ozil feed Lacazette who shot straight at the keeper, and the French midfielder had a go himself, curling a left footed effort not far wide. It wasn’t all one way traffic though, Bamford tested Martinez again, but in the 55th minute we went ahead.
It began with great work from Pepe, he ran with it, fed Lacazette who gave it back to him, it deflected into the path of Nelson whose miskicked finish beat the keeper! 1-0.
Leeds made two changes almost immediately, bringing on Costa and Dallas for Alioski and Gotts, followed by Gabriel Martinelli replacing Nelson in the 67th minute.
Kolasinac was booked for a foul on Costa, Leeds put the subsequent free kick over the bar, and quick feet from Martinelli saw him test the keeper who made a good save low down. Joe Willock came on for Ozil in the 77th minute, Kolasinac combined well with Lacazette but his shot was blocked, and Sokratis powered down the right like a massive Greek bull which sparked a sort of melee but not really.
Great defending from Sokratis prevented a Leeds equaliser as the game moved into five minutes of added time. Saka replaced Pepe in injury time, Luiz put a free kick over the bar from 5 yards outside the box, and some decent game management in the final stages ensured that a much improved second half performance was enough for victory.
One of these days this group of players are going to realise that there are no games in professional football that you can go into half arsed and semi committed and not expect a pasting. It was great to see them respond to whatever El Midas said at halftime. We would’ve lost that game under Emery and possibly Wenger. Desire and game management was bang on second half. Now these lads need a rest before Palace and compare the Zaha.com. Great result. Fuck the draw. But we march on! Also fun – Danny Murphy losing his shit about Xhaka’s lack… Read more »
@Nairo254gunna King Midas’ Touch of gold + Mikel is Spanish = EL MIDAS
Thanks Pak. Thought it was relatively self explanatory but there you go.
What a storming 2and half. What a reaction, for the 1st time 1.5 seasons.
No one saw that coming or for that matter even the 4 at the back formation to start with 🙂
What we could have done sooner? Should have appointed Arteta 6-8 weeks sooner.
So pleased with the players and ofcourse Arteta. He just needed the 1 half to learn from the master 🙂
I only watched the second half. Who was the captain on the night? I could not see anyone wearing the arm band?
Leads versus Leeds after a poor first half.
Martinelli is different gravy. Not your regular Bisto
Absolutely love the guy ?
Yeah love Martinelli. He’s got the natural forward instinct to take people on and has the skill to do it.
Arteta hairdryer treatment: activated
That explains the hair
That was fun
Danny Murphy is a cunt.
What an idiot he was complaining about Xhaka and Guen falling over even though they were being fouled
He’s a spud
Someone needs to remind Danny Murphy that just because a player commits four fouls, it doesn’t mean he carded for each offence.
Should be* Thought I should correct that in case Danny Murphy gets upset.
Was at the game so dont know what he was saying but the general consensus was that it was absolutely fucking hilarious that Xhaka didn’t get booked. Were three that I saw that were absolutely nailed on, in my opinion at least.
Referee must have been under bookies order not to book Xhaka. It is a popular bet for Granit to get yellow. It is all rigged.
I mean a foolish cunty cunt, bald bastard.
Feel that the 1st half was more about game management from Arteta than anything poor to do with our players…. he’s learnt from the master in that regard…… both him and the players have been very open and honest that we don’t have the full fitness to play nonstop for the full 90 yet. Excellent game management in my opinion and great result 🙂
How is allowing opposition attack us the whole half game management? We could easily have been down by 3 or 4 goals had they been clinical in front of goal! We were poor in the first half, end of story. It happens. It’s football. Much better second half, took our chance, well deserved victory.
Correct. You don’t plan to allow 15 shots on your own goal in one half!
Umm… Watford 31 shots to Arsenal 7, not too long ago.
Of course I cannot say for sure if it was in the plan, but Arsenal seemed to drop off and allowed a lot of shots back then. Happily, the current coach does not use this approach.
Luckily, this is still why Leeds is in the Championship. They are poor finishers, but our display was disjointed and passionless in the first half. Definitely found our legs in the second half.
In the first half, I kept noticing Holding
In the second half, I almost forgot Holding was still on the pitch..
That’s a compliment. Great reaction and improvement by Holding in the second half. Hats off, I love seeing that ?
Yes Holding had a shocker in the first half but to be fair he’s been out for a while.
100%. It’s something I’ve always noticed with Holding.
Staying up till 3:30 AM is fun again!
Same here mate. Now I can’t go to sleep as I have a headache due to the adrenaline.
I don’t know if everyone saw Bielsa’s reaction at the end of the match but the guy was smiling when he shook Arteta’s hand. No bigger endorsement than that for Arteta. He must be proud of the second half performance from the guys.
A clear example of Arteta making the difference here. Whatever he said at half-time is exactly what Emery couldn’t.
He may have got it wrong with tactics for the first half but he certainly read the game well and fixed it without changing a player.
What a leader we have in him,
2020 and 2 clean sheets!! I’m so chuffed!
Bloody hell the first half was ragged. Glad ozil turned up in the second, but lacazette is really down on form worryingly. Still, 3 points !
A win sorry, all these foreign feelings of hopefulness have disorientated me to what format in which arsenal are competing
Lacazette won man of the match
He worked his nuts off. I thought he deserved it. His finishing form will improve. His fitnessh already has.
Lacazette off form? Yes he needs a goal but he was tremendous tonight and his work rate was prodigious. Even Danny Murphy made him MOTM.
Lol. I am laughing seeing rival fans belting out their frustrations at the fa ct that Xhaka wasn’t carded. I used to hate Fernadinho for that too. He seems to be really good at it.
Looks like Arteta is bringing that bit of shithousery to this team. #TacticalFouls
Xhaka is quality. The managers know it and we are starting to agree no?
Leeds were continuously fouling also. But yeah Xhaka got away with it.
I loved the way we played the last 15 min. Haven’t seen arsenal kill a game like that. Ball in the corner and scrapping. Not doing anything naive to concede a big chance.
Laca said on the BBC website that Mikael shouted at them at half time … Good because the team deserved it and it worked!
Leeds played with an impressive confidence and quality for the first half, and we we just pathetic really, apart from Martinez (who was also dodgy with the ball at his feet). But what an amazing transformation. I would like to think that this was a pre planned strategy, knowing that Leeds were going to come out all guns blazing, soak it up, then full power for the second half when they were tiring/slightly over-confident even..? If not, and it was just a really good half time team talk from Arteta, I’m happy with that against an extremely energetic and quality… Read more »
Really brought the game to Leeds in the 2nd half. I don’t think they stood half a chance then, all the players were giving 100%. Big ups to Papa, Matteo and Laca, they had a great match overall. Holding’s several misplaced passes are a cause for concern though otherwise he seemed fine. I am looking forward to Leeds in the PL but there is a slight unwarranted arrogance you sense that they should probably get rid of before coming back to the big stage. Alioski was saying before the match that playing against Arsenal is not as big a deal… Read more »
Leeds totally blew us away in the first half, but for all the commentators’ gushing, it was really us being as bad as they were good.
1. Was mental how many fouls Xhaka got away with, and how many free kicks he won
2. Was great hearing how much it boiled Danny Murphy’s piss
Such a weird game… We win, but I am convinced that Emi Martinez is man of the match…
2 clean sheets in a row. My moma will be so happy
You struggled to keep your sheets clean more than 2 nights in a row?
What did you do to muck them up? (though it seems obvious…)
I’m glad the game played out the way it did. I saw fight and passion from Arsenal in the second half. That was an absorbing game. I’m out of breath watching it on TV. I can only imagine how the players feel right now.
I love the fact that Arteta still looked kind of pissed off with the first half performance.even after the win. I love the fact that they said he shouted at them at half-time. I love that he said he needs to be on them. And I love the fact that he got the change in performance without changing any players.
Seemed like some of the players who played with desperation and more effort than usual against ManUre to impress the new manager, then apparently felt that they could now go back to business as usual, where they half-ass it and drop the intensity.
Clearly, Arteta informed them at the half that he will not be having that. And crucially the players seemed to respond to that and really upped their performance instead of just tuning him out, which is a great sign for the rest of the season.
Shocking first half but what a response after half-time. Is anyone still not onboard with this Arteta thing yet? Early days but he really seems to have the players by the bollocks – about time someone did!
Arsenal win, clean sheet, Danny Murphy’s night ruined. Doesn’t get much better than that. COYG
So… are we not conceding goals this year?
No. Not for the next 32 matches.
Great second half, Mikel just gets better and better….anyone else think Martinelli will take Lacca’s place soon?
Yes pls. Laca can’t stay on his feet plus Martinelli had more shots in his short time than Laca managed all game.
Matteo Guendouzi had a game to remember! With proper management (hopefully under MA) the young man could develop into a real midfield maestro in the near future.
I love the new burst of energy and enthusiasm with all the players since Mikel Arteta took over as head coach. This is a match that we’d have easily lost a few weeks ago. Long may the positive mental attitude last!!! COYG!
Saw both sides of him today. He had a terrible first half – looked lost. Needs some work but that’s ok, plenty of opportunities.
I thought he was not very good at all? He’s not ready yet in my opinion, but he’s young so fair play to him.
Guendo was a mixed bag today, as he often is. Some good work but some very poor stuff as well. He responded to Arteta’s half time bollocking I guess.
Wow that was a tough watch first half, but second half got me pumped ? love the way sokratis bulldozed three Leeds players, got the fans going and we need more of it ? I know it was only a brief cameo but Martinelli is so confident and skillful and at such a young age
Safe to say Nelson Iwobied it in.
I think you’ll find it’s ‘Welbecked’ it in.
you’re right, I feel like Andre Mariner
Balls of steel! Hair of lego!
The Ghost of Emery was present in that 1st half however quickly exorcised the hell out by Arteta during that half-time chat. Well done boys! Great Character and strong finish in the end. Big ups to Papa for that solid performance.
Crazy game. On that evidence Leeds will be fine in the premier league, but we were dreadful first half. Funnily enough Leeds could have really used Eddie tonight, could have been 3 up at the break with better finishing. Holding looked like he hadn’t played football in years and everyone else was off the pace. Whatever Arteta told them at half time it worked.
Even if they still had Eddie, I hope that there would have been a clause that he can’t be used against us.
Seems Eddie will go out on loan again, as he didn’t feature at all yesterday. Let’s hope he gets more playing time elsewhere.
Sokratis, our of position, played like an absolute fucking hero. MOTM for me.
Leeds strategy was to have two to three of their players jump on or push our players over any time they got the ball. Well it backfired when the Greek Hulk got the ball and they bounced off him. I was cracking up watching that.
I actually think Arteta set the team up to not press too much in the first half, let Leeds have the ball, counter and conserve energy a bit more.
Obviously that backfired as 1) Leeds were really sharp and direct and 2) We were crap at playing from the back.
At last, the strategy paid off after HT. As the game progressed we were physically superior and won almost every single duel, a big contrast from past games.
^ ^ ^ I would like to believe this. Either way we won again!!
Laca on the BBC: “The manager shouted a lot. He was not happy because we knew they’d play like this and we didn’t respect what he had said.”
So I think conserving energy was not part of tonight’s plan.
Worst commentary I’ve ever heard it was not just disrespectful but blatantly bias. I HATE THEM D:
Its great that Arteta turned this round but what the fuck was that first half about? That’s the kind of shit we don’t wanna see anymore. The 2nd half shows the way we need to play for the rest of the season.
The first half was reality. The squad has fitness issues so I am glad Arteta decided to spare the energy for the second half. If we were to start the first half as the second then we would have possibly imploded in thhe second. It was a gamble anyway but very glad it turned good. One thing is will take some times to gain fitness levels neded for full 90 minutes and the other is we surely need to learn how to defend and sit deep at times. There is plenty of work to be done, still, but it’s a… Read more »
I don’t much care for this casual attire from the manager, but if the results continue like this, I’ll allow it. Especially with the Pat Rice-y bollockings, very welcome.
I also felt that, while we lacked some attacking penetration down the right, the Sokratis full back experiment was a resounding success.
“I don’t much care for this casual attire from the manager” you are joking right??
Soktatis playing with that ‘get the fuck out of my way’ shithousery you want from your centre back – and also right back. And winger. Man was a cunt to play against. Love it.
Kudos to Arteta for inspiring his troops during half time. 2 matches this year and 2 clean sheets to boot. Xhaka reminded me of Gattuso today – a player I would hate to have playing against us. There definitely seemed to be some bias in the commentary against him. Guendouzi may only be 20, but he seems to know well how to position his body to draw the foul when the ball is a stretch too far away. As his positioning and reading of the game matures, I think he will turn into a real asset for us. Watching Kolasinac… Read more »
second half was silk and steel that we’ve all been wanting to see in this team…sure was fun for me watching our 2 powerhouses (Kola and Sokratis) bounce those fuckers off when they maraud forward, like rampaging steel tanks!