Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang completed his first Premier League Arsenal hat-trick early in the second half to put the Gunners 4-0 up.

Hector Bellerin had completed an excellent first half for Mikel Arteta’s team, scoring the third goal just before the break.

However, a relentless Marcelo Bielsa side pulled two back to make the final stages of the game a bit more scary than they should have been.

However, the positives far outweighed the negatives and Arsenal were deserving of all three points.

Read the Arsenal 4-2 Leeds match report and see the goals here

Arsenal 4-2 Leeds – Player Ratings

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Give youth a chance

Did Willian contribute anything except saving Emile’s legs?

dariusz

He did a little of cardio.

Johnny 4 Hats

So disappointed with that substitution. A perfect time to play Gabi. I’m really starting to worry that something isn’t right between those two. Hauled off at half time and hasn’t played a minute since.

We all know what Willian can and can’t do. Stop playing him. Pepe or Martinelli need the game time.

Thessaloniki

Even before looking at the comments I knew Sir Borges da Silva would dominate. What you folks don’t understand is that Willian brings to the team what no one else does, which is coffee and donuts for Mikel everyday before he gets in. He also doesn’t forget the extra burger sauce Mikel likes.

Daveo

And he pays for it himself (he can afford it after all).

Inflamed Pulis

Thank you for the laugh.

Marjani

Good one!

GraeB

You forget the car wash using that Barnet of his – gets in all the nooks and crannies

Tasmanian Jesus

Burger sauce on donuts? Kinky Mikel, kinky.

Tierney’s Tescopoints

The provisions all come from that restaurant he owns with Luiz. At a knockdown price of course 😂

Xhaka Kaka

Probably didn’t want to risk him in the dying minutes of a pretty much done game, against an aggressive Leefs side.

Johnny 4 Hats

Maybe. I would argue that fresh, pacey legs on the counter would have been perfect given the way the game was poised.

I think Arteta is literally trying to jump start Willian by putting him on in games where the momentum is strongly with us. However, Willian’s spark plugs are so frazzled that as soon as he comes on, the momentum magically vanishes.

GateCrasher

This, exactly this.

Russ

My thoughts exactly. What possible other reason can there be?

Tierney’s Tescopoints

I think he must have an appearance bonus clause in his contract that insists he plays in 99% of matches

Thierrys_Tears

Not just pacey legs going forward, but getting back in support as well, not in Willie’s skill set.

Petit's Handbag

He came on with a third of the game to go

Phathisile

But we see this change every game.

adriano

I think Arteta saw it as a great chance for Willian to get some confidence back. And Pepe can honestly use the rest, we have a lot of games coming up.
I don’t agree with the idea, but I think that’s what Arteta was going for.

Tierney’s Tescopoints

It’s not confidence, it’s his legs!!

ClockEndRider

The list of the latter being ten times longer than the list of the former.

Tanned arse

More potential development time for martinelli wasted. 4 up with 40 minutes to play but nothing. That’s bad!

dave

I think it’s just due to the type of player he is tbh. Gabi is a low touch, wide forward like Aubameyang or Pepe in a way and I think Arteta wanted to bring on a player who would just help with ball retention and continuity.

Maul Person

And did he? Has he ever?

Zet

It is Arteta style of expectation management. Seeing an newbie like Odegaard getting minutes, it will surely dampen Martinelli morale. Sure he deserve some minutes ahead of Willian.

TeeCee

I must have blinked and missed that.

John

He looks so ineffective and half-hearted.

MSPgoon

Would have wanted to see Pepe on for Saka after 4-0. Saka having a brilliant game, but definitely getting too many minutes!

Vieira

Maybe there’s some clause in his contract with the club , wich guarantees him playing time. I can’t imagine a single different reason for him to play. So poor. At this moment Martinelli and Pepe are by far the better choice.

Kartik Iyer

No club would be stupid enough to sign a contract forcing them to play a guy. Not even us

Daveo

You’re probably right, but I wouldn’t state it with the certainty you have. I’ll rehash a comment I made the other day… Arsenal, where we create precedence in incompetence.

Vieira

Not shure about it.

cagooner

Wit the scehdule we have over next few weeks, I think there will be plenty of playing time, and probably starts, for Pepe and Gabi.

Vieira

It’s not about them , it’s about the persistence of playing a footballer of zero contribution to the team.. But lets hope this changes..

Artetist

Yeah he kept Pepe safe and sound, (best way to avoid a red is to not play) all but securing him starting the next two matches down the left

Damo

Why not enjoy the win rather than moaning

Merlin’s Panini

Because Willian

Maul Person

We can do both…

Goonerink

Willian…

goonerrah

He has to have a clause for games played, only reason for him to play this much based on form. I wonder what the penalty is for not playing him?

Appels&Pere

Is Willian the rich kid whose dad “donates” money to the school?

Swifty

We had a goalie like that at school . Terrible.

Swifty

I assume the down vote was the goalie…

Swifty

Now the goalie’s family is getting involved.

gooner

Well we have Willian and united have Mike Riley 😬

Bobbo

Woo hoo! Nervy at the end, but an enjoyable game.

Tomislav

Saka is a beast, man.

A Different George

Barring injury, it’s hard not to see him as an absolute elite player, and sooner than we have any right to expect. The moments of naivete (trying to beat someone when being dispossesed is too dangerous a risk to run) are becoming rarer, the variety of his play is greater, his technical ability looks ever surer, and he is super intelligent in his play off the ball. I honestly believe a side like Barca or Bayern would pay 100 million for him right now.

Frank Bascombe

Man, I’ve said it for some time now, within the next three years Saka will be acknowledged as one of the best players in the world. Just hope he’s still with us.

Marjani

My dad said that too. Paycheck, please!

Spanish Gooner

This might sound like hyperbole, but I think he’s as close to the ideal Messi replacement as Barcelona could find rind now.

PrettyBoyAlbert

You’re right that did sound like hyperbole :p

Samgunz

His dribbling style is very similar to messi, the way he uses his body weight to bounce off challenges whilst sheilding the ball, not many do it like that and so well. Don’t think Messi could defend like saka can though, not now thats for sure.

Danny

I love Saka and agree that he will be world class if he isn’t already. But Messi is on another planet.

Granit(e) hard!

Or hyperbull, we will all hope. He is certainly becoming good enough to catch the attention of those Dna touting kid grabbers…hands off!!

TeeCee

There’s only one thing to say to that. Three words involving sex, travel and the Catalonian capital.

gooner

He can’t cheat though. when VAR was checking that penalty I looked at his face and knew we weren’t getting it. whatever he was saying!

Then he gets a legit one. Not these things gifted to man united every two weeks

BrazilianGooner

Love Auba getting going with the goals!!!!! I’m Brazilian but I don’t want to see David Luiz or Willian play anymore. Keep the partnership of Holding and Gabriel

Kartik Iyer

I don’t think it’s fair to put Luiz in the same bracket as Willian. He’s error prone for sure but he gives us his 100% effort.

Zet

Luiz is a leader, a mentor. Willian is just making up the numbers.

Merlin’s Panini

Willian isn’t just making up the numbers, he’s also been obstructing more worthy players of game time or even places in the squad.

Granit(e) hard!

Plus c’mon, you got to love the guy… how many centre halfs in the whole Epl has the attack mindedness and playing skills to carry the ball forward like 90yds and trade intricate passes in the opposing 18 yd box, and do it all night too, if you dont rein him back?…just dont do it too often David for the sake of my poor heart😅

Give youth a chance

I’m far from a fan of Luiz, but at least he tries. He also came up with an important block on Bamford late on today.

I’d like to see him moved to holding midfield in games where Partney isn’t available. If nothing else it would reduce the impact of his brain farts

Frank Bascombe

Actually, it increases them. People have tried playing him there and the issue, as ever with David, is the old lapse in concentration. People are extremely dismissive of him on here but he’s won a sackful of medals and captained Brazil. His problem- it’s a high-class one, is that he’s not quite a centre back and not quite, a midfielder.

Samgunz

His main problem is his recovery, not agile or quick enough to get back once passed, secondly his decision making in those situations is not the best (6 pens is it?), otherwise i think he’s great.

Martin

In fact Luiz played well today and it’s hardly fair to remotely compare him to Luiz who works hard and makes things happen

Mesut O’Neill

Personally i think it is unfair to compare Luiz to Luiz, but that’s the nature of the beast. If your not as good as yourself you will be critiqued.

El Mintero

Just lazy / too easy for people to constantly criticize luiz when he has actually played well this season. Blogs says his passing was bad today…I didn’t see any of that…

Crash Fistfight

Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Blogs. 40% of all people know that.

Merlin’s Panini

Heh

Marjani

Why are we thrashing Willian instead of his performances? That’s throwing out the baby with the bathwater.

Rosapirescastle

Spot on blogs.
Worried about Luiz. I know Holding was rested as such and maybe do him good to settle down again but Luiz will really want to play against be decks and I just hope we don’t get a rerun of his game v Chelsea where he was rash and got sent off

Besides solid all round but Odengaard Saka ESR is like a whole new level of excitement imagine if we had them as a trio forever.

Well done dani looked like his old self and had a big influence till got tired

Goonerink

if its between dani and martin for who we keep post loan I think I’d take martin.
not only are guendouzi and torreira coming back next year, but I don’t see dani improving or pushing for first team football once partey is fit and mikel gets another window.

Rosapirescastle

Probably dani is a solid type has bit of everything but nothing excaprtional but at same time as a second to Thomas and Xhaka will be hard to replace him.

Martin odden is class real class and for sure be class to keep but probably a long shot unless he insists on it himself and real are looking for money for Mbappe or the likes.

Warthog

RM set the price for Dani at 25m Euro’s. I will pass for that price.

Sell guen and torreira and use that money to get a great partner for Partey. See if we can keep Odegaard on another loan.

Dublin gunner

That’s not a bad price for a young Spanish international . Remember we paid over 30 for both mustafi and xhaka.

Timorous Me

I’d put about equal odds on each of those guys playing for us next season. Even though Ceballos is the only of the three to not be under contract with us, I could definitely see him being the one to stick around. The other two, it just feels like they’re destined to leave (I’ve watched a decent amount of Guendouzi this season and have actually been fairly impressed by his play, though his on-pitch attitude still bothers me).

Marjani

YEEESSSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Tommy Gunner

Am I mad for thinking that Saka was nailed on man of the match, despite Auba’s hatrick?

Longbow

No. He was by far the best player on the pitch.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

I said the same to my son, but when you get a hat trick it’s just a given I guess.

A Different George

I think Blogs is being cowed by people accusing him of favouring Bellerin–Hector was really good today, only Aubameyang and Saka were better.

goonshow

Hector was really good – until he fell asleep for that run in behind him for their second goal… really rookie error for a guy with his experience.

Partey in the back

Hector is just ok at his best. He’s not a problem, but his days are numbered. He’s the weakest defender on our back line when everyone is healthy. He MAY make it through the 2021 summer window without anyone better than Soares to challenge him but I expect someone will be brought in by the 2022 summer window (if not sooner).

Dublin gunner

I think Hector is good but I think soares could replace him soon as Tierney comes back, soares is better going forward and probably a better defender.i think he has being exceptional since going to left back.

Arseman

It’s time to #FreeWilly (from this Arsenal squad)

OKGunner

Awesome to see Odegaard get a run in. Shame we’ve only got him for 6 months though, and I’ve got a feeling it’a going to cost a fat stack of cash to sign him permanently.

Smith rowe and saka though have just completely transformed our team. The reason why Auba had a rough time so far this season is cause we were missing the creativity those kids now provide. Love the hatrick and excited for many more Auba goals!!

pom

First league hat-trick from Auba but he did score that one against Valencia.. also a 4-2. He was absolutely lethal that day, one of the best performances I’ve ever seen.

Danny

Remember a few weeks back when he was being written off? Just goes to show.

David Hilliers Arm Cast

If you watch his performances there was good reason, his attitude and body language against Leeds was completely different to that earlier in the season.

Cranky Colin

3 simple questions………
How many goals have the Arse scored with Agent Willian on the pitch?
How many goals conceded with Agent Willian on the pitch?
How happy were we all when we thought Agent Willian shagged off to Dubai and mightn’t come back?

CAZORSAKANELLI

Is it me or why does Leno feel he needs to be urgent and start a counter attack at 4-1 up for no reason??? He catches the ball while we’re being under pressure and throws it back in play immediately with more than half of Leeds team still in our half. I saw Martinez make 9 saves yesterday and every time he comes for the ball and gathers he goes to the ground and STAYS there for a good 15sec and that was at 0-0. We were up 4-1 Leno throws the ball out in a hurry they get back… Read more »

Merlin’s Panini

Leno is far from being the problem in this team. We all liked Emi and it’s a shame he’s gone but I think it’s time to move on. Emi made a massive clanger against West Ham. They all make mistakes.

Dublin gunner

Is that not bad wasting time at 0-0? Maybe because Leno plays for arsenal and emi plays for villa. I know they have beaten us twice this season but we are arsenal and are a much bigger club.

Arsenalnut

Three things: As much as I enjoyed Saka’s offense today his aggressiveness, physicality, and defensive effort and nous are what made his day. He Alioskied Alioski. He stopped taking a kicking and started dishing one out. It was orgasmic. Extra points for bending over to say “get up, punk. You do that to me all the time”. Its great that we put out technical players. Unlike our technical players of the recent past these guys can run as well. You can be as technical as you like in the current EPL but if you cannot run fast and all the… Read more »

Unknown

That was not a penalty because David Luiz was not involved in the challenge. Had it been him, that would be a pen and red for sure.

Kartik Iyer

Fucking VAR will take 10 hrs to deny us a penalty but never even check a second time for red cards like the one Luiz got.

ClockEndRider

Sky showed the angle closest to the offence straight after the offence. It clearly showed the Leeds player kick Sara’s foot and not the ball. Var then showed two angles which appeared to be from a view point much further away and which consequently were inconclusive. They did not show the aforementioned close angle to the referee. Nor was the close angle shown again at all at half time or after the game. This stinks. Arseblog describes the people at Untold Arsenal as tin foil hat wearers. Go to the site and judge for yourself. The statistics they produce don’t… Read more »

Sean

THAT’S how you play when Auba lines up at CF, you surround him with technical intelligent youngsters who can buzz around & make things happen

Let’s tie down Odegaard permanently. You can already tell he’s got “it” & they’ve probably already discussed figures so make that happen, draft in a young LB and RB, make a cheeky bid for Bissouma, promote Balogun to the first team and we’ve got enough firepower for a title push

JP2

That’s way to sensible, reasonable and manageable for us to actually pull off.

House of Goons

Will-I-an shores up Arsenal defense – seals key victory while absolutely not spying for chelski.

Cranky Colin

Agent Willian

Rich

The overturned penalty was a disgrace

Are Sky now covering up for the incompetence of referees + VAR?

Not a peep out of them….

Watching us play with multiple technicians behind the striker, is much more aesthetically pleasing

Feel a bit sorry for Willian at this point, so gave him a pity 10/10

It Is What It Is

Commentators and pundits seem to cover up by staying silent, or waffling.

We need to curate these events and highlight their inconsistencies. Shame them into change.

Maybe next season.

What would be the reason for not booking Saka for simulation?

Valentine's Day Gooner

Convinced that Arteta’s playing Willian because it was his own recommendation to sign him.

I don’t mind him playing here because it’s better not to risk injury to any of our potential starting XI for Benfica on the bench. But I would be very annoyed if he plays any minutes in any of next 4 games.

Merlin’s Panini

Get ready to be annoyed.

loose_cannon

That was an Arsenal 07/08 type of performance, and no coincidence it came when we had so many technically gifted players on the pitch. Another cameo of the football Arteta seems to want us to play consistently, though we still have some way to go looking at that second half. Over the last couple of seasons, commentators have hypothetically asked what Arsenal would do without Aubameyang. In weird way I think we’ve seen what would happen this season, but hopefully he’s back officially now. He looks really sharp, willing to run at defenders again and is finally challenging in the… Read more »

Jimbo

Smith row and saka either side of him makes a big difference. 2 players who have good decision making and can see a pass. would love to see that front 3 more in upcoming games.

loose_cannon

They made a big difference for Lacazette as well. Energetic players with loads of technical ability buzzing around, that’s how football should be.

btw

One of those games where Wenger would play 5 midfielders and say “you have to play your best players”. It worked then, and it looked effective tonight. Loved the way we bossed them for the first half, they had no time on the ball.

Tombo

A classic premier League game in terms of 90 minute intensity and odegaard looked completely at home,very impressive.

goonshow

Man he is silky on the ball… a joy to watch and can only get better.

Cool Papa Bellerin

Too bad Alioski didn’t get to face Pepe, but lucky for him he got abused so badly by Saka that he got subbed off early and got to walk right past his buddy! Really warms the heart

naked cygan

Saka 10/10 for me, but he no one should get higher than a 5 in defense. We totally switched off, and thank god we were 4-0 up when we did.

Chris L

Seriously guys…. a ‘6’ for Willian?! He is definitely the worse player I’ve ever seen pull on an Arsenal shirt! He offers absolutely nothing to the team in & out of possession! It’s a complete insult to the likes of Martinelli when he gets on the pitch in front of him / the younger players – I’d rather see Mat Ryan come on & play outfield than this guy, he is just awful!!!!

Onenil

You cannot have not watched Arsenal for very long if you think that is the worst.
Obviously I agree he’s not good enough and others more deserving.

Chris L

In fact I have – since 1972 – & yes I agree we’ve had some poor players during that time (as most teams have), but he is absolutely awful, I can’t see one positive with the guy, even his effort & desire is none existent – I could be more effective at 52 years of age! I just don’t see the point in giving game time to him, when it’d be better served on a younger player. Can Arteta really watch matches back with his staff & genuinely be happy with what they see & say, he’s worth persevering with?!… Read more »

Fabregooner

I was making a mental list of those poor players since ’72 but then realised they were all defenders. Have we ever had anyone so ineffective who plays in an attaching role like that? I’m struggling here.

GS14

Correction: Auba’ second hat-trick. First was against Valencia in the Europa League semi final.

Heiku

I’m really happy with win and prefer to focus on the positives, but the Bellerin rating is way too high. Lost his man on numerious occasions and in my opinion, although he scored a great goal, he ‘s attacking decisions were bad in general.

Warthog

He made a hash of that clever ball from Odegaard and his defense on the 2nd goal was cringe worthy. A likeable lad for sure but he has been absolutely terrible defending all season.

Artetist

Gabriel looking so so good on the ball, you just don’t think any bad thing will happen when he has it, so convincing when he comes out from deel whith it.

Timorous Me

One of the underrated stories from today was that he came out of it looking like he’s got his mojo back. I was a little worried after his time out of the team, the way some guys aren’t the same for a while after Covid, and his first game back. This was really important and reassuring.

ArseCLe

the only way to get rid of Willian is to buy his contract out. What’s better, pay him the second year of his contract to leave in the summer (save 3rd year wages) OR keep him and hope he makes the turn as a squad player? No way anyone’s buying him even for free

adriano

I thought Ceballos was amazing today. Our best player apart from Saka and Auba. I think he’s going to push Xhaka quite a bit in the second half of the season if he can keep this up.

goonshow

I am now officially concerned re the Edu/Arteta myopia when it comes to Willian. I’ve always been in the moderate ‘they probably know something us couch-potatoes don’t’ camp… but WTF!!! He honestly ‘downed’ the entire energy level of that team when he came on: TWO touches (really!) in his first 14 mins on the field – and the first was a backpass from halfway all the way to Leno; the second was a tame ‘pass’ to Leeds keeper (a hopelessly overhit/mis-angled attempt to play Saka in). And that was it – even when he tried to run around and look… Read more »

adam

Aubamayang scored a hat-rick vs Valencia in 2019?

Mehdi

‌Seeing Shackleton in their team tonight reminded me of something: what happened to the Arsenal gent? Did I miss something or did he just stop writing one day?

Blobby

I’m glad he stopped writing- I read his first three articles and that was more than enough! The only disappointment was that Blogs hasn’t doubled the number of Tim Stillman’s articles to replace The Gent…

Murphy was an Arsenal Fan

I was really looking forward to new names for the new guys. His columns were always funny

Billp79

We gave up 2 goals after Willian came on….just like playing with a red

Onenil

Not true we brought Willian on Just After their first goal. He is pretty poor but he is not responsible for everything.

Chris

Smith-Rowe meant that assist. If you watch it back, he is looking across to Aubameyang and not at the goal, sheer class

Rocastle7

ESR Definitely meant it. Was an improvisd cross, absolue class. Don’t think it got the credit it deserved

Arsenal’s slow buildup

I honestly hope we can keep Saka until he is 27-28. It’s only a matter of time before the Madrids of the world come calling.

Arsenalnut

At the pace Saka is progressing it will be hard to keep him until he’s 22. He’s probably been our best player this season and he took a visible step forward in today’s game. On the few occasions he lost the ball-he got it back. His close control, in traffic, was freaky. He did what he wanted. Attacking their dawdling keeper was smart. Turning so that the keeper’s only path to get at the ball was through him was brilliant. Saka’s defending was dedicated, forceful and anticipatory. He looked stronger and more knowledgeable. Last, he started kicking back. Put me… Read more »

Martin

The only time we have let a player in his prime leave is if the player pushes to go. Hopefully we will see some loyalty by Saka and winning a trophy or two would really help

Mhizta Ralph

I think the issue with arteta is that he does not want to come to the terms that Willian is a BIG FLOP. He’s giving him the benefit of a doubt, but to what extent??? I pray Willian won’t be the reason for his early dismissal at the club.. Ń.B admin, on your comment on auba in the rating, this is not is first hat-trick for arsenal. Have you forgotten Valencia (2 – 4)?

Walleye

rome wasn’t built in a day and neither will the next great arsenal team but boy do we have some pieces. We looked that good today even missing what I consider to be 2of our top 5.
saka and esr. Wow. Odegaard was very good. Wished we owned him. Gabriel was solid

the team lost a LOT when willian came on for esr. The gap between what they contribute is remarkable.

Once a gunner

Please can anyone tell Arteta that we are tired of see Willian plays. He comes on and change the tempo of the game for bad. Willian thanks but no thanks

Santori

Generally more positives than not even if we still show frailties conceding two goals today. Lots of very fine short passing interchange between players in tight confines a plus as is a sharper finish up top today and Auba ‘s hattrick. 1) Leno – Good to see him back in. Stayed alert to palm away Rapinho’s long range effort (Showing equal strong hand to push the ball far away as with Ryan) 2) Bellerin – Got involved high up quite a lot today even late in second half with plenty of overlaps. Well taken strike for his goal even if… Read more »

Santori

Willian.

One good pass to release Saka for the ball that hit the post which unfortunately he was also later off side on.

but frankly, prefer to give Reiss a go.

Ajay

Having sat with contract errors, how do you explain a further error in Willian.

Larry

We need to stop wasting our Substitutions on Willian. Arteta should have given up on him by now. Contributed nothing to the game. Mayb N

Moxrex

I am so happy that we won

Graham G

I’m starting to think there might be a money-back clause in Willian’s contract that generates the club cash-per-minutes-played. It’s the only rational excuse for his continued involvement at this stage.

Exit the Lemming

Have to agree with this and it’s not Willian’s fault that Arteta keeps bringing him on in games to which he invariably contributes squat.

Graham

Even Willian looks surprised at Arteta’s determination to continually throw him on.

I wonder how Willian would do if we actually played him in his best position hugging the right touchline. Helps me to think this way, as I really want every player to succeed at Arsenal.

xanat

Sorry Blogs, Aubameyang scored hattrick before – and this was our last hattrick so far: 18-19 season EL semi’s 2nd leg vs. Valencia

Marjani

Gunners are red,
Young Guns are seeds
They got some practice
By beating up Leeds.
We’ve got a 12 here,
He is Brazilian.
Please be humane,
Stop beating up Willian!
Go bash Ceballos,
Or maybe Elneny
They don’t bring us glory,
It’s not even funny.
It’s February,
And it is winter.
We are now climbing
‘Cause we are the winners!

(Happy Valentine’s Day!)