Arsenal: Ramsdale, Tomiyasu, White, Gabriel, Tierney, Xhaka, Partey, Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Lacazette
Subs: Leno, Holding, Chambers, Tavares, Cedric, Elneny, Pepe, Smith Rowe, Nketiah
Arsenal cemented their position in the top four with a 4-1 win over Leeds at Elland Road this evening.
Mikel Arteta named an unchanged side again, keeping faith with the side that beat West Ham 2-0 on Wednesday night.
An early corner gave the home side the first sight of goal, Raphinha heading over, but Arsenal immediately responded. A brilliant Odegaard pass sent Lacazette through on goal but his effort was saved when he should have scored, and Saka put the rebound wide. Then Partey forced Meslier into a save and there was a scramble from the resulting corner.
Tierney then fired a shot on target before the frenetic opening calmed down just a little. Leeds began to sit off, and in the 16th minute we went ahead. They gave it away in their own half, Saka drove on, played it to Lacazette and as Xhaka came onto it he fell to the ground. Lacazette reacted quickly as Leeds got it back, it fell for Martinelli who buried it to make it 0-1.
The Gunners were dominant, Tierney had another attempt on target, saved at the near post, but from the resulting corner there was a reminder there were two teams in this game – Raphinha beating Tierney and White to drag a shot just wide.
Partey took a shot which didn’t end up in orbit but went straight at the keeper, and in the 28th minute we doubled the lead. Leeds gave it away, Xhaka played a pinpoint pass between the defenders to Martinelli. The young Brazilian took it on, it looked as if he’d left the ball behind him, but he got it out of his feet, and dinked it beyond the onrushing keeper. 0-2.
Odegaard created a chance for Lacazette but again he found the keeper rather than the back of the net, Saka saw a shot blocked, but the 20 year old was on the scoresheet just before the break. Arsenal worked it from the right hand side, there was a bit of a scramble in the box, it fell for Saka whose shot deflected low into the bottom corner. 0-3.
Odegaard and Saka had shots before the first half was up, and a three goal lead at the break was the least we deserved from the 15 attempts, 11 of which were on target.
The second period began with no changes by either manager, and just 2 minutes in Granit Xhaka committed a foul on Raphinha which might have been punished more harshly – especially given it was Granit Xhaka. Leeds’ fans frustration wasn’t helped when Gelhardt got booked for almost the same foul on Tomiyasu moments later.
Dallas was booked for a foul on the defensively impressive Tomiyasu, Roberts shot over from distance, and not long after the Japan international had to go off with an injury, replaced by Cedric Soares in the 63rd minute.
The Gunners weren’t as potent in the second half, perhaps conserving energy ahead of a busy schedule, but there were one or two moments of carelessness that better opposition might have taken advantage of. Saka shot just wide after a great 1-2 with Martinelli, and Ramsdale was more than equal to Leeds’ first shot on target which came in the 72nd minute.
However, White handed the home side a lifeline with a daft sliding challenge on Gerhardt which resulted in a penalty, Raphinha stepped up and slammed it into the top corner to make it 1-3.
Emile Smith Rowe came on to replace Buakayo Saka with just over 10 minutes of normal time remaining, and the 20 year old calmed the nerves with a superb goal inside 5 minutes. Once again Leeds gave the ball away. Odegaard picked it up, ran towards the box, and with the deftest of touches, fed Smith Rowe who hit it first time beyond the keeper. 1-4.
Xhaka picked up a booking for time-wasting, Nuno Tavares came on for Odegaard, and with the game done Arsenal played it around to see out the 90 minutes.
In the end, a well deserved win against poor opposition, but we punished their crapness and it was good to see.
I thought we’d score more in the second half without conceding but happy with 3 points away and 4th place at Christmas after losing the first three matches of the season. Let’s hope we can keep it up with all our excellent youngsters, 3 scoring today…
Was it just me or did the 2nd half have a weird feel to it from the beginning / Xhaka near-red. I was wondering if the players had gotten riled up in the dressing room after hearing about the alleged racist abuse of one of our players. From about 50 minutes on I was just hoping we’d get out of there without a red card or injury.
Anyways, solid performance.
Great win. Martinelli reminds me of a young ronaldo.
Brazilian or Portuguese?
Your 1st comment got the thumbs up cos we thought you meant R9. Gabi is more R9 than he is R7
Hmm. Reminds me more of alexis
Out of the last 6 visits to Leeds we’ve beaten them 4=1 four times!!!!
This is why fans were screaming for Martinelli to start. Glad to see him picking up form, just needs to avoid injuries now and he’ll keep growing. Can’t remember when the last we had two proper wingers. Exciting times.
Hopefully Tomi will be fine.
Good game overall, COYG!
He was quietly excellent again on the right. Leeds are a fun team to play. They’re always going for it and leave abundances of space to attack. Martinelli is really developing right now. That directness and the quality at the end of it is a thing of beauty.
He can rest for a week
He’s incredible. I don’t see any RB anywhere as good as him right now. At least defensively. That moment in 2nd half where he shielded the ball for what felt like 10 min as he made his way up the right then knocked it past his man and beat him. No left sided player can beat him in the air and his passing is smart and crisp. What a player we have and what a signing.
…and he came off before we conceded thus saving my FPL clean sheet. Love him 🙂
Only way way to beat him is to kick him in the head.
Someone compared him to Ivanovic for Chelsea, earlier today. So reliable.
What a player Tomi is. Mr consistent, just like Sagna was
Missed the game cos of work but haven’t been so confident of an away game in long time now. For a second, my heart was in my heart as I saw the scoreline. Can’t wait to see the extended highlights. Onwards and upwards!
heart was in my mouth ffs!
Just watch Match of the Day – our match will be the only match on it tonight.
Tough for the talking heads to ignore the Arsenal today…
14/27 goals we’ve scored have come from players 21 and under. League best. Thank the gods we are starting to move away from our reliance on “experienced”
Merry Christmas to the Arsenal family. Long may this form continue
Time for this old gem:
These kids are going places
As long as they’re with Arsenal! I feel this is one of those moments like with the post-invincibles crop that we just need a few key experienced signings in the right positions and we could really have something. Let’s get the right ones while we’ve got these wonderful young players!
Can’t wait to see Mikelball 2.0 !
First half fantastic, did everything we needed to do. Got sloppy in the second half but importantly we didn’t capitulate after the pen, responded well. Martinelli, Saka, ESR on the score sheet, love to see it!
Three-nil up away from home, and Xhaka goes in with a wholly unnecessary foul (on Rapinha). The trouble with his kind of thing is that it immediately elicits the same from the opposition – in this case, Tomi the hapless recipient of a heel-stamp.
Exactly. He’s such a moron, then laughed at the injured player. He’s literally the biggest dickhead and I wish I never had to see him play for us again.
Although credit his lovely pass for the goal today, about time too.
Aside from that tackle it was nice to enjoy his other moment of shithousery for once since we were comfortably ahead. They kicked the shit out of us a few times too. Although that did seem to spark them and was totally unnecessary.
He was very good throughout the first half, even apart from that pass.
Every bad thing Xhaka does is met with the harshest of words.
It is not about his football anymore; it’s hatred towards the man.
Let the past go, I suggest.
Not looking at the past. He stamped the ball so he could follow through deliberately into the player’s ankle. If someone did that to one of ours I would be screaming for a card.
Totally unnecessary violent conduct.
They do it to ours frequently, nothing wrong with giving a bit back. Might protect saka a bit knowing their best player will get the same.
Interesting that – after I’d written what attempted to be a balanced and unemotional summary of why he is just not a Top 4 player, and most certainly not an Arsenal captain… He went and proved it once again. Solid game – and one great pass to release Gabi… and but he also cannot help himself making that challenge. Followed by the brainless time-wasting yellow – which would/should have been a red, following that first stamp on Rapinha. And this on a night when we’re playing stylish, hi-energy football… wtf? His liability outweighs the few decent passes he sometimes makes.… Read more »
Saw the tackle and thought what an idiot.
Saw him laughing and thought what a cunt.
Give it a fucking rest for once, jesus. It was a yellow & apart from that he had a good game.
Can we go 1 match without over the top comments about Xhaka?
No, the yellow came for a later infraction.
Sorry, meant to say it was a yellow card offence, but that he got a yellow for it
*not* that he got a yellow for it
The yellow card was actually for time-wasting, which was also unnecessary as we wee already 4 – 1 up.
And – if he’d been rightly carded for that first shocker – the time-wasting would’ve been (yet another!) reckless, pointless red card.
He played well, he didn’t get sent off. He deserved all he got after the city game, but whining that he didn’t get booked for giving their best player a kick?
Disengenuous mate – I am most certainly NOT ‘whining’. I am simply highlighting that – once again – Xhaka has lunged in with a trademark reckless challenge. Totally unwarranted in the context of the match at that point, and – on another day with another ref – at least a yellow card, which would compromise both his subsequent performance, and the whole team, by extension. I was massively relieved that he didn’t get booked – but also reminded (again) that he is such a liability… we have players 10 years younger than him with a fraction of the match experience,… Read more »
On a other day he gets a red for that and we probably go on to drop points.
He does this shit all the time, never learns or shows remorse. We are allowed to both praise the team and point out when a player is an idiot, they’re not mutually exclusive.
There are a lot of comments on Xhaka, because a lot of people take issue with him, and we can’t all be stupid.
Yes you can.
As you have just proved.
Var looked at it & decided it wasn’t a red. So no, he shouldn’t be getting a red for that.
Was lucky to get away without a yellow mind, but no other player on the pitch would warrant this sort of attention for a yellow in a match they played well in & we comfortably won.
The amount of times some go out of their way on here to criticise what they’ll happily overlook in literally any other player (arsenal or not) is mind boggling. You don’t like him. I get it. Move the fuck on with your lives
Saying that, if he got a red, they wouldn’t have rescinded it either.
Possibly but then I’d argue that Leeds would’ve immediately gone done to 10 for an almost identical foul minutes later.
Personally I think a yellow on both occasions is fair. I would’ve never thought that could be a red. Seen some weird shit over the years though, so I see your point
Are you sure? I’ve literally never seen a red for that.
Beast – The problem is it was completely unnecessary and not THAT far off getting another stupid red card.
He’s also saying hypothetically if he hadn’t done that and raised Leeds anger, Tomi might not have been booted and injured.
I get the arguement, I just disagree.
Personally, I like a bit of gamesmanship. And I don’t think we should shy away from the physical, bitty side of the game, when we’re try to nullify momentum, just because we’re scared of reprisals.
Whoever it was that fouled Tomi is responsible for fouling him, not Xhaka.
Either way, I don’t think it was that big of a deal & I definitely don’t think it’s worth this much conversation (which I’ve completely bought into, thereby voiding any point I was originally trying to make).
VAR decides if it’s clear and obvious error now, so it won’t pull up these borderline reds. The commentary discussed how often they see those given. We’ve seen Xhaka do the same in the past, and they have been given. It should at least been a yellow, and was needless, and him picking up needless yellows cost us against Everton, as he couldn’t commit a professional foul on one of their break aways. It’s so frustrating. No other player gets this much attention, because no-one else in our squad does this, repeatedly, without any sign of improvement. It’s really not… Read more »
You’re right about one thing: no other player on the pitch warranted the attention….
because no other player acted like such a reckless, selfish idiot!
Putting himself repeatedly (with the time-wasting booking late on) at risk of (yet another!) sending off and leaving his team-mates to pick up the pieces.
The sooner he collects another 3 game ban, the better.
Not saying it was a red, yellow or even a foul. All I’m saying is, VAR didn’t think the Crystal Palace thugs assault on Saka wasn’t a red.
I’ll take a guess and say you didn’t agree with that
*was a red*
And VAR is totally unbiased and objective right?
It was never a red in a million years. I’m in my 20s and not usually one to give it all this “game’s gone” stuff, but it worries me that a red is even mooted for that tackle. He went in with his toe pointed forward, studs to the ground, kicked the ball away and on the follow through accidentally stood on the guy’s foot. These days it’s a foul, and often even a yellow, and I’m fine with that because the game is more free-flowing, more attacking and overall better when defenders are incentivised to tread very carefully. But… Read more »
Agree completely. I’m sure someone will be able to find the odd anomaly, but I’ve never seen that given as a red.
I honestly don’t think we’d be having this conversation if it was anyone else that committed the foul. Minutes later an almost identical foul was committed, he got a yellow & life went on without the wailing & gnashing of teeth.
Can’t say I agree, we suffered 3 leg breaks in 4 years that cost us at least one trophy.
I’d much rather see these given a red card and it be called soft, than raise the threshold too high and return to the days when teams tried to kick us off the park, because this group of young lads reminds me of that post unbeaten 2007-10 (ish) team and I’d love to see thier potential fulfilled.
Why not make a easy for yourself, support spurs then you can hate watch him all you want.
You’ll stop reading over the top comments about xhaka, when xhaka stops putting up over the top behaviour
Over the top behaviour like putting in a yellow card challenge that he didn’t even get carded for? Ffs.
Fair comment – IF this was the first, or even 2nd time, he’d done it. But you/we cannot ignore that sad fact that he holds every unwanted record for poor discipline in the PL… it’s not a conspiracy, mate – the bloke simply cannot control himself.
And as a senior, highly experienced international, that is just not acceptable.
Couldn’t agree more.
On the flip side he got the ball, whacked their player doing so, broke up the play and got away scot free. Managers like him and I can see why…
It’s not his fault he is not Roy Keane or Patrick…
Saka got lumps kicked out of him when xhaka was injured, did he elicit that from the other team? Maybe they were kicking the shit out of him to make up for a foul xhaka might make later in the season? We need need another mongrel or two on our team, we have the skill players out wide, why do you all have a problem with someone kicking back?
Do you really want us to become the ‘new’ Stoke? Why – when playing teams who can’t match our style, do we need to descend to their level of thuggery? By all means stand firm, don’t take any crap – get in the ref’s face when they kick our playmakers… Keown is the perfect example: opponents just knew they’d get away with nothing where he was concerned. It was all about presence and attitude, he never had to rush about cycnically kicking players off the pitch! Please don’t ask us to ever match filth with filth – that is NOT… Read more »
Loving my Arsenal. COYG!
Can’t believe how naive Leeds were first half but we played really intelligently and picked them apart so well, loved it.
Disappointingly we were a little passive in the second half so still improvement to be made in our all round match state management. Poor challenge from White too.
4th goal was a beauty and rounded it off nicely and a great day overall.
Fair play to Leeds fans too
Leeds were absutely horrible. I think one of the easiest teams we’ll play.
True, even Sp*rs we only beat 3-1.
No not fair play to the Leeds fans – they were booing Saka throughout, presumably for that missed penalty months ago.
They breed a special kind of asshole in Yorkshire. Hope their downward spiral takes them right back to the championship.
Couldnt agree more…now they are struggling to stay up their assholes and racists get noisy and come out of the woodwork again..funny how they were quiet when they were doing well…..
I don’t think it was that because it didn’t start from the start- I think they thought he dived at one point.
They’re the same as Chelsea mate, as mikeoz said it’s there waiting to get out.
Brilliant performance! Martinelli was class with 2 goals and 5 chances created. Odegaard is a goal making machine. Laca lasted 90 minutes and was even left back for a bit. The Smith now top scorer. Even Xhaka got an assist and sure i saw him take a pass on the half turn in first half. Well happy with the points in the bag. Chasing teams are going to be screwed with their fixture pile up, while we should be nice and fresh. Top 4 for Christmas 😀
“and sure i saw him take a pass on the half turn in first half”
He’s added that final bit to his game. He’s now the complete midfielder
I think we could play without a true 9 given that our wingers/mids score most of our goals anyhow. Imagine a front four of Martinelli/Ode/Saka/ESR…
Do not forget Laca’s hard work all along, he should be given more credit imho. Fantastic M/O/S/ESR though.
Like Moses they parted the sea of opponents.
Laca works hard, but he also showed why he’s never been a 20 goal a season striker, with those early misses
That’s just not how football works. Those 4 make the contributions they do in part because of the work of the central striker making space for them to run into and linking up.
Let me guess, you hated Giroud
It’s unsurprising. There were some of us trying to highlight how much Auba was affecting our attack, not just by missing sitters, but his complete inability to contribute anything to build up attacks and create for others. We were showered with downvotes for such blasphemy. It cannot be overstated how well Laca is playing over the last three games and what a stark difference we see in our attack.
Can you go one match, a match we won easily, without attacking either Aubameyang or Xhaka?
Naw…sorry there Georgie boy.
God forbid we talk about the strengths and weaknesses and tactics of the team.
Please read your own post. Let me paraphrase: “We were good because Aubameyang wasn’t there. He is terrible in every way. I said this all along, but people didn’t believe me. Now they see I was right.”
Let me paraphrase you then “post along the lines of my opinion or don’t post at all…”
But Aubameyang wasn’t in the team?
It seems to me what you were primarily talking about was how unfair it was that you got downvoted.
” That’s just not how football works” ok mate …I loved Giroud but he was a target man. Ironically we were playing false 9 alot today with Laca coming deep for the ball so we didn’t have a 9 for many moments of the game. We also don’t attack through a striker, its usually a winger or mid. Martinelli has excellent movement as does ESR so a central player like that making off the ball moments is something they do well. You must play too much FIFA thinking you HAVE to have a labeled ST to play football. Clearly Mikel… Read more »
Your true 9 coming deep from time to time is not playing false 9. It’s exploiting the defensive mistake made by Leeds in attempting to almost man-mark Laca.
That may not really work in theory as well as it looks on paper. Laca offers so much more beyond being a typical #9 and Martinelli has been brilliant cutting in from the wing.
Yikes man, don’t tempt Mikel with fantasies of “false-9s” again…
Short memories of how it worked out playing willian there against city last year. I don’t get it martinelli playing well on the left, it’s his natural position,leave him there.
Understand that under Arteta’s attack, he plays players (or wants to) based on qualities as opposed to positions. He comes from Pep and Wenger so he’s influenced by positionless football. So it would make sense that our 4 most creative and volume chajce creaters AND finishers all play together. That must be the future because all of those 4 are starters.
Lacazette created all the space for them and run into.
I get the impression that people want Martinelli central so as to emulate Henry’s move from the wing to centre forward. Whilst some of Martinelli’s finishing has resembled Henry’s, I think we need to give Martinelli time to develop his natural game without trying to shoehorn him somewhere else. Right now, we need Laca in the team to allow the others to play off him, oddly enough, I think Laca is the player we don’t have a natural replacement for (yet). If I were Mikel, I think my priority would be extending Laca to give us time to bring someone… Read more »
If he does leave at the end of the season, any ideas who might be able to do that job?
I agree we play much better with a clever CF that drops in deep, creates space & links play. That doesn’t appear to be Nketiah’s style & haven’t seen enough of Balogun to suggest he can do it but who would be a realistic buy?
Honestly, I really don’t know, or rather, I don’t know who fits the profile of player that we are looking for. Edu and Mikel are not going to bring in a 30-something-year-old who’s been playing that role and is well established at doing it – if they do that the questions will be “why did we let Laca leave”, and even more so if the person they bring in is not as effective in the role as Laca. So, I’m not sure. I’ve said in other threads we need to start investing in a long term replacement for Laca and… Read more »
I see Laca extension and Balogun as his understudy, but we need to start experimenting with that in the lesser games between now and end of January
I think the buying a replacement striker is an option we need to look at the end of the season by which time I hope that dilemmas around Laca, Eddie and Auba will have been sorted out and Balogun will have played a few games. On option could be Eddie and Auba out of the club, extending Laca and giving more chances to Balogun.
It depends on Laca, if he’s willing to stay on, then this to me, is the best option, though we’re possibly still one attacking player short, unless Pepe fits that role?
Hope Tomiyasu and Lokonga get well soon.
I know I’ve said this before but… I love Martinelli
Yeah, and may I add Tomiyasu is a baller?…dillligently goes about his work and for me one of the unsung heroes of the team
So great to see us attack with intent and pace! I really like Raphina too, we should maybe look at him in the summer.
Love Martinelli! No player I’m more excited about! That’s saying something too because we have ESR and Saka.
These kids are incredible, I hope we keep them together because in three years time they can win the league
Whoa, someone’s opened the bottle of Christmas Sherry one week early!
A festive-themed “I’ll have some of what you’re smoking”- the laziest and most pointless of all retorts.
Good win. We expected that.
Daft challenge for the penalty. The Leeds player was going nowhere.
Missed clean sheet.
Anyway, Sunderland next.
Wonderful! We look so potent going forward right now. Martinelli and Saka as opposing inside forwards look a nightmare to defend, and Lacazette has been a good pivot for them (although this wasn’t his best performance). Would like to see what we do at the CF position for next season; there seems to be a new breed of big, physical but skillful strikers coming through this generation (most notably Haaland and Vlahovic) and someone in that mould would seem theoretically to complement our pacy, intelligent wide players well. Vlahovic himself might even be within our grasp if we get top… Read more »
Great first half; rubbish second.
We got ourselves into a brilliant position at 45 minutes with some great, adventurous football. Then spineless, negative Arteta decided to stick rather than twist and gave Leeds a sniff. So a game we should have won 6-0 needed a late ESR goal to finally seal it.
Great performances from Martinelli, Saka and Laca again.
An enjoyable but slightly frustrating evening.
You, before the match:
“This is it: it’s time to show that we can go away and play well and win. If we can then I’ll believe that we’ve turned the corner with Arteta.”
We played well and won.
We have a great opportunity to bolster our goal difference against an injury-ravaged Leeds team. Instead we switched off at half time. It should have been much more comfortable.
Arteta needs to grow a pair.
All 4-1, and 1-4 all.
Come on man!
Come on fatty! They’ve had 3 games in a week. Just be positive today
Doesn’t matter that we won, I’m not a big fan of xhaka, and not the biggest fan of arteta. But there’s lots on here hate watching their own team so they can have a whine about it no matter the result.
There’s beginning to be more than a whiff of desperation about your negativity.
I think some fans should take a look at their motivations for even watching football, if they’re so married to their negativity that they can’t even enjoy and give credit for a 4-1 away win that arguably flattered the opposition.
positive comments on a good win won’t get them enough attention
ffs we won a game on the road, we’re top 4, stop moaning all the fucking time
Maybe he had bet for a clean sheet to Arsenal in the pools 😂
For a period this season, we retreated into a shell as soon as we scored a goal. You, and others, blamed Arteta, when it was clear he was urging his players to continue to play on the front foot. But it’s a young, inexperienced team, that doesn’t know how to deal intuitively with every game situation. Well, that’s still on the manager, “fans” said–it’s up to him to change that. Okay, against West Ham and Leeds, we kept the pressure on and scored again and never lost control of the match. I repeat–we never lost control of the match. We… Read more »
Good God but you’re a proper misery!
Also, great to have points in the bag rather than games in hand. One more game then its half of the season played.
If we are lucky enough to get playing the Sunderland game as well, we could take advantage of it later in the season. The teams around us have European games and postponements stacking up.
I’m struggling to see who was man of the match. Just an awesome team performance. Ode, Laca, Martinelli, Saka, the entire back line…my goodness! Hope Tami is ok!!!
I’d give it to Martinelli but a few 8/10’s out there.
Lovely stuff 💥
Let’s be honest, we’re so much better without Auba these days…
Still hope he’s back in the squad soon though, even if he has to warm the bench for a while.
I’d rather replace him with Vlahovic in Jan 👊
Have you ever seen vlahovic play? I know I haven’t. Had a lot going on recently, lost touch with my scouting of eastern European forwards playing in Italy.
Yeah, he’s a beast like Haaland…..very big, strong and direct. Looks ideal for the PL
He’s a good player that basically carried us for a couple of years. Eaten bread is soon forgotten. Arsene is the poster child from that.
That pass by Odegard for the 4th goal…..sweeeeeeeeeet!
Yeah, amazing….I often think he’s too one footed, but that was pure class 👌
Great performance lads, well funded. The improvement from last year is considerable. Dec last year we were 15th and 3 points from the drop zone, this year 4th!
Bloody autocorrect, that should read well done!
Transfer policy in the summer was well funded 😂
The away fans were brilliant again but I got a nasty feeling that we’re getting close to having behind-closed-door matches again soon.
Martinelli has a really high ceiling… what a player!
Take that, dirty Leeds.
We’re lucky to have Xhaka on the field after that foul.
Rest of the game: great first half, should probably have scored more. Second half: handbrake on.
Saving energy for next match, maybe?
We’re lucky to have him on the field as he’s the only player we have who will give the other teams best player a kick. When he was out saka got lumps kicked out of him and nobody retaliated.
Great – so let’s out-play the ‘Stokes’ of this world by becoming just like them?
God, I love these kids.
Great match, pity that Laca didn’t score.
“cemented their position in fourth place”
Let’s hope that’s quick drying cement.