Thursday, December 7, 2023

Leeds 0-1 Arsenal – player ratings

A goal from Bukayo Saka consolidated Arsenal’s position at the top of the table after an extraordinary afternoon at Elland Road.

The game had just kicked off before it was suspended due to a power cut and the referee’s communications being on the fritz. 40 minutes passed before it began again, with an even first half, and the Gunners went in ahead thanks to Saka’s incredible finish from a tight angle.

After the break through, Leeds dominated. Arsenal couldn’t get into the game, and when William Saliba handled in the box, the home side had a chance to equalise but Bamford put his penalty wide.

It was backs to the wall stuff, and late on Leeds were awarded another penalty when Gabriel was sent off for kicking out at Bamford, but VAR checked and the Leeds man made the initial foul and the decision was overturned.

A big three points for Arsenal, but an unpleasant experience in getting them!

Read the Leeds 0-1 Arsenal report and see the goal here

Leeds 0-1 Arsenal – Player Ratings

The ratings are hidden by default until you vote, but if you just want to view the ratings and the comments, flick the switch at the top above Aaron Ramsdale. Also, please give the ratings a few seconds to load.

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Phewww, what a nail-biting moment. Winning ugly should be positive sign for us…

Funsho Patrick

Toughest test so far…a growth moment.. grateful to leave with 3points

Greg in Seattle

We are starting to look tired. We don’t typically have this kind of trouble with the press and I think off ball movement up the pitch was off the pace, meaning incessant recycling around the back. We really miss the rotation with Smith-Rowe and Elneny. And whoever we expect to back up Saka. As much as an Ironman as Xhaka is, the miles will show at some point. I’m so happy we gutted it out, but please start rotating in the Europa games, especially away.

We do rotate heavily in the Europa games. We rotated 7 players for Bodo/Glimt last week, 8 players for the Bodo game the week before that, and 8 players for Zurich before that.

Trixie Popsicle

That was definitely a weird assessment about rotation by Greg.

Greg in Seattle

I suppose that’s true when you look at the starting lineup (particularly worried about Saka and Martin’s mileage, I suppose) and maybe that’s enough. Yet he still brought in Xhaka, Martinelli, Tomi, and Partey and hauled them to the Arctic Circle for a game on a bad surface. It’s all working out so I’m not second guessing the boss, but still hoping that with the group almost won he can turn the remaining group games over fully to the depth and youth needing the blooding.


Jesse March is no slouch so one can be certain he pushed his players to out-Duracell Bunny even their usual frenetic pace. And it showed in the 2nd 45… the effects of the North Pole expedition were obvious.

So let’s put it down to pluckily (and luckily) getting away with the points on a weekend where Manchester collectively slipped up… makes a nice change!


0/10 Bein Sports cutting coverage and switching to the Liverpool game at the 70 minute mark.


Bein sports gave Arsenal 90 minutes…but the referee took away 20 minutes

Woolwich Tiern time

Let me explain this one bud. You are indeed factually correct, But no one wants to a see a defence of BeIN Sports. Everything about them is awful.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I’m not going to blame Bein for this one – it was probably Richard Keys who personally changed the channel.


It’s a miracle they kept showing the match after Saka scored and the Arsenal players celebrated.


10/10 to VAR because it finally came in handy, never thought I’d be saying this.
0/10 to Chris Kavanaugh for awarding that shocking penalty at the end. The standard of refereeing is pathetic.


To be fair to him it looked like he gave it on advice from his assistant on that side.
Kinda surprised they didn’t check offside in the build up to the 1st penalty call.

A Different George

I think from the assistant’s position, it looked like Gabriel had kicked out and made serious contact, which the referee could not see one way or the other. If that had been true (which VAR revealed it wasn’t) it would be red a card–though still not a penalty because Bamford fouled Gabriel.


Bamford needs to spend more time on his penalty practice and less on his hair!


I’ve seen worse. Imagine Mike Dean having that chance to send off one of our players. Would he overturn it, ever?


I mean, we got crucial var decision overturned in our favor, which is kind of a precedent on it own.


Definitely happened before.


Honestly, fair fucks to him for overturning an obv wrong call. That’s how var is supposed to work, and it happens all too rarely.
I wish gobsmacked it got overturned cuz Leeds were clearly better in the second half and “deserved” a result.
Luckily for us, deserve’s got nowt to do with it.


Was not wish.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

No complaints with VAR today.




We won were very very…lucky, very poor performance again , very poor Martinelli

K gooner

TBH, martinelli worked hard. Overall team perf I agree. Thursday’s are taking its toll. We need to figure out how to win Thursday without first choice players.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

I don’t think Thursday’s are to blame for today. We rotate 7 or 8 each game. Just one of those games where we never really got going.

City, Sp*rs, Chelsea make up the top 4, and they play their first team players midweek.


Nah, Martinelli did his job. We couldn’t click in midfield, or even keep possession. We were playing scared, which is how I was watching. Painful.

Finsbury Park Gooner

What game were you watching??? Martinelli was one of our best players!

Trixie Popsicle

Very poor performance again? Have you been drinking?!

Martin R

Seriously? Martinelli never stopped running today and was also outstanding in defence. Like most of our team he wasn’t as good in the second half but I find it totally astonishing that you are scapegoating him.


Odegard assist was to saka, not xhaka.


Da da da da da, I’m loving it!




Ben white needs to be in Qatar. This was one of our toughest game. Good 3 points


Totally agree, though he miles from his best today. Looks like the amount of games recently is catching up to him.

Exit the Lemming

I’d rather he stayed at home and rested up for the rest of the season (but then I’m Scottish)


Nice three points. The Gabriel haters might want to look at the league table.

Onto the next one.


if that gabriel the defender, i’m rooting for him, eventhough he will make more mistake..he is playing on more risky role of a center back for the team..clearly he is still learning..


Yeah, some people in the comments saying he is a liability and should be dropped. He’s still a little raw and maybe a bit rash. To me, he is a great young player with all the attributes of a top defender. He might make a few errors but actually, I think Saliba has made more this year and he completely escapes criticism. Not that i think he should be criticized, he is the same as Gabriel, they are both young and of course, going to make a few mistakes.
Anyway, we are top of the league 🙂


I counted three crucial shot blocks by Gabril, none of which I think Ramsdale would’ve reached. Some liability!


That’s it! A huge liability to Ramsdale as he can’t prove you wrong and save those blocked shots! For every blocked shot – Ramsdale misses an opportunity to showcase his ability! Explains why Rambo looks so angry and screams att his defence when they block a shot or make a clearance. Hell, sometimes he even smacks his teammates palms!


It’s OK to say Gabriel makes too many mistakes, you can still like him as a player. He’s made more than Saliba this season and Saliba is younger and just starting in the league, which is why people aren’t being as critiacal. Which is also fine.

If Gabriel keeps making mistakes we have options to drop him too so it’s all good.

Thierry Eboue

I’d rather have two CBs with a huge physical presence, who make a mistake here or there, than two polite CBs that never mess up. Sol Campbell, peak Kolo Toure, Koscielny – all excellent defenders who were prone to a mistake at times.

Gabriel and Saliba have massive, intimidating physical presence that must be tough to play against.


agree..they put their life on the line for the team, mistakes are bound to happen..whats important is not to let those mistakes and the aftermath affect them later..lets get behind them!


Magalhaes is 6 or even a 5 for me. Great defensive shift, but you CANNOT lash out with 4 minutes left in the game.

Sure Bamford initiated and clearly was looking for retaliation + penalty, but you gotta know the situation and NOT react.

Would give him the benefit of the doubt, but this is the 3rd or 4th time he’s showed bad judgment at a critical juncture.

Cannon and ball and arse’n’all

Sofascore and whoscored both made Gabriel man of the match on 8.2 and 8 respectively


Clearly, I was jaded by the mistakes and missed the plusses. Add 3 points and divide by number of raters.


if he move his leg like vieira did to nistelrooy thats definitely red..he put his leg high, yes..but thats not a red card nor a penalty..


The only red card should’ve been to Bamford as punishment for that awful play acting. He’ll watch that on MOTD tonight & be embarrassed by his own reaction


Vardy did the same and nearly put his studs through Mustafi’s eyeball, VAR let him off.

Zadok the Regular Dishwasher Salesman

In fairness Mustafi didn’t help matters by blaming one of his own teammates.


That’s the only thing I remember about Mustafi!


Lucky you.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

An Everton lad almost did the same to Tomiyasu last season. Ref wasn’t even asked to check the monitor.


Antony Gordon, who thinks he’s never committed a foul.

Nainsley Aitland Miles

It was Ben Godfrey now that I think about it.

Exit the Lemming

I’d take him in a heartbeat

A Different George

The red card decision and the penalty are separate. Can’t be a penalty if Bamford committed a foul first, but it can be a red card.


Shut up, Gabriel was immense you’re just a fickle football fan who follows whatever narrative is branded about. Saliba has made more mistakes but you highlight Gabriel, so weird.


Saliba has not made more mistakes… Regardless, I’m not even sure why it’s relevant, he’s 4 years younger than him in his first PL season, he’s expected to make mistakes…

So will Gabriel, luckily they haven’t cost us this season but when they do we have options. Everyone had a tough game today.


Maybe the incident with Henderson is still gnawing in the back of his head. Like.. “How is that c*nt still free to play today and now this Bamford tackle? I’m not having this shit another week”.

He’s still young and although I would’ve liked him NOT to be taunted into those actions, I love the passion and fire he plays with!


Torture to watch. Is Leeds really that good, or did we have a stinker?




they are a better side than the one other bielsa..


The next By the Numbers column will probably confirm your comment.


I think the yank, Jesse, is actually proving his credentials as a tactical manager. No other team has caused us so much problem. Nice to see Citeh losing to a Liverpool team that caused us so few moments of concern.


Even nicer to see the Guardiola / Klopp clash settled by an old skool, route one, agricultural hoof from the keeper to the bloke up front. Tactical geniuses my arse.


I think having to play on Thursday is beginning to take its toll


10/10 The ad for prostate cancer.
Came at a vital part of the game for us.


10/10 for all tha players and away fans. Love me a win even when we don’t play close to our best


Absolutely spot on with the observation on Odegaard! Those two shots on target were annoyingly lame. He needs to know when to take a shot with lots of venom in it. He’s too easy in the eye and can’t be truly world class until he adds ruthless finishes to his game.

Zadok the Regular Dishwasher Salesman

Odegaard’s one of those players who you wonder if trying to become something else negates what he already is. You can’t chop down a tree with a scalpel, but you can’t perform keyhole surgery with an axe. Look at the weight of pass for Martinelli’s goal against Liverpool and Saka’s goal today and remember that the Ubermensch Ballspaffer McThunderthighs probably can’t do that.


We’ve seen him strike the ball cleanly. He’s just not shooting with conviction at the moment.


Spot on! Even took the initiative ahead of Jesus last time ro score a vital goal. He sure can combine both excellent playmaking and ruthless finishes. KDB at man city is a case in point


I love ugly wins! Ramsdale was our Jesus today!

Although it was a foul initiated by Bamford, why is Gabriel throwing his leg and kicking while going down? There is VAR review which would catch it even if the ref doesnt catch it the first time. The other teams will try to provoke our players and get the players carded… but cant be doing what Gabriel did. That was extremely infuriating act from Gabriel.

Obama Young

It’s a natural human reaction to getting unexpectedly rammed in the back with a cheap shot for no reason. That’s why VAR took away the penalty and the red card.


I’ve watched the replay several times and agree that it is not obvious that Gabriel is intentionally kicking out. What is clear is that Bamford changed direction to push Gabriel from behind – a dangerous move worthy of a yellow to Bamford.

Mister T

Everyone is waiting for us to lose form and starting dropping points. I think we have lost a bit of form since Bodo/Glint BUT WE ARE NOT DROPPING POINTS.
A productive January and we may start to dream, maybe we can win the league,

Man Manny

What is the rationale behind giving Gabriel a yellow card after VAR? What if he had received a yellow before then? I am sure he would still walk, right? If yes, how does that make sense?


Can’t have a surfeit of commonsense in one match.

A Different George

Gabreil clearly did kick out at Bamford. The initial call was that was a fould and therefore a penalty and also a red card because of how hard/dangerously (whatever the standard) he had hit Bamford. The penalty was reversed because on rewatching, the referee decided (correctly) that Bamford had committedf a foul first, so Gabriel’s act couldn’t be a foul on Bamford. The red card was reversed because on rewatching the referee decided (correctly) that Gabriel’s kickout had made only minor contact, if any, with Bamford and was not the sort of violent/dangerous play that was worthy of a red–but… Read more »

Challah Baker Soldier Spy

Couldn’t have put it better, spot on

Exit the Lemming

(Launching both your feet into an opponent when not challenging for the ball is kinda in the same post code as): VIOLENT CONDUCT (and making contact isn’t strictly necessary either but this boils down to how much force Gabriel was deemed to have used – for me, I’m glad he didn’t, but he should have walked) Violent conduct is when a player uses or attempts to use excessive force or brutality against an opponent when not challenging for the ball, or against a team-mate, team official, match official, spectator or any other person, regardless of whether contact is made. In… Read more »


He deserved the yellow for kicking out. He didn’t connect, so it wasn’t a red. Bamford play acted so egregiously he deserved a yellow too for simulation.

Exit the Lemming

So you aim a punch at an opponent with maximum force but you miss so it’s not a red card? He did connect (with Bamford) but whether with sufficient force to warrant a red is debatable)


Most seasons we would have lost that game


I think Ramsdale deserves even more credit, was a clear MotM today. Agreed on Gabriel as well, very poor mistake at the end which he was lucky to get away with, but played very well beforehand. Our real problems were higher up the pitch, particularly Partey and Xhaka who not only really struggled under pressure, but also struggled to apply pressure in turn. Partey’s decision making was a huge issue, but Xhaka has to also take some criticism for his positioning. His first instinct seems to be to join the back line when the opposition have possession, but he needs… Read more »


Some very tired legs and minds in the 2nd half against a combative and energetic Leeds. Great result courtesy of a fantastic Saka goal.

Rising Dough

What an impressive, gutsy, and fortunate result. High energy Leeds were the worst possible opponent to face after a five and a half hour trip from the artic circle, only to travel again 48 hours later. So many studies show long distance travel kills a player’s fitness level. No wonder Arsenal misconnected so often. Yet, Arsenal saw it through. That is true character.

Martin Ø’Nelly

The best teams also get some ugly wins. We were a bit lucky today, and Ramsdale was fantastic. Those victories are tasting great, Saliba is a fantastic player for us, but there were a couple of scary moments today. Cannot see that Tomi should get a lower rating than the rest of the defence. Also have to realise that Leeds had more intensity than us today, not at least in second half. Is a tough match program starting to take it’s toll? However enormous work rate by Martinelli as usual. Just impressive. Anyway, gGood to know that we have alternatives… Read more »


Moment of the match – Matinelli stopping Leeds player taking a corner (and pretending to help) by kicking the spare ball at him so he had two 🤣🤣🤣


We played some wonderful stuff in the first half, and endured a second half where we weren’t on our game and everything seemed to be going against us. Less of these please but it’s good we ground it out. Ramsdale man of the match for me.

Cool Papa Bellerin

10/10 for Ramsdale, 0/10 for the broadcast showing multiple slow motion replays of him taking the shot in the nuggets. Gotta play that like they do when there’s a broken leg, just pan out into the distance, show some fans looking concerned, and talk about what a heroic job the medical team is doing.

Challah Baker Soldier Spy

Agreed, cameras/commentators seem to have a morbid fascination with those…


Go Salah! Go Liverpool! Give us that 4 point cushion!


and it means man city won’t be invincible, thank god.


I only had the chance to watch the second half, and wow! So many mistakes from Ødegaard and Partey. Mispass after mispass. We looked shaky, and unfocused, there was a one way trafic towards Ramsdales goal. Every other season we would have lost this one, but boy it feels sooo good when we win these games. It’s surreal tbh. Come on you gunners!

Morrisey fan #1

Ode was poor today imo other than the assist. Lots of miscues and I wasn’t surprised when he was taken off

Rafer Austin

He was absolutely sheet today. Cannot shoot with that right foot to save his life, pathetic.

A Different George

Wow. A lot of tired-looking players in the second half. I enjoyed the timely interruption caused by Xhaka’s injury. You know, the one where Xhaka, who has never been hurt in his life, decided we could use a bit of a break and sat down in a strategic part of the pitch. Too much dignity to roll around or moan; just sat stoically enduring the apparent pain he was suffering while the physios took a minute or two to tend to him and the other 10 players consulted with Arteta. Looked pretty fit when he came back on within 2… Read more »


Xhaka’s injury? One of my favorite things about football is the fact there are no time outs. All American sports have them and it totally ruins the games, no matter the sport. Seeing the squad huddled up with Arteta was not what I want to see on any kind of continuing basis. For that matter, with any team.


We were shit. Don’t care.

Arshavins left foot

Happy invincibles day everyone


10/10 M¤n€Y¢h€$t€r ¢it€h losing. That’s our record safe for another season!


The Arsenal winning ugly. You love to see it!


Never thought I’d say this but Thank the Stars for VAR!

Finsbury Park Gooner

Ramsdale MOTM for me today, some great work in the box

So No-Go.

As soon as I read that Merse had said Arsenal would rip Leeds to shreds, I knew it wasn’t going to be that easy.


I would look at buying Bamford, been watching him for years, very clever… could offer something different…a right handful…not gonna get a full season out of him… with so many games, why not? No penalties tho, ha!

Exit the Lemming

being privately educated doesn’t maker you clever


I don’t get how Gabriel got a yellow. Either he kicked out at Bamford and it’s a red regardless of it being a penalty or he didn’t and he doesn’t deserve a card, no?



Exit the Lemming

Although the pen was revoked (correctly) the red card for retaliation shouldn’t have been downgraded to yellow. Gabriel is a very lucky boy and let’s hope, unlike most on here, he realises that


I said it last week, and I’ll say it again: ODEGAARD PRACTISE YOUR SHOOTING!!!! FFS!!!!

Rafer Austin

Arteta needs to drill that into his skull


These are definitely the type of matches that teams that finish in the top 4 (and win the league) need to win on the road against a very tough opponent with nothing to lose. We certainly had some luck in our corner, but our intensity and commitment to defending was never in question like it would be in recent years. Great day as City lost and we moved four points in front.

Jean Ralphio

Thought Tomiyasu did quite well in the first half but he’ll need more starts to get used to the role. He made one really good pass out to Saka with his left foot I believe. His two footedness makes him a better fit for the Zinchenko role than Tierney. There’s more to come from Tomi. I actually think we could flip it so White gets into central positions more, he looks dangerous when he drives forward towards the goal. Maybe we could have a dual system where the left back and right back take turns in playing that dual role… Read more »


Another ugly win in 3 days. But I see the luck of champions.


Not sure what Ramsdale needs to do to get an 8.5 or 9?


20% more use of the nuts

Anteneh Ademe

10/10 for Rodrigo for an outstanding pass.

Luke b

I love Saliba but he’s not flawless. And we’re hyping him way too much. When the shine the new kid wears off I think people are gonna turn on him as he’s not living up to the hype – recently there’s been an own goal, almost another one, gave away a pen today, could have seen red


Ramsdale, such a reliable figure in an intense game.


Leeds were very well diluted and prepared. Physically they ran their socks off. Basically they had to run faster than the ball was being passed. As our switches of play has to be done via 3 players. They did their homework well. Also being able to let Saliba have the ball and then use the front three to create the biggest cover shadow known to football. It worked well most of the time until our midfielders escaped their shackles but it only happened when our lines were stretched. Another interesting tactic that may soon be replicated by other teams is… Read more »


Sheez – the burgliest burglary in Burgle-ville.

How the hell we came away with the full 3, I do not know… but it also strikes me that, in any similar match over the past few seasons (and there have been many!), we would have gotten the very short end of the footie stick.

As Bob said… the times they are a-changin’


Ramsdale deserves more . 8 is not enough.


Luckiest win since 2005 Cup final (or Thursday). A better team than Leeds puts several of those chances away and then there is no talk of ‘resilience’!

Exit the Lemming

Lucky 2nd half yes but by then we should have been 2 or 3 goals to the good.

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