Arsenal were looking to reinstate their eight-point gap at the top of the table, following Manchester City’s emphatic 4-1 win over Liverpool in the early kick-off. Their opponents Leeds were looking dangerously over their shoulders though, as they look to put some daylight between themselves and those in the relegation battle.
ARS: Ramsdale; White, Holding, Gabriel, Zinchenko; Partey, Xhaka, Odegaard; Trossard, Martinelli; Jesus
LEE: Meslier; Firpo, Struijk, Koch, Ayling; Harrison, Roca, Kristensen; Summerville, Aaronson, Sinisterra
The Gunners were nearly behind almost immediately, when Kristensen hit a half volley sweetly but Aaron Ramsdale parried well. Arsenal fans likely experienced déjà vu as they nearly fell behind after ten seconds for the second time this season. Gabriel Jesus was back in a PL starting eleven for the first time since the World Cup, and it was the Brazilian who had Arsenal’s first chance of the game, but he could only head over from close range.
Leeds started the game brightly, however just after the half hour mark, they conceded a penalty following a foul from Luke Ayling. The defender had tripped Gabriel Jesus after some beautiful footwork from the Brazilian. He took the responsibility upon himself, and sidefooted the penalty comfortably down the middle to give Arsenal the lead – his first league goal since October 1st.
Arsenal began to take control of the game from there as Leeds were nearly on the receiving end of a forty-yard half-volley for the second gameweek running, as Meslier could only clear it as far as Martinelli – but Ayling got back and bailed his keeper out of trouble. It was Arsenal who went into the interval deservedly ahead.
The second half could not have started any better for the Gunners. Two minutes after the break, Ben White grabbed an unlikely goal as Gabriel Martinelli drove into the box and fired a low cross to the back post. The former Leeds defender arrived to smash it in off the bar, putting the Gunners in complete control.
Gabriel Jesus grabbed his second of the game just before he was substituted on the hour mark – Leandro Trossard made his way into the box with some good dribbling work and found Jesus who tapped it in from close range. Not a bad hour’s work for the Brazilian.
Leeds seemed to have the stuffing taken out of them with that one. Aaronson tried to reduce the deficit as he tried to dink Ramsdale, but the England keeper did well to parry. With 15 minutes to go, Leeds United did pull one back and Kristensen’s volley deflected off Zinchenko, which proved too hot to handle for Ramsdale as his clean sheet is lost – Kristensen grabbing his second goal in as many games.
Arsenal did respond in due course as Granit Xhaka grabbed a fourth for the Gunners, as Martin Odegaard delivered a delicious cross to the Swiss international and he made no mistake and headed home as the Gunners match City’s scoreline from earlier in the day.
Arsenal provided an emphatic response to Manchester City’s win earlier today, as they win 4-1 for the second home game in a row. Mikel Arteta’s side have passed yet another test to put themselves eight points clear at the top, while Leeds fall a place to 16th as that relegation battle gets ever tighter.