Arsenal 1-0 Leeds United – A hard fought win puts Arsenal into the fourth round

Arsenal emerges victorious in a game that was truly a tale of two halves.

The first half belonged to Leeds United, no point denying that. They were the best side and truth be told, they should have been ahead at half time.

Arsenal did have the odd chance for sure, there was an occasional run from the likes of Granit Xhaka and Nicolas Pepe but with no end product.

At the other end, it was only poor finishing, fine saves from Martinez and poor final touches that denied the visitors a half time lead.

There were the characteristic mistakes we saw prior to Mikel Arteta taking charge, poor passes, hesitant playing out from the back and consistently losing the ball in the middle of the pitch.

Leeds were far more fluent with the ball, they looked and played as if they were the hungrier side – and it has to be said, this was a very average first-half performance from Arsenal.

It was ponderous and lacklustre, there was the same old poor Xhaka tackling, Lacazette failing to hold the ball up, Ozil going missing and so on.

Leeds had 64% possession and 15 shots on target, those stats tell you all you need to know about how this first half went.

One could only hope that Arteta would work some magic in the interval.

The second half started off better. Arsenal was far more prominent, they showed more intent and more energy and twice within the first seven minutes Lacazette came close. Even Guendouzi had a pop at the goal.

One thing that did not change within the first ten minutes was the reckless tackling from Xhaka, how he was not booked up to this stage I do not know.

The opening goal came for Arsenal on the 54th minute courtesy of Reiss Nelson. Pepe went on a beautiful run, fed Lacazette on the right side of the penalty whose pass across the goal found Nelson. His mis-hit shot found its way into the back of the net and immediately the atmosphere changed in the stadium.

Nelson was subbed about ten minutes later to be replaced by Gabriel Martinelli. The young lad had run himself ragged and was applauded by the bench for his contribution.

Arsenal was the more dominant and should have extended their lead, Leeds did have the odd go at the Arsenal goal but were not anywhere near as dangerous as they were in the first half.

Arsenal ran out 1-0 winners and yes, the second half was an improvement on the first half but this was in no way a good performance.

A couple of players had credible games but most of the usual suspects did no,t and the hope has to be that the first half was nothing more than a blip on the road to resurrection under Mikel Arteta.

I will say this though, the players did respond to whatever Arteta said to them at half time, and that is a huge positive and something we can all definitely take from this game.

Arsenal is away at Bournemouth in the fourth round.

85 Comments

  1. gotanidea says:

    Leeds were not afraid of Arsenal at all and implemented high pressing very well. Without Maitland-Niles and Torreira, Arsenal were struggling to release themselves from Leeds’ heavy pressure:

    – Lacazette: Selflessly pressed hard and roughened up Leeds’ defenders to help his teammates, but he is still too slow to be a striker and his height didn;t help him out either

    – Ozil: No 10 player is useless when Leeds pressed high up the pitch like Liverpool, so Ozil should have been more aggressive like Lacazette and faster. If he can’t control the flow or can’t provide through balls, he had better press the opponents harder

    – Pepe: His physicality was simply too much for Leeds’ defenders. I’m not sure he can do the same thing against Crystal Palace’s defenders or not, but he deserves to start at that game

    – Nelson: Apart from his goal and his defending work, he did nothing special and still not fast enough to be a winger. If he can improve his pace, he would be a good winger

    – Xhaka and Guendouzi: Defended well, but they were struggling to control the midfield without Maitland-Niles and Torreira

    – Sokratis: He is simply not an RB nor is he a central midfielder. However, he defended well

    – Kolasinac: Perhaps he was too tired to go up and down. Or maybe he is saving his energy for the Palace game

    – Luiz: Defended well again, but a little bit too adventurous sometimes. Another player who is improved under Arteta

    – Holding: Definitely rusty and made many misplaced passes. Probably he needs three more games to regain his form

    – Martinez: Composed and focused

    1. kev says:

      The team doesn’t have press resistant CM’s. Even with Torreira and AMN in that first half we would probably have still struggled. The first half exposed lots of the frauds in the team. Our defense and midfield were trash.

      1. gotanidea says:

        I don’t think so kev, because Maitland-Niles and Torreira have better ball control than Sokratis and Xhaka

        But we will see that at the Palace game, whether they can significantly improve our midfield or not

  2. kev says:

    That first half was one of the worst I’ve watched in several years from Arsenal at home. I couldn’t believe how bad we were. 15 shots against us in the first?? The Bielsa press overwhelmed them. What a complete liability the midfield was! Even the defense too. Xhaka was a special case. I couldn’t count the number of times we cheaply gave the ball away. Smart interventions by Arteta saw us become the far better team in the second half. It couldve been one of the worst displays ever of the Emirates era if Leeds won. You won’t get a better description of a game of two halves than this. MOTM for me goes to Arteta. This season so far has been painful to watch. I want it to end quickly.

    1. ACE says:

      2nd straight win and clean sheet @
      home and you want the season 2 end
      now?.

      Let me guess a wide open affair where
      your “Better than Sancho” Reiss
      Nelson scores 4 in a tough 5-4 loss
      to Leeds would of been preferable?

      SMFH at yours and a number of other
      comments on this board today.

      1. kev says:

        Some of you ought not to be taken seriously bevause you reply with an agenda. When did I ever state Reiss Nelson was better than Sancho?? I didn’t even state this when Reiss Nelson won PL2 Player of the Season. I’ve stated exactly what happened in the match yet it hurts that I state the truth just because I didn’t sugercoat the performance. I want the season to end quickly because it’s difficult watching how our players perform and as an Arsenal fan I just can’t decide not to watch the team even at their lowest moments

      2. Mr Patrick says:

        Ace, you are spot the first half series our luck but hey that’s football,to me the result that mattered and we got the result end of story haters can take a runningjump

    2. gotanidea says:

      I believe Holding gave the ball away more than Xhaka

      He looked out of his depth tonight

      1. Abel says:

        Holding should be kept very far away from the first team after his terrible display today. A better team would have buried us with the number of chances presented to the opposition players by Holding.

      2. kev says:

        Thanks to Arteta and even to the guys for that second half. The first half was sad and painful to watch

  3. Reddb10 says:

    What the hell did Socrates have to drink at half time. He was a beast in the second half.

  4. Gir says:

    4th road?

    1. Admin Martin says:

      Ah, my bad, thanks for the heads up. Now corrected.

  5. Uzi Ozil says:

    Totally impressed with Leeds especially in the first half. They are definitely a team to watch next season in the league. I like them.

    It was a better second half from us. Leeds bossed us in the first half and they will rue their miss chances.

    We kept yet another clean sheet. Yay!

  6. GB says:

    Wow, second half turn around.
    We had 13 shots with 3 on target in second half.
    Arteta doing the business.

  7. Olaitan Kayode says:

    Gotanidea.. Ozil played well. And he wasn’t sluggish. He created some chances which should have been converted and he even defend when he should. I hope you eventually praise this guy one day.

    The team all round was average today. I am sure they place priority on EPL because of champions league and that affects our performance tonight. But I am sure Arteta little chat woke them up in second half a d they show Leeds that we can win ugly.

    Up Gunners. I dont blame when we win.

    1. gotanidea says:

      I did, when he played against Bournemouth and Man United

      But he was almost invisible tonight

  8. Eddie says:

    I see people complaining bout the first half but I think it was the plan. To not burn ourselves in the first half as usual and then we come out fighting with energy in the second half.
    It might’ve worked today but I wouldn’t want such game plan against a top EPL side.
    Besides let’s not forget it’s a different formation with different instructions/tactics from Arteta and the boys.
    I say it’s a job well done.
    If we had run ourselves down in the first half and dropped in the second half as usual, we would’ve been there for the taking.
    Against Crystal palace, we all know it’ll be back to the basics

    1. kev says:

      Arsenal were outclassed in the first half. Deciding not to burn your energy doesn’t mean you should get outclassed. I don’t even want to give MOTM to a player because they were asleep in that half hence why Arteta takes it. I don’t even get some of these players at times. How could they all be equally trash in that half?? The ref was also very generous to us in not showing some of our players yellow cards and buying into some of the cheap free kicks.

      1. Lenohappy says:

        I think Martinez deserves the MOTM.

        1. Aussie Jack says:

          Agreed…he saved some red faces and Arteta`s image. Well done lad.

      2. Eddie says:

        Look I think you’re being too hard on the entire team.
        They might’ve played this 3 CB under Emery but let’s not ignore the fact that it’s entirely different instructions from Arteta and really we all know this team can’t hold its breathe for 90 minutes yet.
        Also Leeds are very good and have a good manager.
        Were you expecting them to be walkovers?
        They played well in the first half, credits to them but I also stand by my points.
        It was nice to see we stood tall in the second half instead of getting weak as usual.
        Credits to Leeds, but credit to the boys also.
        If we’re reacting like this after the result, How should we react then if we had lost this game?

        1. ozziegunner says:

          Eddie, if this performance had occurred under Emery, you would have slated him.
          Arteta is not “Merlin the Magician” to make these players, what they are not.
          Without the efforts of Martinez and better finishing from Leeds, Arsenal would have been buried in the first half.
          Great to get a win, but Arteta will need support in transfer windows.

          1. Eddie says:

            Ozzie, yes I’d have slated Emery because I saw him as a fraud of a tactician just after 2 months.
            I saw lots of terrible and very terrible tactics and game plans from him even while we went through that unbeaten run.
            Some of us pointed it out on here how that luck would run out.
            After his first season, he became worse, and you really think I’d support him after he showed for a whole season he was incompetent?

            Also I know Arteta will need time, but it’s something different we’ve seen under him that’s why I’m not judging him now.
            What we saw in the Chelsea and United game was totally different, both tactically and the hunger shown. I never saw that under Emery for 18 months.
            If After 2 months I see Arteta pulling what Emery pulled before I backtracked, I’ll be here to let you know I see no future with him. But for now, what he has us doing is what we’ve needed for the past 4-5 seasons

        2. kev says:

          I wasn’t expecting Leeds to be a walkover.In fact I thought knowing that Arsenal would rather be prepared for the Bielsa press. The players were bad in the first half and they deserved a lot of criticism. How many times did we give the ball away in that half?? We invited our own trouble. Arteta deserves a lot of the credit for somehow changing things.
          If you’re not good enough as a player it doesn’t mean you should be passive. I’m happy with the result but the players need to know that even if they are average they need to keep their head in the game till the whistle is blown.

        3. David Braithwaite says:

          Evidently, people can be happy with the result. That does not mean that poor performances should not be identified.
          You are entitled to your opinions of course but so are others.
          I agree with Kev on the team.
          Arteta had to keep getting players into position throughout that second half. A lot of work still needed to get this team sorted.
          It’s also worth noting that Arsenal also benefited from some poor refereeing. Xhaka committed several poor challenges for which he should have been carded.

          1. ArsenalGR says:

            Yup, the ref apparently helped do the trick. If I were Bielsa, I would be furius. I liked the way we pressed them high on the pitch on the 2d half, although another ref like Mike Dean may have left us with 9 players till the final whistle. Socrates, Gouendouzi, Reis Nelson and Laca played well in the second half. In the first one only Martinez…

    2. David Braithwaite says:

      Whose plan was that? It certainly wasn’t Arteta’s. He gave them a right rollicking at halftime and quite rightly too. The first half was as terrible as anything we have seen recently.
      I see some are insisting Ozil played even in the first half. Well, I disagree. The first half showcased the problems you have with Ozil when the team is under pressure and he isn’t given time on the ball by effective pressing from the opposition.

      1. ken1945 says:

        David, if he wasn’t receiving the ball, how could he be effective?
        I’m not excusing him in any way, but re-run that first half and the ball was in and around our penalty area so much, it was embarrassing.
        Then, when it was cleared away, it went straight to one of their players who set up another attack.
        You have really answered your own criticism of him though, by just mentioning the first half…once the defenders and midfield started to link up and feed him the ball, as MA wanted it done, we saw the Ozil of late….just as we did with every other player.

        1. kev says:

          Ozil was average today. I’m even judging him on the 2nd half because so can’t find the right word to describe his first. The same goes for Xhaka, Holding and the others who were liabilities for most part today.
          If he plays well it deserves to be said but today was one of those performances from him which remind you that he’s inconsistent and will revert back to his average self in some matches

          1. Dkfresh says:

            Kev.. just as u hav rightly said dat d first half was a shamble display. Non of our players were above average apart from Matinex(numerous saves). No single player shd b blame Or call to b average cos more than 80% of the ball was played at our corridor. Who do u expect to turnup if not the goal keeper!

    3. ACE says:

      I think todays performance shines a
      transparent light on the lack of
      quality depth in the squad that MUST
      be addressed in January.

      MA cannot be expected to survive the
      FA Cup, EPL run in and Europa League
      knockout stages with only Luiz, Soc,
      Holding and Mustafi to choose from
      at CB. I would even venture to guess
      that Mustafi’s omission from the
      starting 11 today may signify his
      likely departure in January.

      Hopefully your opinion that MA
      will be given the funds to add a
      TOP CB in January will come to
      fruition Eddie. If not AFC will be
      up against it the 2nd half of the
      season.

      1. Eddie says:

        ACE Arteta will get the funds to build his own team.
        Now like I’ve been saying, he will get a top CB, but I’ve also said it will be this Jan or next Summer.
        If we don’t bring in one now, it’ll be at the end of the season

        1. ACE says:

          I cant imagine Raul and Edu
          reaching the consensus that
          AFC can honestly make a run
          at the top 4, FA Cup or EL
          title with just Luiz,
          Socratis, Holding, and
          Mustafi as available CB’s.

          THIS is the time for either
          of the Kroenkes to shock
          Gunners worldwide and
          sanction the signing of Ake,
          Upamecano or Koulibaly. Any
          of the three would signify to
          the players and fans that AFC
          is indeed a club that aspires
          to once again to win on the
          biggest stages of world
          futbol.

          1. jon fox says:

            Ace, I thought the most pertiment word in your generally fine post was “would”(in your last sentence). “Will” would have been so much nicer to read but far less accurate. In other words, all we have with Kroenke, is hopes, not conviction, that he will allow proper funds. Personally, I have almost zero hopes of this miser ever properly funding our club.

    4. Abel says:

      The poor first half was to be expected although the numerous misplaced passed by the defenders (Holding mostly) and the goalkeeper didn’t help matters.
      A makeshift team were playing an unfamiliar position with a number of players in unfamiliar positions as well. Ozil and the forwards were lampooned in the opposition half because the formation meant the leeds midfielders outnumbered ours in the first half.
      in the 2nd half, the defenders were instructed to push up and help the midfield and that changed the game.

  9. Towny254 says:

    Holding is very rusty and has to sharpen up very quickly gave the ball away too many times not good enough at the moment

  10. Olaitan Kayode says:

    Good observations Eddie. You dont need to work for a TV Station to be a good pundit.

  11. What matters is a win, sometimes it is a tactical approach.

    We needed to reserve enough energy for the weekend’s game

  12. Olaitan Kayode says:

    Holding needs little more time to be back I his best. It’s not every player that has that whilshere ability to turn up even a minute after 18months injury. Some are slow starters like Ramsey. I hope he rediscover his form before it’s too late. I Still Believe in His Ability.

    1. Trudeau says:

      Holding was horrible. Just horrible. I’m a big supporter and hope he plays a big role in the back end of the season but he clearly needs some lower level games – maybe with the U23s – before he is ready for PL action.

  13. Reggie says:

    Good result in the end, minuses were the usual suspects reverting to type too easily and in that xhaka really worries me, how limited is that guy. Thought Pepe, Gouendouzi, Lacazette and Martinez had really really solid games. It was definitely a game to bring us down to earth but we won. Onward and upward.

    1. hydrogen_afc says:

      Guendouzi wasn’t solid at all, bang average performance

  14. Godswill says:

    We won and we won. How we won? Not interested. We won.

  15. O6fan says:

    Oh well I’m still sitting here wondering how Xhaka lasted the entire game. Whatever Arteta told the boys at half time worked and socratis? The man went into beast mode in the second half and was dealing with everything that comes his way and holding is a still rusty, think it’ll take sometime for him to get back in form. Anyways we won and that’s all matters. COYG

    1. jon fox says:

      O6fan, But to be accurate and to look a little further ahead than merely last night, it seems clear to me that ” we won and that is all that matters” is plain wrong. MANY MORE THINGS AND FAR MORE IMPORTANT ONES THEN MERELY WINNING LAST NIGHT, MATTER A GREAT DEAL. At least to some of us, even if not to you.

  16. Mike says:

    This type of performance was expected and it won’t be the last either we are still building and we came up against a master tactician in Bielsa but at least we kept another clean sheet and performed much better in the second halve. Arteta did extremely well to address our shortcomings at halve time onwards gooners

  17. Neath Gunner says:

    Get the jitters every time Holding has the ball.
    Very poor performance.
    He is simply not good enough.

  18. Le Coq Monster says:

    A game of two halfs!

    Holding`s passing was pitiful, atrocious, pick any kind of word you like.
    The Wrestler was giving it his all.
    For direct running to cause teams trouble Pepe and Martinelli have to start.
    How Xhaka was not even booked is a miracle, he played well though.
    Laca lucky not to be sent off for the pertulant kick, loved his work rate.
    Kolasinac would have been faster if he didn`t have Sue molesting him!

    1. kev says:

      After all this instead of asking about transfers it will still be toupee or not toupee Kroenke?😂😂😂

    2. Pat says:

      Sue molesting him?????😂😂😂😂

    3. Sue says:

      😂😂😂 he looked mighty fine, Le Coq 😍 didn’t need the sprinklers on at half time, with all my drooling and dribbling 😝

      1. ken1945 says:

        Sue, would love to see yor players marks after being at the game – the stadium looked fairly full as well.

        If you do mark the players, how about one for the first half and one for the second -that would be very interesting!!!

        Hope you enjoyed the game and those Leeds fans are something else aren’t they?

        1. Sue says:

          Hi Ken.. yes it did look pretty full, more so than I was expecting anyway!
          Oh my word that 1st half… everyone gets a 4, Martinez 6 😄 harsh, I know.. but it was awful!
          2nd half – 8 – Martinez, Laca, Sokratis.
          7 – Martinelli, Nelson, Guendouzi
          6 – Ozil, Kolasinac, Xhaka, Pepe, Luiz.
          Willock and Saka weren’t really on for long enough.
          Holding was poor all night, rusty, so he stays at 4. With more minutes surely he’ll improve!
          Yes they were very loud. Heard them walking to the ground.. inside about an hour before kick off and they didn’t let up all night! I can see why Lee Dixon said Elland Road is the loudest place he ever played at.. so I’m glad we avoided a replay!!!
          A great result, Ken!! Had a great seat, right by the tunnel 👍 Happy days.. next Selhurst Park 👊

          1. ken1945 says:

            Thanks Sue, that’s more like I would have given, especially Sokratis, who I have criticized a lot previously.
            He didn’t use any wrestling holds at all!!!
            Martinelli looks a real find and Nelson had one of the best games in the shirt.

            Onwards and upwards Sue and Zaha will score against us…for a 3-1 scoreline to The Arsenal (gulp)

  19. Chuxzzy1 says:

    Thank God we won with a clean sheet too and thumbs up to arteta for his second half magic buh nelson seems to be the problem now that guy is not improving at all

  20. James says:

    Holding needs a run of atleast four consecutive games in the U23 tournament he really needs it. Rob’s misplaced passes would’ve led to atleast two goals against a clinical side.His positional awareness and passing were painfully bad.

    1. hydrogen_afc says:

      IMO, holding needs to be sent out on loan for the rest of the season, hes not ready for the EPL.

  21. Pat says:

    Overall we did not concede any goal despite the many chances Leeds had. Much much better defensive work rate, tactics by the players. On a good day (emery) we would have conceded at least one goal before half-time. And a win!! Well done Arteta and players

  22. Warfa says:

    We have a saying in my culture which says, however big the rat / mouse grows, it will eventually be eaten by the cat, Leeds had their 45 mins and we pounced on them to get our goal.

  23. ThirdManJW says:

    That was like watching Emery’s Arsenal in the 1st half. Shocking! Yet more evidence that Arsenal are the luckiest team around, given the miracle we weren’t losing at half time. Unlike Emery, Arteta completely turned the game around after the break, and we were excellent! Huge credit to him, and extremely impressive given how dominant Leeds were.

    Xhaka should have been sent off through a culmination of fouls. I think he gave away almost 10 free kicks. So how, he didn’t even get booked! Holding was absolutely shocking! Constantly gave the ball away, or played our midfielders into trouble. Everyone else was average overall. That 1st half was the only half in eight so far under Arteta where we were very poor, but look how he responded. Arteta has surprised me. He was been excellent so far, especially given what he’s working with.

    1. hydrogen_afc says:

      Without torreira our midfield is crap and defence is exposed. this match shows how valuable torreira is to the team

  24. hydrogen_afc says:

    Guendouzi-Xhaka partnership is very wrong from all the matches I’ve seen them partnered together, both too slow, their partnership exposes our defence, I hope I don’t see their partnership in the midfield again, would prefer xhaka-willock if torreira wont be starting. I’ve had enough of this xhaka-guendouzi partnership

    1. Reggie says:

      Well if you’ve got any idea about football, you would see that the problem is xhaka. Gouendouzi was excellent tonight. If you didn’t see that i don’t know what to say. Xhaka is the problem, i get fed up if people making excuses for him, he is dire.

      1. hydrogen_afc says:

        Im not saying xhaka had a good game, his performance tonight was very poor, but from what I’ve seen, xhaka plays better alongside torreira than guendouzi, the team was bang average tonight

      2. Rkw says:

        Xhaka was pitiful … but guendhouzi has real flaws … holds the ball too long and is slow in getting it forward … but improved in second half … still not sure if he will make it but for sure pairing him with xhaka gives the midfield to opposition and stifles build up play

      3. Khadii says:

        Well if you’ve got any idea about English language, you would understand the meaning of Partnership. He wasn’t slating them as individual players, its the pairing or combination that doesn’t work.
        Xhaka and Guendouzi don’t compliment each other cos both are terribly slow on and off the ball.
        Either of them with Torreira makes it more balanced in midfield

        1. Reggie says:

          Xhaka doesn’t compliment anyone, you dont need to understand language for that.

  25. RSH says:

    Great win. First half was a huge struggle, but we showed grit, determination in the 2nd half and won the game. Another game where they all worked hard too. Nothing to complain about again. Lets keep on going.

  26. Grandad says:

    The lack of pace and athleticism in defence and midfield in the first half was the reason for Leeds total dominance.We could and should have been at least two down at half time.Whatever Arteta said at the interval worked wonders and we improved greatly with Lacazette , Guendouzi and Ozil being particularly effective in a 20 minute period.Holding, not unexpectedly,was rusty on his reappearance and his sloppy passing could have proved fatal against a more clinical side.I assume AMN and Torreria were tested but what is happening to Bellerin?The result was better than the performance and hopefully we can maintain momentum against Palace.

    1. Reggie says:

      I just think the first half we sat too deep and put ourselves under pressure. Same old suspects did same old things but in the second half the drive from midfield and the front three pushed up more to start with.

  27. hydrogen_afc says:

    ozziegunner Emery is gone, and this is the first time arteta set up the team this way today, he’ll have one or two positives and negatives to take from the game and hopefully ammend, All that matters is the win.

  28. ken1945 says:

    If we just take the first half in isolation, we are still relegation material. Complete rubbish from the players.
    Enter Mikel Arteta and, listening to him after the game, he was furious that players were not following instructions and let rip at all of them. I have never seen him look so livid, neither during his playing days or as coach.
    The second half was completely different and we looked so much better. It is obvious to me that MA will rule this squad of players with an iron fist and anything like the first half performance will not be tolerated.

    I also think that only one player, Martinez, can be can possibly be judged on that first half (10/10) because not one of them played to instructions, either by personal incompetence or inability to influence the game.
    The second half saw MA’s plan being implemented and that’s where we should look at performances…with MA himself getting an 8/10.

    Holding may have an excuse, it being his first game back and to say he looked rusty is being kind – he must surely improve?
    Xhaka? I have no words to describe his performance tonight, how he stayed on the pitch courtesy of the ref and, also MA, I just cannot explain for the life of me!!

    We are through, well done Leeds, you played some great pressing football and thank goodness for our coach at half time.

  29. Eagles007 says:

    How many of our youngsters can get into lead first 11…I don’t c wilock, Nelson and saka getting into leeds starting line ups..den y in hell are this guys still doing in the squad….uhhh

    1. hydrogen_afc says:

      I agree with you on Nelson and willock but disagree on Saka, he’s 19 and he still has a lot to improve on as he’s showing signs that he can improve. Nelson and willock needs to be loaned out or sold with a buy back clause

  30. Johnchizzy says:

    Thumbs up to Arteta for the turnaround in the second half. A Clean sheet and of course, a great win

  31. Tom says:

    I think firstly there was still a few good man of the match performances.
    Laca again did lead the line well and turned well and was strong on the ball.
    Pepe showed a great run from almost box to box in the first half. Held and turned well on the ball and won a goal kick deep near lur corner flag.
    Sokratis was strong and stable considering he played the game at right back. 2nd half we was allowed to win the ball on a higher press. The whole team infact did that. And he did it well and enjoyed it. I recall the corner fan sit down on the ball.lol. and being strong in the last 5minutes and winning fouls. He was my motd.

    Which shows a sign of the group growth already.

    But unfortunately it looks like the team have bad memories of unia 3 4 3 and were not pressing at all. How you start the tempo of the game is so key. So it was good to see a response. We did to them what they did to us and we did it better.

    I think the 3 4 3 gave arsenal the excuse not to press when they should of. I appreciate they are tired over xmas whilst the rest of us get a good rest. But they have lacked the energy required since back after the FA Cups in truth.
    After Sanchez Ozil Wilshire Cazrola Walcott Giroud the new squad (this squad) hasn’t really gelled let I would say the squad is better. Laca Auba Pepe Ozil Torriera

    But that first half was worrying and exists because our squad dont have the energy level yet that means they can do it week in week out. When we can we will also see less injuries created by trying to reach this intensity.
    When you are there you compete for the top.

    Martinez was also good today. Holding was off the pace, martinelli made a very chance for himself and Nelson, his goal was due to his tenacity and he can only get better for a young lad under Mikel.

    Good win. 4th round…

    1. Reggie says:

      Good post i agree with most of it but energy levels, no! Its a mentality and ability thing. Their energy levels were ok second half.

      1. Tom says:

        We speak the same language I feel. Though I feel their energy level for 90 mins of the matter we want I dont feel they can do it yet.

        Maybe yes their is a mental barrier Arteta needs to take away from them.

        And yelling at his players is a sure way of doing that!

        1. Mike says:

          Spot on Tom the players still lack the stamina to do this for 90 minutes but it’s getting better

  32. Aussie Jack says:

    Awful!……Any eleven players who play like Arsenal did in the first half can`t be trusted. Arteta deserves better. New players who have not been tinted by the past and only know the Arteta way and, two, maybe three seasons together are needed to bring the old Arsenal back to where it belongs.

  33. vlad the impaler says:

    I want to know when is mavropanos gonna get his chance?!!! every tom dick and harry has had a go at CB and they’ve all stunk up the joint!!! why is the Greek kid not getting his chance…you’re telling me that a rusty, just returned holding is better than this kid who’s been healthy and training for last 3 months?!!! this is BS!!

    1. Mike says:

      Well prior to this game we were all asking about Holding and after last night’s performance we can clearly see Holding still need some work to do Mavropanos might not be ready yet we should trust the coaching staffs assessment on these players so far we have no reason not to

  34. Pauladonis says:

    Seeing the complete difference in the team’s performance in both halves of the game, it seems to me like Arteta and the players prioritized finishing strongly over coming out of the blocks with guns blazing.

    They say once bitten, twice shy. They must have accepted the reality that they are still low on fitness and cannot afford another Chelsea type situation. So, they gave leeds more of the ball in the first half so as to conserve their energy. If that is true, then I must commend all of them for their game management.

    We also needed some luck to make sure the plan didn’t backfire, and it’s good to see that we were prepared to have some luck as well in the game.

  35. Shakir says:

    Ozil did put in a good shift,the first half he couldnt do anything with the ball because he was not given it and socratis,guendouzi and xhaka were really not helping.The second half ,he created some very good chances.the thing that mostly surprised me is when he lost the ball he gave it all he can to get it back.

    Pepe is improving rapidly though i find his decision making and touches poor.

    Lacazette really needs a goal.

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