Arsenal were ahead for almost the entire 90 minutes today as we beat Leeds United by the 2-1 scoreline to build a four-point gap between ourselves and Spurs.
The Gunners hit the ground running thanks to Eddie Nketiah’s instinctiveness, running down the goalkeeper to pounce on his mistake as he tried to switch the ball from his right boot to his left.
That man Nketiah was at it once again to make it two just moments later. He picked up the ball in the final third before playing it back to the midfield in space, the ball was then played out to Gabi Martinelli down the left who moved to run past the opposing back line, before teeing up our young striker by the penalty spot to neatly tuck it away with a first-time effort.
Things went from bad-to-worse when Luke Ayling was later red-carded for a shocking two-footed slide tackle on Martinelli on the far left, with his studs up on the follow through, and Raphinha was then lucky to stay on the pitch after his over-the-top objections saw him pick up the caution.
Nketiah nearly completed his hat-trick when the ball was whipped in low at speed by Martin Odegaard, but it wasn’t to be, and we went into the break with a two-goal lead, a one-man advantage, and knowing that we had denied our opponents even a single shot on target.
With so much at stake, there was no need to be taking any huge risks, and we certainly didn’t look to be taking any in the next half. Gabi Martinelli was our main outlet down the left as he continued to keep our rivals on their toes, while we kept looking to unlock Odegaard through the middle so he could make some magic happen.
We were unable to add a third however, and we got a little warning when Diego Llorente pulled one back with their first effort on goal, which came by way of their first corner of the game also, giving his side 25 minutes on the clock to go in search of the equaliser.
While they may have grown in a little confidence on the ball, they weren’t able to put much pressure on our goal however, and we saw out the rest of the match for the 2-1 win.
We now have a four-point lead over Tottenham going into the North London Derby on Thursday, where a win will now see us cement ourselves into the top-four.
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Video – Mikel Arteta talking about our nerve-filled win over Leeds United