Arsenal came away with a point from Elland Road last night, although it must be said that Leeds had 24 shots on Bernd Leno’s goal and had many real chances squandered through terrible final balls. Mikel Arteta, although not happy with dropping two points, was full of praise for the resilience shown by our defence when we were reduced to ten men after the stupid sending off of Nicholas Pepe.
Arteta told Arsenal.com: “Yes we have to take a point considering the circumstances. I’m never happy with a point but we know what a challenge we faced in the second half for 45 minutes with 10 men. The way we reacted to it, the resilience that we showed, the effort that all the players put in to try and overcome their advantage, it was phenomenal. At the end we have to take a point because, credit to Leeds, they had chances to score.”
Arsenal did though have rare opportunities to score, and one very good chance to actually get all three points when Saka was put through by Hector Bellerin to leave him one-on-one with the Leeds keeper. Although Arteta was pleased with the defence he is looking worried that we haven’t scored from open play for nearly 8 hours now. “I think we’ve been working really good defensively.” he continued. “That flair, that creativity and that momentum that the players need to make the last action, it’s the most difficult thing in football. It’s not that you’re not creating the chances, but we have to create more and we have to be more consistent in the final third with the amount of things that we finish and how we finish them. But it will come, and the reality as well is that we haven’t had much continuity in a lot of the players for various reasons, which is very important to get the understanding right with them.”
So that seems to be the stories of our lives lately. Arsenal have improved incredibly in defence, but our chances of scoring are few and far between. With Wolves and Tottenham coming up next, we have to hope that Arteta can find a better balance very quickly…