Arsenal beat Leeds United in the FA Cup but it was far from convincing and lessons need to be learned.
Arsenal secured passage to the next round of the FA Cup after beating Leeds United 1-0 at the Emirates. Here are five things that I picked up from the game.
Slow start doesn’t mean a bad game anymore
Under Unai Emery when Arsenal made a slow start to a game it is usually almost impossible for them to get back into the game.
However, under Mikel Arteta, it seems this team doesn’t know when it is beaten. Arsenal started the game poorly and was fortunate not to be behind at the break.
However, they came out fighting in the second half and they took the game from their visitors.
Mesut Ozil still can’t press for 90 minutes
Mesut Ozil has been one of the most improved players under Mikel Arteta but the German is still limited in what he can do for our new manager.
The German, just like his other teammates came alive in the second half of this game.
He did commendably well off the ball but he got tired quickly and when he was changed in the second half, he looked so exhausted even more than others who pressed more than he did.
Nicolas Pepe has to fix his consistency problems
Nicolas Pepe was the star of Arsenal’s win over Manchester United. He scored the first goal and set up the second in that game, but he struggled to do anything meaningful in this game.
The Ivorian started the game slowly and he never got to speed with the game in the second half. If he wants to help Arsenal, he would have to become more consistent.
Alexandre Lacazette needs a goal more than anyone else right now
Alexandre Lacazette can’t seem to buy a goal at the moment. The French man was started upfront alone by Mikel Arteta in this game, he did put in a solid shift in terms of pressing, but he couldn’t get a goal.
Goals are what fuels the confidence of strikers and I believe no one in that Arsenal team needs to score a goal now than Lacazette does.
Arsenal is not ready for three at the back
Mikel Arteta started this game with three at the back. He would have been delighted that they got the win in this game but in all honesty, it is a formation that may not work for Arsenal.
Leeds United constantly found gaps behind the Arsenal backline at the start and we were fortunate to have ended that half goalless.
That goalless scoreline wasn’t because we defended well, it was because of a lack of cutting edge in front of goal by Leeds.
If we use that set up against a team like Liverpool, we would suffer a heavy loss as they would use their fast wide men to devastating effect.
Whats wrong with holding and xhaka(fuming at eachother),at one point they had to be seperated by sokratis and martinez
Sorry were you watching another match? Pepe was involved in every meaningful attack arsenal got in the second half. He won must of his duels and was even the architect of the arsenal goal so that your point about Pepe just flaws this. Article cos I don’t know what match you watched. What other type of consistency do you want? His set pieces were on point he did almost everything right….the goal scorer Nelson was not as half good has Pepe was last night
Yes. Pepe was better than Nelson yesterday and one of our best players too. Pepe is improving. So happy about that.
Slow start not too comfortable.
That first half performance was a joke, if Mikel was wondering about the size of the task here,he need not wonder any longer,he now knows what sort of players he is dealing with,Xhaka back in Kamikazi mode doing his best to get sent off and falling all over the place every time somebody came within touching distance,Rob Holding( who i will give the benefit of the doubt only because of his lack of game time)who I am sure is colour blind he completed more passes to the opposition than anyone i have ever seen,Luiz posing, guendouzi is game enough and has a good engine but severely lacking in quality,and Sokratis so far out of his depth it is obscene.I take my hat off to Arteta for getting this result and a far better second half performance out of them, if we were playing city or Liverpool the game would have been over at half time, we desperately need to recruit some quality especially defensively,if not now then in the summer,hang on to Ozil Pepe Lacca and Auba,Martinelli and Torriera who i have not been a fan of until of late,we are not going to make any sort of impact with half of this current squad, they are not good enough for Arsenal,i am sure Arteta knows that and will be pushing for better players to be brought in.
Tboss,I have to agree Pepe was looking more like the player we want here,he was a constant threat in the second half and by no means our worst player in the first,Xhaka and holding were the worst two players on the pitch and Socratis and Luiz a close third and fourth.
Point 1 is simply untrue in relation to Emery and is an attempt to re-write history to suit a narrative.
I would suggest you simply stick to the facts and stop the false comparisons.
The team was dire in the first half and Arteta did well in getting the team to improve in the second half and that’s all that needs to be said.
Exactly right David. Apparently during the 2018/19 season when Arsenal finished 5th, there were no games where Arsenal trailed at half time and went on to draw or win, usually following Emery substitutions. My memory like yours is obviously failing.
Pepe was decent, and played an important role with the pass to Lacazette which led to the winning goal, average performance from the team all round.
Not the best of games but hey, look at the positives:
1) Leeds came to play, and they showed why they will get promoted and probably finish mid-table next season in the Premier League. Bielsa is no joke.
2) They had us on the ropes in the first half BUT we came back with a bang. Credit to Arteta: whatever he said during the break worked like a charm.
3) We played DIRTY – FINALLY! When was the last time we did it? All the succesful teams play like this if they have to win, and we did just that. We only got 1 yellow and that wasn’t a mindless yellow. Great, professional foul by Kolasinac which ended a a dangerous attack.
4) Scrappy goal, but I take it AND another clean sheet!
5) Martinez was solid!
Spot on David.
Pepe was good enough, Holding is not ready and that boy Marintelli, he is something! He should be starting games…
That was a really satisfying result!
In the first half, they were all over us and we were all over the place!! Didn’t see much pressing going on!
They really impressed me with their pace and energy.. if they do finish up promoted, they’ll be just fine if they play like the first 45!!
Much better 2nd half… Sokratis was a beast.. Laca worked his socks off, they were all over him though! I thought Xhaka did alright, just fed up with him man-handling everyone! Shocked he didn’t see yellow or even red!!
And that bloody playing put from the back, argh I can’t stand it!!!
So, we go to the vitality stadium in the next round (praise the lord it’s not Anfield)
Well done Arsenal (& Arteta) I had a happy journey home (this time!) 🙂
Kalvin Phillips would be an excellent acquisition for Arsenal.He is young,powerful,quick and an excellent all round midfielder.
Really happy about our performance yesterday for one simple reason being below power for first half actually completely trash to dominant in second half. One of the signs of a good improving team is that they can switch into high gear when required….I think this kind of performance point to two very important facts 1) Players are listening n have bought into Arteta’s plan 2) It showed our mental strength n fight even though we were played of the park by Leeds in first half we bounced back n battled to snatch a win…. Every good team in past n present can not be really good all the time some times you have to have that character to fight n scrap through. I am glad we say that desire n fight from our team. We dominated one game n won then we got dominated in next game but still won.