Leeds v Arsenal Review – Shocking game but this is what title-winning teams do…

It’s a very lucky Sunday for Arsenal by Konstantin Mitov

I must say the defending was absolutely atrocious. Gabriel made a mistake again, right as the second half started and honestly I have no clue why Bamford’s goal didn’t stand… It should have.
To be honest after that Saliba didn’t shower himself in glory either, conceding a penalty for handball. Deliberate or not it was poor, and his face showed straight away he knew. They missed it though, and I thought some justice was done as there was a blatant offside in their attack which VAR chose to ignore.
Honestly they were all over us, and usually two passes were enough to take out our midfield and trouble our backline. We struggled with our passing and never really got it going, but that boy Saka again with a ridiculous finish, although their keeper should’ve done better, eventually gave us massive 3 points.
The end of the game almost got me breaking stuff, as Gabriel has another Bozo moment. I mean what on earth are you doing. The moment your leg is out you are asking for it. I think the penalty decision was ridiculous as there was an obvious foul, but why are you leaving your leg out?
We were saved by VAR. But this game highlighted the lack of depth in our squad. I like Tomi, but at LB against Leeds?
Odegaard was shocking apart from the assist. Party was really poor as well and there were little options from the bench.
I thought Jesus was anonymous. Actually I was hoping to see Eddie so much earlier just to add some menace to our pressing. That said, I will take it. This is a young squad, that’s overplayed. Saka and Martinelli don’t have competition. They also play in the Europa League and they are carrying the team.
What we need to show is that it was a one off. We need to properly rotate against PSV. If we beat them Europa is almost done. But look, Liverpool beat Man City. We are 4 points clear at the top. I still think City will win it, but my god, 9/10 wins people!
We haven’t had such a start to the season since 2007/8 or 2004/5, both those season we didn’t win it, but look…
I remember title winning teams winning games 1:0 when they don’t deserve it. United did it under Fergie, Chelsea under Mourinho and so on. I felt in previous seasons we were unlucky with decisions, but I just want to finish on this point. When you are a better team playing better football, the decisions kinda go your way more.
I am over the moon. I am sipping one to enjoy being lucky for once and living in the dreamland, as long as it lasts!

Konstantin

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43 Comments

  1. I’d like to add my perspective on Gabriel Magalhães, I spent the whole game looking at the boy I’m sorry to disagree with most beloved Arsenal fans but the boy was third to only Ramsdale and Partey in the win against Leeds today.
    Look a the game carefully again and you’ll realise who made the most crucial blocks, intercepts and raw challenges that saved our skins, the boy saved the ball going to the net by putting his bloody body on the line when its struck his chest somewhere in the beginning of the first half.
    Please stop this blatant criticism and trying to make this boy a scape goat. I’m not for his reaction but the boy plays with his heart we need a bit of Ramos grit in this side to get our opponents roughed up a bit.
    Just look at Gabriel’s stats this season they are very telling of the point I’m trying to make.
    I guess it’s in the Arsenal fan’s DNA to look for a scapegoat even when the good times are rolling, it’s a pity and a damn shame at that since I love seeing my team win, no matter what.
    Just my opinion.😉

    1. One thing that will stay with me for life is that Gilberto was considered the weak link in the invincibles, fans would wax lyrical. Since he left fans many who had called Gilberto the weak link have not stopped complaining we don’t have a Gilberto even though they would occasionally wrongly name Vieira in their complaints instead of Gilberto. As you say fans tend to want to find a scapegoat even when winning.

    2. Abstract am happy you had seen it too.

      Maybe you would be suprise to know how impressive his stats are., a recent article has shown both Van Dyke and Dias behind him in some interesting stats.

      1. This might not mean too much to a lot of people but to add to what’s been said, Gabriel has a better overall rating this season on WhoScored.com than William Saliba … and yet while one wins all the plaudits (largely deserved), the other is made a scapegoat for some reason …

        1. maybe because of the number of stupid errors he makes often leading to goals or goal scoring opportunities.

          Dont need to be a rocket scientist to add 1 + 1

    3. Great points abstract, he brings a bit of bite to this team and as we all know centre backs get better with age I personally would have him playing every prem game and coach the silly mistakes out…..

    4. Abstract, you are absolutely right.
      Gabriel was for sure one of our best players, and he had a good game. Saved us on numerous occasions, and that is of course why he gets good ratings by neutrals.
      Time to lay off him a bit and give him credit, when it is deserved.

    5. FirstYOU stop calling Gabriel ….boy. A demeaning and racist word in this context

      Then we may pay attention to your opinion

      Stat’s are just that. Easy to mould stat’s. Gab may have impressive stat’s for 89 mins but the goal he concedes to lose us the game means it’s pointless eh? And as I have said, he is our new Mustafi, plays ok but invariably has a brain fade almost every game

    6. Fully agree. Gabriel was a colossal at the backline until that last moment. He was the best defender saving Saliba, Tomiyasu and White many times over. His passion just got out of control in the end. He will grow older and get better. No worries. Arteta will have proper word with him as what Xhaka did on the pitch.

  2. Agree worst 2nd half I’ve seen in a while and probably Saliba’s worst game. Forgot about the offside in the build-up to the penalty wasn’t 100% sure it was offside but they never checked and it looked off.

    Disagree on depth Tomi started over Tierney it was a choice not a sign of lack of depth. If you feel that Tomi didn’t work then that’s Arteta.

    Disagree with Odegaard too he faded 2nd half but 1st half he was our best player by far he was awesome and set up the goal which was not the 1st chance he’d created that half.

    If VAR makes the right decision it didn’t save us it was the right decision. We didn’t get lucky justice was served in that regard.

    Finally, we haven’t seen such a start since 1903 and we were not in the top league then, we’re outperforming the dates you mentioned.

    Long may dreamland last!

    1. Angus
      Not a truer word said
      Agree whole heartedly with all you said
      Unfortunately Konstantin is going through the team and saying lack of depth where as I can’t believe how quickly we have replaced below average defenders with a solid set of defenders who put a shift in.
      We forget very quickly it was only a few seasons ago where most of us had to watch through the cracks of our fingers everything we played out from the back

    2. Angus agree Odegaard should have had at least 2 assists.
      As Napoleon once said “give me a lucky general over a good one.” Take advantage while Arsenal can.

    1. You sound as if our problem in yesterday’s game was only at left back. Martinelli was given at least three counter attacking opportunity. But he just drifted slowed the ball. It was quiet obvious he didn’t have the energy to make those runs. Our centre backs were all over the place. Our midfielders coukdnt put together a good string of passes together. It was an all round poor performance. Except if you are implying the whole team should be changed

  3. We did get lucky today. Probably did not deserve the win based on our performance but as we see most often, fortune does tend to favour the teams on a good run, and we have been on an excellent run.

    Pick any of the previous 10-to-12 seasons, and we would have lost this game. Today, we won, and it is a HUGE win!

    However, I do not think our performance was shocking, unless you look at the match in isolation, and that would be unfair to the lads.

    Elland Road is hell for visiting teams. We are the first team to win there this season, and Leeds did thrash Chelsea 3-0.
    They also play a high-energy, pressing game, and make it annoyingly difficult for their opposition.
    Still, all of this should not be a problem for a club/team like Arsenal, given the two club’s relative positions, except when you consider Arsenal’s schedule for October.

    We won against the Sh*tspuds on the 1st, against Bodo on 6th, and Liverpool on the 9th, Then we went to Norway, to play Bodo on an artificial pitch (and had to leave Jesus home because Liverpool had kicked the holy cr*p out of him) on the 13th. Then we flew back from Norway only to pack our bags for Leeds, and won there today on the 16th!

    That’s 3 heavyweight PL matches plus the trip, in addition to playing on the artificial surface, and it includes the NLD win which was simply, breathtakingly beautiful.

    It would take a LOT out of any squad, this run of fixtures, and we are far from done. 4 more to play before the month ends!
    So yes, maybe we did get lucky, but I take nothing away from the lads because they have delivered 5/5 wins in 15 days against 4 tough opponents.

    P.S. I read it everywhere, and I really do not like the constant criticism of the “lack of depth” in our squad.
    We look a little light right now because ESR, Zinchenko, and Elneny are all injured but we have depth across the board.
    Also, people tend to forget where Arsenal are coming from. We haven’t had CL football for half a decade. We haven’t challenged for the PL in ages. MA simply could not have put together a squad like ManC, Liverpool or Chelsea. Even Manure outspent us by a distance this summer, including buying a 30+ year old DM for 70 mill on 350k per week wages. We simply cannot afford such squad depth!

  4. Not seen the game as yet, so any comments are based on what the club commentary said.

    It seems to be agreed that we rode our luck in the second, half. but that is what successful teams do several times each season.

    But having watched the Liverpool v City game later, I was massively impressed by the passion and overall quality of both sides. If we finish above either of them we will be at least second
    And I DO think we will finish above Liverpool, given the gap now and with only 28 games left. City, however……!

    1. Jon
      To say it was carnage is an understatement
      I have died a thousand times today but unlike other times in past years we walked away with all 3 point neatly wrapped up and we move on to the next game
      The boys were all over the place at times today but again unlike past seasons they were all in it together today so MA and boys. Take a bow

    2. There was nothing special about both teams…if mancity played the way the did against Liverpool ,arsenal will beat them…

  5. Leeds we’re very unlucky to come away on the loosing one end of things.

    Not a great game by any stretch of the imagination but as mentioned we did what was necessary and saw it through by hook or by crook. Another day it could have been different but that day wasn’t today;)

    COYG!

  6. In the scheme of things a win is a win, school children into a Ukrainian bunker knows Arsenal can play beautiful football.

    Had seen enough in my life time to know that it’s not important to judge a team by a game or two.
    Had seen countries just barely made it through the first round playing football went on to win the world cup.
    Same goes in the champions league, Real Madrid’ played absolutely nothing against Man city last season yet they went on to win.

    What the team now needs it’s for fans to support the team like Liverpool and Leeds fans.

  7. If we don’t improve our performance, we won’t challenge for the title. Our last three games showed that we’d likely finish fourth, but the second place would be a stretch

    Our oppositions seem to have figure out how our CF works in the field, hence the struggles to keep the ball in the final third. I’m sure we’ll win against PSV because we’ll play at home, but the coaches had better analyze our last three games to help Jesus out before going to Southampton

    We’ve also been missing Zinchenko as our playmaker. Tierney and Tomiyasu are good defenders, but Zinchenko’s experience as a midfielder makes him more suited to dictate the tempo

    1. GAi
      I will never try to be controversial with you comments are on the most side informative and has a sound reasoning behind your post.
      On this occasion I would say totally wrong
      If we don’t improve our performances we will finish fourth and not challenge for the title.
      Ask most here now and a majority will take fourth right now, me included as that’s was the minimum target for this season.
      I will say again as I said at the start of the season.
      25 wins 8 draws and 6 loses gives us a guaranteed 4th spot and possibly 3rd 83 points
      I as you well know am a half glass full person and winning the title is a bit of a stretch for us this season BUT if we are still hanging on in there With four or fives games to go then who knows.

      1. Alan, eight draws and six losses sound reasonable. We’d likely lose against Man City, Liverpool, Chelsea and Spuds at their turfs

        We’ve lost at Old Trafford already. So I don’t think we can expect more than the fourth place, unless our CF and LW show a better interchanging positional play in Southampton

    2. Good point bro. We need to get our quick passing and high intensity pressing back quickly or we will be skinned alive by good teams. Like you pointed out, our last three games had been poor especially the last two. We can not keep playing like this and hope to make even the four. But in all we are happy with the win. I’d like our London fans to please try and get to Arteta to let him know that the quality of our play has dropped so that he make amends.

  8. Full marks to Leeds for the better game plan. Instead of pressing our defence in the first third, they simply retreated and packed their midfield.
    We had no answer and looked confused. Without Tierney’s overlapping runs, Martinelli game suffered too. We stumbled today but still earned three points. No need to crucify the players, including Jesus.

  9. Terrible second half, but solid first. And this article is total b********t. You are not an Arsenal fan, you know only to moan and critisize.

    1. I watched d game ,not in our best strides,but wait a minute these boys had played couple of games in days,it’s been about five wins on a bounce since we lost to Manu, something is working for us.

      We celebrate this win, it’s four points ahead of our rivals.This may just b the year we finally nail it.

      Long may this continue.coyg

  10. Gabriel causes one two many blunders than any other member of the team….but thats not despiting he has good stats..

  11. Shocking game? Really?
    it was never going to be easy and there are always blips along the way but in recent years we would have lost this game not dug in like we did today, shame the writer likes to be over dramatic with his criticism.

  12. It seems that the focus of the blame game is centred on Saliba and Gabriel who along with Ramsdale were Arsenal’s only line of defence in the second half. The fact that some how or other they managed to help keep a clean sheet speaks of their contribution. Not pretty, but got the job done. Fact is the three above mentioned players were exposed by the weaknesses in the middle of the park and on the flanks. Well done to the three of them.

  13. I think the game against Bodo Glimp on Thursday took a lot out of the team.

    The Norwegians harried us just like Leeds, especially in the second half, and we looked a tired team by the end of the game.

    I suggest that it caught up with us in the second half at Leeds. There were a lot of tired legs, which I suggest caused many of our errors.
    (Remember Leeds didn’t play in midweek)

    We have to play two midweek games against PSV before the end of the month. If we can win the home game I think that will take some of the pressure off of the subsequent group games, so we might get thru to the end of October without losing any League games.

    We can look at what happens in November after we have safely navigated October!!!!!.

  14. Gabriel was key in todays win, his positioning and reaction to that offensive foul was what I expected. He reacted but he didnt go overboard.

  15. These are the kind of matches that a team grinds out a win without outplaying the opponent, then you realize it is the good luck charm.

    Bamford missing a penalty in front of his home fans. Not to be superstitious, but I am thinking that our football guides and deities have awakened this season.

    The patience and hard work from Arteta and the lads are beginning to yield results even on a not too good day at the office.

    Our resilient and grit never to be out scored by an opponent is top-notch.

    Perhaps I am being too positive. But seeing the results we are grinding out and the form teams around us dropping points.
    My mind is telling me we are going to be champions of England come May.

  16. We’re playing with blood and sweat each and every game. It’s only a matter of time and it’s already showing before the planets line up in our favor. All the hard work behind the scenes is starting to pay off.

    Fans here need to listen to Rafa Benitez post-match analysis of the game and our season in general. He just won me over with his detailed analysis and candor. He even touched on Aubamayang case, about how he was privy to what happened behind the scenes. According to him, Arteta did his best to make things work but eventually had to kick him out for the good of the club.

    I’m tired of hearing some of this so-called pundits with their banal and unintelligent post-match analysis. Always focusing on VAR and referees decisions that they feel work in our favor. Anyways, I’m beginning to sense resignation from some of them with the way we’re grinding out results week in week out.

    @UmairMirxa and Abstract: Your comments are one of the best I’ve read on this site today and in a long time. Really insightful comments 👍

  17. Three points, a clean sheet and top of the league on a not so good day. I don’t expect us to win the league this season, but I’m enjoying our journey 🫶

  18. Morning all
    Just woke up and thought I was in a bad dream again
    So many negative comments.
    Had to recheck the score line….oh YES WE WON
    Clean sheet
    COME ON PEOPLE let’s have a reality check.
    Top of the league by 4 points with 10 games gone
    1 of only 3 teams who have only lost 1 game this season. Some moaning about our defenders not being good enough… come on it boring now a d most if us are yawning 🥱

    1. @Alanball08
      Good morning! Enjoy the journey and don’t worry too much, we are winning perfect and we are winning ugly, 1-0 to The Arsenal 🫶

  19. If this is what title winning teams do then Spurs have the league locked up this year… I’m here all week…

  20. From what I have seen this season, I think Arsenal can win the league. I started thinking we could win it from game two. The game againts leeds is one of those games you don’t play too well and still win. Don’t use this game to judge how we will play the rest of the season. After all we have played fantastically in some previous games this season. Don’t tell me we can’t replicate that. Sure we can and can even do better. For goodness sake this is Arsenal best start to a league season ever. Some people are comparing it to seasons we started well and didn’t win it. Why not compare it with seasons we started well or didn’t start too well and won it. Some people forget about the good stuff and start talking about the bad stuff. Unbelievable. Every team have its time, this might just be our time to win it. COYG.

  21. The lack of control in the game was evident. Leeds are tough though and they played very physical, quick and direct, which I feel was what we didn’t need in our next game. Tiredness is setting in now it will only get worse over the coming weeks. The result yesterday was definitely lucky in some respects, but we also showed great determination and resilience. Rotation will be key in the coming weeks!

  22. Worse game of my life i never want to sit through anything like that again. Happy we Won in the end

  23. Fantastic result and true grit shown by the boys. The var decision was eventually correct but the offside in the build up to the handball should have been flagged. Bamford should have been booked for cheating. Must say the first half was comfortable for us. Second half Leeds pressed well and we didn’t understand the need to look long sometimes to relieve the stress. Thought Gabriel Jesus could have helped us more by making runs and stretching the game. He continually came short and sometimes lost possession and didn’t look like himself.
    This helped turn the tide against us and made for a tense second half.
    The rest certainly hasn’t helped him. Thank goodness for Bukayo Saka.

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