Arsenal are through to the fourth round of the FA Cup, barely, after surviving a noble effort from EFL Championship leaders Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium on Monday.
[ MORE: Full results from FA Cup 4th round draw ]
For 45 minutes, the Gunners were the second-best side, by some distance. The performance was so dire that defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos reportedly gestured to the crowd to calm down and ease off their criticisms moments before halftime. Manager Mikel Arteta “shouted a lot” at halftime, according to forward Alexandre Lacazette, and everything changed in the second half.
20-year-old Reiss Nelson scored the game’s only goal in the 55th minute. It came in somewhat fortunate circumstance as Nelson got on the end of a touch by Nicolas Pepe, and goalkeeper Illan Meslier couldn’t keep hold of the ball after making the initial save.
— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 6, 2020
Leeds out-shot Arsenal by a margin of 14-3 in the first, before the Gunners roared to life in the final 45 minutes and dominated the second period by an 11-3 tally.
Following the fourth-round draw earlier on Monday, Arsenal will be away to fellow Premier League side Bournemouth in the fourth round on the weekend beginning Jan 24.