Leeds vs Arsenal: For the second time in five days, Marcelo Bielsa and Co., suffered a heavy defeat, this time 4-1 at the hands of the Gunners, at Elland Road on Saturday.
[ MORE: How to watch PL in USA ]
Gabriel Martinelli bagged a first-half brace to stake Arsenal to an early lead, followed by a third from Bukayo Saka just before halftime. Leeds pulled a goal back through Raphinha late on, but Emile Smith Rowe re-established the three-goal lead not long before full-time.
The victory keeps Arsenal in 4th place in the Premier League table after a third straight victory, now four points clear of West Ham United, who had their game against Norwich City postponed on Saturday.
Leeds vs Arsenal final score, stats, results
Final score: Leeds 1, Arsenal 4
Goal scorers: Leeds (Raphinha 75′ – PK), Arsenal (Martinelli 16′, 28′, Saka 42′, Smith Rowe 84′)
Shots: Leeds 9, Arsenal 21
Shots on target: Leeds 2, Arsenal 11
Possession: Leeds 51%, Arsenal 49%
3 things we learned – Leeds vs Arsenal
1. Bielsa’s last dance… question mark (re-post from Tuesday): After finishing 9th in their first season back in the Premier League, Leeds are currently 16th (five points clear of the relegation zone) and haven’t won back-to-back PL games all season. They didn’t win a single game in August or September, and are currently winless halfway through December. You can’t go that long, on multiple occasions, without a win and expect to stay in your current job forever, just as Leeds will not stay in the Premier League without a sharp turnaround. UPDATE: The situation is worse now, after running the goals conceded tally to 14 in 180 minutes this week.
2. Arsenal impress, but Leeds make it easy: Simply put, tis is not the 2020-21 version of Leeds, a side that chased and harried, defended doggedly and gave not a single inch. Sure, having five regular starters out injured (and just eight players available with at least one game played at Elland Road prior to Saturday) isn’t helping matters, but that has been the tone and tenor of their performances since matchweek 1. The quality of Arsenal’s goals was hardly spectacular, as mistake after mistake compounded and resulted in the 4-1 scoreline.
3. Martinelli, Lacazette ease Aubameyang blow: Since Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was disciplined and dropped (and stripped of the captaincy), Alexandre Lacazette and Martinelli have combined for three goals and two assists in three games. Given that Aubameyang’s production have already begun to slip before his banishment, it’s not absurd to say that Arsenal are better off now than two weeks ago, with the team (and forward places specifically) picked solely based on merit and form. Right now, both Lacazette and Martinelli are in fine form.
Man of the Match: Gabriel Martinelli – Two (more) goals scored and helping to erase the painful memories of Aubameyang’s falling-out? The 20-year-old is officially coming into his own.
Leeds vs Arsenal highlights
Gabriel Martinelli curls home a loose ball inside Leeds’ penalty area (goal video)
Adam Forshaw tried to walk the ball out of his own penalty area, which turned into chaos inside for Leeds defensively, and Martinelli was in exactly the right place at the right time, with the right strike, to make it 1-0.
Gabriel Martinelli makes it 2-0 with a cool finish (goal video)
Granit Xhaka won the ball inside the center circle, took three touches and slipped a 30-yard through ball right into the path of Martinelli. Scoring goals in the Premier League is not (typically) this easy.
[ VIDEO: PL highlights ]
Bukayo Saka scores off a deflection for 3-0 (goal video)
Once again, a bit of chaos in the penalty area as Leeds failed to collect and clear the ball, ultimately resulting in a shot that never should have occurred from Saka.