It was a blessed Sunday afternoon for Arsenal as they beat Leeds 2-1 at the Emirates stadium. A howler from Leeds goalie Meslier allowed the in-form Eddie Nketiah pounce to give the Gunners an early lead. Nketiah bagged his brace few minutes later to hand the Gunners one of their best starts this season.
In scoring twice against the Peacocks, Nketiah became only the second player in the club’s history to have scored in the opening 10 minutes of an English elite division match. The first being Nigeria’s Nwankwor Kanu.
Leeds were reduced to 10 men when Luke Ayling got sent off for a terrible challenge on Gabriel Martinelli. Leeds grabbed a goal after the interval but it was not enough to change their fate. Leeds have now dropped into the relegation zone and Arsenal have closed the gap on Chelsea to just one point.
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Arsenal are four points clear of Tottenham with three games to go in the race for the Champions League
Goal! Arsenal 2-1 Leeds
From Leeds’ first shot of the game Diego llorente peals off round the back and has an easy shot on goal. Now Arsenal need to focus. They cannot afford to drop points here and will need that third against ten men Leeds.
If Arsenal cruise from here, they would successfully cut the gap between them and Chelsea to just one point. But this means Leeds would be in the relegation zone. Let us see what the second 45 has to offer.
Solid half of football from Arsenal and with the goal difference between the Gunners and Spurs considerably sizeable, Mikel Arteta will not want his side to slow down against a ten-man opposition.
RED CARD – Luke Ayling
RED CARD After visiting the Referee Review Area, Leeds’ Luke Ayling is sent off following a challenge on Gabriel Martinelli
Goal! Arsenal 2-0 Leeds
Eddie Nketiah strikes again and doubles Arsenal’s lead. What a start for the Gunners! Brilliant from Martinelli down the left, he drives into the box and cuts in back to Nketiah who scores with his left foot.
Goal! Arsenal 1-0 Leeds
Wow, what a shocker. The ball is played back to Meslier who takes a heavy touch across the goal. Eddie Nketiah steams in and tackles the ball into the net.
And we are underway at the Emirates Stadium. At the end of this game we would know just how much the top 4 battle means for Arsenal.
Mikel Arteta and his men would be looking to take advantage of Chelsea’s slip on Saturday to consolidate their top 4 push. But Leeds are fighting for their lives in order to avoid relegation. It would be interesting to see how the game ends today.
Leeds have not won any of their last 11 matches against Arsenal, a run that stretches all the way back to 2003. They bring in Joe Gelhardt, Dan James and Diego Llorente today, while Arteta opts for Cedric Soares over Nuno Tavares in his only change.