Arsenal and Leeds United faced off in a Premier League clash a short time ago.
Said game was of huge importance to both sides, with Leeds in the midst of a relegation battle and Arsenal in the hunt for the top-four.
The Gunners began Sunday still 4th and knowing they could extend their lead over Tottenham to four points with a victory over the Whites.
Leeds, meanwhile, were 17th in the English top-flight, just two points above Everton who also have a game in hand. As a result, neither side really wanted to drop points at the Emirates.
But, when all was said and done, it was Arsenal who came away with a 2-1 win.
Arsenal opened the scoring inside five minutes after Illan Meslier dawdled on the ball, allowing Eddie Nketiah to come in and tackle the keeper before poking home the ball.
LOOK AWAY, LEEDS FANS!
A howler from Illan Meslier and it’s the worst possible start for the away side!
Arsenal host Leeds is on Sky Sports! pic.twitter.com/srlzJgTk1S
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) May 8, 2022
The striker then added his and Arsenal’s second of the day five minutes later, getting on the end of a Gabriel Martinelli cross.
Leeds’ afternoon then went from bad to worse as Luke Ayling was shown a straight red card for a horrible tackle on Martinelli, which rules the defender out for the remainder of 2021/22.
Leeds would go on to pull one back 65 minutes in from a corner, with Diego Llorente scoring from their first shot on target but it proved to be nothing more than a consolation goal.
The result means that Arsenal are now four points clear of 5th with three games to play, whilst Leeds have slipped into the bottom three.
Arsenal player ratings
Aaron Ramsdale (6) – Had little to do but was decent nonetheless.
Cedric (5.5) – A solid showing that required the Portuguese to do little defending after Leeds’ sending off.
Rob Holding (6) – Solid defensively and also produced a number of searching long balls to help start attacks.
Gabriel (5) – Silly tackle 16 minutes in to earn a yellow card.
Takehiro Tomiyasu (6) – Was played out of position on the left and had the unenviable task of dealing with Raphinha, but dealt with the Brazilian well for the most part.
Granit Xhaka (6) – Passing was on point throughout the match, including playing in Martinelli for Nketiah’s second goal. Was unnecessarily aggressive on several occasions in the game, however.
Mohamed Elneny (5.5) – Solid if unspectacular display from Elneny. Made some key blocks and interceptions late on.
Bukayo Saka (7) – Not his most impressive showing but Saka, like Martinelli on the opposite flank, caused Jesse Marsch’s side issues throughout the match.
Martin Odegaard (7) – Another good showing from the Norwegian, controlling play and creating chances with his clever passing and quick feet.
Gabriel Martinelli (7.5) – Did well to work the ball down the line before producing a great cross for Nketiah’s second. Continued to cause Leeds issues down their right, especially after Ayling went off.
Eddie Nketiah (8) – Good pressing to force a mistake from Meslier for the opener and calm finish for his second.
Pepe (4) – Did not create much when he came on.
Emile Smith Rowe (4) – Had little impact on the tie.
Alexandre Lacazette (N/A)
Leeds player ratings
Illan Meslier (3) – His hesitation on the ball led to Arsenal’s opener.
Luke Ayling (1) – Had a hard time dealing with Martinelli and should have done a better job preventing the Brazilian assisting Nketiah. Was sent off 25 minutes in for a stupid tackle on Martinelli.
Robin Koch (3) – Really struggled defensively and was often out of position.
Marcos Llorente (6) – Poor marking of Nketiah for his second goal. Did clear the ball off the line 38 minutes in though and scored for Leeds 65 minutes in.
Junior Firpo (6) – Had a hard time dealing with Bukayo Saka. Clever flick on for Leeds’ goals.
Mateusz Klich (4) – Tough time trying to handle Arsenal’s attacking midfielders, which was to be expected given Leeds were a man down for much of the game.
Kalvin Phillips (4.5) – Could have tracked Nketiah better for his second goal.
Raphinha (4.5) – Poor tracking of Martinelli when he assisted Nketiah.
Jack Harrison (3.5) – The Englishman had little impact on the tie, misplacing a lot of his passes and creating very little until he produced a corner which led to Leeds’ goal.
Daniel James (3) – Created little for Gelhardt in the opening 30 minutes and then spent the rest of the match isolated up front.
Joe Gelhardt (2) – Hardly touched the ball before being subbed off due to Leeds going down to 10 men.
Pascal Struijk (3) – Brought on after Ayling was sent off and had a tough time dealing with Martinelli and co.
Lewis Bate (3) – On at half-time,
Rodrigo (3) – Had little impact on the game.
What the experts said
Eddie Nketiah has more open play goals (four) in the Premier League this season than Aubameyang (two) and Lacazette (one) combined. I’m not sure this tells us that much about the quality of the latter two but well, Nketiah deserves some love for what he has done of late.
— James Benge (@jamesbenge) May 8, 2022
Luke Ayling has been sent off in a league game for the first time since October 2018 when he saw red against Brentford in the Championship.
It’s going to be a long, long afternoon for Leeds now. pic.twitter.com/u9mWO9nCt7
— Squawka (@Squawka) May 8, 2022
We’ve now got Koch at right-back and James trying to offer a presence up front but it all feels immaterial. Gone so wrong from the get-go today. #lufc
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) May 8, 2022
Has there been a worse 30 minutes from a PL team this season? Given nature of first goal conceded, red card and the situation Leeds were already in, it has to be up there. Farcical.
— Matt Law (@Matt_Law_DT) May 8, 2022
This is just a crazy, crazy opening 30 minutes from Leeds. All over the place.
— Simon Collings (@sr_collings) May 8, 2022
Gabriel Martinelli’s game by numbers vs. Leeds:
85% pass accuracy
28 passes in final third
8 duels won
8 touches in opp. box
3 fouls won
2 shots on target
2 chances created
Hs 5th PL assist of the season. 🅰️ pic.twitter.com/xUs50RVPtS
— Squawka (@Squawka) May 8, 2022
What the fans said
— David Ibe (@codenamemarcus) May 8, 2022
Eddie Nketiah possesses an aura that causes opposition players to make mistakes and it’s a genuine ability.
— Ő (@OpinionOnion3) May 8, 2022
Martinelli and Saka are tormenting this Leeds side yoh
— Sinelizwi (@hayiSinelizwi) May 8, 2022
Leeds back in the Championship… Jesse Marsch probably thinks Rotherham is a sandwich filling bless him.
— Elliot Hackney (@ElliotHackney) May 8, 2022
What you may have missed
2 – Eddie Nketiah is the second ever @Arsenal player to score twice in the opening 10 minutes of a Premier League match, after @papilokanu against Sunderland in October 2002. Steady. #ARSLEE pic.twitter.com/7x8Xmz4I9P
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) May 8, 2022
The Premier League table as it stands
|4||West Ham United||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
|18||Brighton & Hove Albion||0||0||0||0||0||0||0||0|
This article was edited by Ben Browning.
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What time is kick off between Arsenal FC vs Leeds United?
13:00, Sunday 08 May 2022