Post-Match Report

Report: Leeds United 0-1 Arsenal

Bukayo Saka scores against Leeds United

Leeds -

Elland Road
Premier League
Premier League
0 1
                  Saka (35)
Saka (35)

In a game delayed 40 minutes due to a power cut, Bukayo Saka provided the spark by hitting his fourth goal in a week to beat Leeds United - but that only told half the story of a dramatic encounter at Elland Road.

The attacker rifled in the only goal of the game on 35 minutes to ensure we won nine of our first 10 top-flight games for the first time ever, but this was far from a routine victory as the hosts pushed us all the way.

We received a let-off in the second half when Patrick Bamford pulled a penalty wide of the mark, and also survived a VAR penalty check deep into stoppage time to remain top of the Premier League table.

Saka powers home

The was a unique start to proceedings when after just 68 seconds, a power cut within the stadium caused Chris Kavanagh to stop play. After 10 minutes of an extended warm-up, he sent both teams back down the tunnel and 40 minutes would elapse before the game resumed.

The hosts adapt to the disruption better, typified by Luis Sinisterra driving forward and shooting just wide not long after the restart, before the Colombian saw another drive from range clip Ben White and hit the side netting.

From the resulting corner, a melee in the box saw Ramsdale save smartly from Pascal Struijk before we sprung a counter-attack that saw Gabriel Jesus dink the ball over Illan Meslier from close-range, but also the crossbar.

But that sight of goal saw us grow in confidence, and 10 minutes before the break we got in front. A wayward crossfield pass by Rodrigo headed towards Saka who nodded it to Martin Odegaard, who threaded a pass back into the attacker’s path to lash into the roof of the net from a tight angle and score for the third straight game.

Bamford’s big chances

That saw us head into the break in front, but Bamford’s introduction from the bench lifted the crowd, and his team who would enjoy the better of the second half’s chances. Less than a minute after the second half kicked off, Bamford thought he’d made an instant impact when he hooked the ball in but the goal was chalked off for a foul on Gabriel.

Ramsdale was then forced to make a good stop to deny Leeds’ talisman when he pounced on a loose ball but our keeper made himself big to snuff out the chance, but on the hour mark, he was offered a golden chance to get his team level.

Jack Harrison clipped a pass over our defence and William Saliba handled the ball, and after a VAR check a penalty was awarded but Bamford dragged his effort wide of the post.

Further penalty drama

But Jesse Marsch’s team kept carving out chances, and Sinistirra saw a shot blocked by Gabriel before Brenden Aaronson was next to test Ramsdale with a shot from range which our shot-stopper did well to push around the post.

A few minutes later, Crysencio Summerville blasted over a cutback when well-placed inside the area, but there was further drama deep into stoppage time.

A coming together between Bramford and Gabriel saw Kavanagh award a second penalty to the home side and red card the defender, but after being summoned to the monitor by the VAR, he overturned his decision to ensure we returned to north London with the three points.

Facts and stats

Saka has been involved in nine goals in his last 10 appearances for us in all competitions (5 goals, 4 assists), while this is now the second time he’s scored in three consecutive games for us (also in December/January last season).

Saka’s goal was his 50th goal involvement for Arsenal under Arteta in all competitions (26 goals, 24 assists), the first player to reach that figure for the club since the Spaniard took charge.

This was the first Premier League game this season in which the Gunners failed to score after half-time.

What’s next

We host PSV Eindhoven in the Europa League on Thursday night as the top two in our group face off, before returning to league action with a trip to Southampton on Sunday, October 23.

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