Report: Leeds United 0-1 Arsenal
Table-toppers win at Elland Road.
Leeds United 0
Arsenal 1 (Saka 35’)
Leeds: Meslier, Koch, Cooper (C), Aaronson, Roca (Summerville 84’), Harrison (Klich 76’), Adams, Rodrigo (Bamford 45’), Struijk, Sinisterra (Gelhardt 89’), Kristensen. Subs not used: Klaesson (GK), Ayling, Firpo, Llorente, Greenwood.
Arsenal: Ramsdale (GK), White (Tierney 76’), Partey, Gabriel, Saka (Holding 81’), Odegaard (C) (Vieira 72’), Jesus (Nketiah 81’), Martinelli, Saliba, Tomiyasu, Xhaka. Subs not used: Turner (GK), Soares, Lokonga, Nelson, Marquinhos.
Venue: Elland Road
Attendance: 36,700 (2,912 away)
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
Booked: Saliba, Gabriel (Arsenal)
Jesse Marsch’s side put in a battling display against top of the table Arsenal on home turf in a match they could and should, have come away with something from in an incident packed game.
The end-difference over the 90 minutes was a first half goal from Bukayo Saka, to send the North London outfit home with the points and continue their fine start to the campaign.
The opening to the match saw 69 seconds of play before a long delay, due to a power cut within the local area. Once that was dealt with, play was restarted and the clash got back underway.
The first bright moment came through Luis Sinisterra. The winger broke forward from a central area and struck powerfully at Aaron Ramsdale’s goal, seeing the ball go narrowly wide of the post. That chance was followed up by another for the Whites, with Rodrigo seeing an effort blocked inside the area.
Just after the 20 minute mark, Ramsdale was called into action this time, diving low to claw out an effort from Pascal Struijk following a Leeds corner. Straight down the other end, a quick Arsenal break saw Gabriel Jesus come close at the back post, clipping an effort over the bar.
The league leaders went into the lead with 10 minutes to go until the break. Saka was the scorer, driving into the box and smashing into the roof of the net after profiting from a loose pass by the Whites, which gave him the opportunity.
A further chance came before the break to get back on level terms, with Brenden Aaronson winning the ball high up the pitch and playing Jack Harrison. The winger took a touch but then curled his strike over the bar.
HALF TIME: Leeds United 0-1 Arsenal
Marsch made a change at the interval, bringing on Patrick Bamford to replace Rodrigo. Within seconds of coming on, Bamford had fired the ball into the back of the net from inside the box but referee Chris Kavanagh deemed the striker to have fouled Gabriel in the build-up, and disallowed the effort.
Moments later, Bamford was causing chaos in the Arsenal backline again. He forced William Saliba into a mistake and burst through one goal, but with the angle narrowing Ramsdale managed to save the shot.
With just over an hour gone and the Whites well on top, they were given a golden chance to level the game. Not initially spotted, the referee awarded Leeds a penalty after a VAR check for a Saliba handball, for which the defender was given a yellow card.
A delay followed prior to the spot-kick being taken, with Bamford holding the ball in his hands awaiting the whistle. However, once taken, the striker struck his effort wide of the post which kept the Gunners in the lead.
Despite the penalty miss, Leeds were still well on top and pushing forward at pace. Another good chance came for Bamford when Harrison had played him in on goal, but Ramsdale denied the forward again.
With15 minutes remaining, it was all Leeds - as the home side pushed forward time after time looking searching for an equaliser. This time Arsenal’s number one was denying Aaronson, who had struck from the edge of the area.
To add further drama in stoppage time, Leeds were awarded another penalty when Gabriel appeared to kick-out at Bamford. The spot-kick was awarded and the defender was sent-off, only to see both decisions overturned by VAR.
Despite an excellent second-half display against their top of the table visitors and constantly looking for a way back onto level terms, no goal was forthcoming and the Whites were left to rue missed chances at Elland Road.
FULL TIME: Leeds United 0-1 Arsenal