Eddie Nketiah haunts former club as Arsenal pull clear of Tottenham in top four race with Leeds dropping into relegation zone
Arsenal moved four points clear of Tottenham in fourth place with Eddie Nketiah inspiring a 2-1 victory over his former club Leeds United. The 22-year-old spent half a season on loan at Elland Road in 2019-20 and gracefully refused to celebrate his brace against the club who gave him a platform to show his qualities […]
Arsenal moved four points clear of Tottenham in fourth place with Eddie Nketiah inspiring a 2-1 victory over his former club Leeds United.
The 22-year-old spent half a season on loan at Elland Road in 2019-20 and gracefully refused to celebrate his brace against the club who gave him a platform to show his qualities in the Championship.
Victory at the Emirates Stadium has put the Gunners in a strong position with regards to securing Champions League football next term, while also closing the gap on Chelsea in third to just one single point.
As well as being a great afternoon at the office for the north London side, it was a day to forget for Jesse Marsch’s side.
Victory for Everton meant that Leeds dropped into the Premier League’s bottom three as a result of the defeat in London, while they’ll also be without Luke Ayling for the rest of the season following a sending off for a reckless challenge on Gabriel Martinelli in the first half.
The afternoon got off to the worst possible start when Ayling passed the ball back to Meslier on his goal line, who was closed down by Nketiah who converted inside five minutes.
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Just a few minutes later, Arsenal doubled their lead when the ex-Leeds loanee swept home from inside the area following some good work from Martinelli down the right flank.
Just as Marsch’s side were starting to find some sort of stability in the match, things went from bad to worse following a horrendous challenge from Ayling on Martinelli.
Despite initially receiving a booking, Chris Kavanagh consulted VAR and the decision was made to send him off for serious foul play, meaning that Leeds would play over an hour with 10 men.
The second half saw Arsenal push Leeds back into their own half for long spell as they carved out opportunities for their frontline, including a good chance for Martinelli who blazed his effort over the bar from 18 yards out.
The away supporters were given shirts with Stuart Dallas’s name on the back following his horrific injury that has ruled him out for the long-term, and they jumped and celebrated even when there was nothing to cheer.
Thankfully for them, they had genuine reason to cheer midway through the second half when Llorente slammed home from a corner to give the Whites the most unlikely of routes back into the game.
What followed was a tense finale at the Emirates as Leeds pushed forward and Arsenal made hard work of what looked like a routine victory, but Arteta won’t mind as his side secured a valuable three points to really strengthen their top four hopes, while Leeds have little margin for error as they edge closer and closer to the relegation trap door.
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