Could Arsenal improve on their away performances?
Eleven shots on target in the first half – a record since Opta started recording Premiership statistics gave a resounding answer.
Not that it was hard given the number of Leeds’ players unable to take part. Drameh came in at right back and Dallas moved back on the left and Koch returned to the centre. Gelhardt occupied the lone forward position in a 4-1-4-1.
Arsenal were unchanged for fourth time.
And the pattern at home was adopted straight away with an energetic high press which brought three good chances in the first five minutes.
ANR MoM: for his work off the ball
Odegaard set up a chance for Lacazette who missed one on one with Meslier followed by Saka missing the goal from short range in the same move. Then Partey shot straight at Meslier.
But Arsenal dominated with some of the Leeds players unsure of their positions.
Saka beat three players, Martinelli hit the ground, but Lacazette tackled Forshaw and the Brazilian pounced on the loose ball and rifled it past Meslier.
Now for the 1-0 up test.
It could have been different for Leeds. Raphinha drove forward beat Tierney and White but shot past the post.
But during the next Leeds attack, Xhaka intercepted and sent a vertical ball to Martinelli whose first touch was poor, but he regained his balance and chipped over Meslier for his second.
It could have easily been five by half time, as Tierney had space on the left for a shot – straight at Meslier; and Lacazette was on the end of loose ball – but he too seemed attracted to hit his compatriot.
Near half time, Odegaard set up Saka who drove on found Lacazette who touched it and Saka recomposed himself and his shot deflected in.
Arsenal slacked off in the second playing a deliberate game management containing game.
Xhaka stood in front of Raphinha for a free kick, was warned and then stamped on the Brazilian’s ankle. Game management is a dangerous game with the Swiss in the side.
White, who was having some face-to-face verbals with his ex-colleagues, got wound up and came in with a surprisingly mistimed challenge on Gelhardt – met by high fives from Ramsdale. Raphinha despatched the penalty into the top right – where he was looking prior to the kick.
The crowd arose from its relative slumbers. The atmosphere changed. Jitters ran around the away supporters and showed the fragility of away performance confidence.
Arsenal started to counter more. Saka and Martinelli performed a one-two with the Englishman hooking it just wide. And Martinelli had a chance on the breakaway but his pass to Saka was too short.
It was left to Odegaard to drive forward and release the ball at the perfect moment to meet Smith Rowe’s run and the Croydon de Bruyne fired it past Meslier for his eighth of the season to ease the fears of a Leeds comeback.
Martinelli said; “It was a very good result way – so important for the team all the team played well. Mikel says every time we are in final third needs to be dangerous. Lacazette is good at attracting the centre backs and me going in behind. It was a great pass from Granit. They were two good goals. We have a young team and a strong team.”
Mikel Arteta said: “It was a great performance from the lads. Leeds are very uncomfortable to play against.
We’ve had three physical games in a week. We had intentions with the ball. Try to avoid us playing. Players understood the games and were a real threat.
“Laca is selfless – a very unselfish player. He has the quality of making players around him better. They scored but he’s the one.
On the young forwards: “They are affecting game and that’s the most difficult thing. Scoring is the most difficult
On Martinelli: “you have to prepare the player. You can’t just throw him in. He’s humble and wants to learn
On the performance: “Terrific – after defeats you want those reactions. We deserved the three wins.”
On Aubameyang, Arteta said that he tries to be open about the situation but there a privacy matter involved.
Leeds: 1Meslier, 37Drameh,5 Koch Booked at 88mins, 2Ayling, 15Dallas (Booked at 56mins),43Klich (Substituted for Greenwood at 78’minutes),4Forshaw, 10Raphinha, 11Roberts, 22Harrison (Substituted for Summerville at 31’minutes, (Substituted for McCarron at 81’minutes), 30Gelhardt (Booked at 52mins),
Arsenal: 32Ramsdale, 6Gabriel, 3Tierney, 34XhakaBooked at 86mins, 5Partey, 7SakaSubstituted for Smith Rowe at 78’minutes, 35Martinelli, 8Ødegaard (Substituted for Tavares at 85’minutes), 9Lacazette