• Alex Merson

ARSENAL 2-0 LEEDS: ARTETA'S YOUTHFUL GUNNERS EASE PAST OUT OF FORM WHITES


A youthful Arsenal side moved onto the quarter finals of the Carabao cup on Tuesday night, after a comfortable 2-0 win against Leeds at the Emirates.


Mikel Arteta made 9 changes from Arsenals 3-1 win against Aston Villa last Friday, and it paid off. Eddie Nketiah and substitute Calum Chambers scored the goals for the Gunners, as they dominated Marco Bielsa's Leeds.

Coming into the game, Arsenal were coming off some fine form after not having lost a game since August, whereas Leeds were not, having only picked up one win in their last 7 games. As the game began, it was clear that Arsenal was the side with more confidence, as younger players like Gabriel Martinelli and Nketiah were picking up the ball and creating chances. The first real opportunity of the game came to the visitors however, as Jack Harrison's ferocious volley from 15 yards out was palmed away well by Leno. This was Leno's first start for Arsenal since the last round due to new signing Aaron Ramsdale taking the number one shirt.

As the game went on, Arsenal got more into the game and around the 30th minute mark their best chance of the game so far came as Emile Smith-Rowe's left footed strike from the edge of the box went wide of Ilian Mesliers goal. For the rest of the first half, Leeds did well to keep Arsenal away from their goal, and Dan James had a great chance towards the end of the first half as he went through one on one with Leno, but his effort was straight at the keeper.

Once the second half began, Arsenal looked much better and hungrier for a goal. In the 54th minute there was a huge scare for Arsenal, as £50 million man Ben White was forced off with an injury and could be a doubt for Arsenal's next fixture on Saturday at Leicester. His substitution however, Calum Chambers, could not have hoped for a better start when coming on, as just 23 seconds within coming onto the pitch, he managed to turn a header in and give Arsenal a needed lead. The header came from a corner that was headed across goal from Nicolas Pepe to Chambers' path, and he headed home, but just inches over the line.

Arsenal then kicked on from there, and it was a former Leeds loanee Eddie Nketiah who doubled the lead less than 15 minutes later when he picked up on a poor back pass from Leeds' Liam Cooper, looped it over the keeper and tapped home from close range to pretty much wrap up Arsenal's qualification to the next round, much to Arteta's delight.

From then on Arsenal saw the game out, with neither team creating much more, and therefore Arsenal progressed. Defensively, Arsenal was solid throughout as they continue their unbeaten run, whereas Leeds will need to start finding some form to get towards where they were last season. Patrick Bamford and Raphinia have been two key misses for Leeds for a while now, and their lack of squad depth is starting to show.

Arsenal move on, and Leeds head out, Arsenal 2, Leeds 0.