Arsenal 2-0 Leeds United - youngster's good day, skipper and attacker's bad day as ex Whites get the treatment

Leeds United's Carabao Cup progress was halted by Arsenal in the fourth round at The Emirates in deflating fashion but there were positives to take from it for Marcelo Bielsa.

Wednesday, 27th October 2021, 11:40 am
SENIOR BOW - Cody Drameh finally made his Leeds United debut against Arsenal in the Carabao Cup and looked the part, with help from veterans. Pic: Bruce Rollinson

He handed a debut to a 19-year-old defender and was not made to rue the decision and the first half at least was highly competitive before it all went wrong after the break.

Here's the YEP take on a disappointing evening in the capital.

Good day

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Cody Drameh

As first team debuts go, Arsenal away is not the easiest by a long stretch but the right-back did very well. Put in three or four big tackles, showed his one v one defending ability albeit without being completely dominant. On the ball he was tidy, played some nice passes and got forward to support attacks. The youngster continues to look the part.

Diego Llorente

The defender has put together a run of four starts now, which is good news for him and Leeds. Against Arsenal he looked strong, defensively, but it was his passing that shone. He repeatedly produced no-look or disguised passes into the feet of attackers and put Daniel James in on goal with a sublime ball over the top. Bielsa took him off to protect him for Norwich.

Bad day

Liam Cooper

The skipper had an excellent game against Wolves and overall his Arsenal cameo was mostly fine but when a centre-half makes a mistake it takes on greater significance because of the area of the pitch in which it takes place. His back header to Illan Meslier wasn't good enough and it cost Leeds.

Tyler Roberts

It just isn't happening for the attacker at present. Other than a couple of nice passes he did not do enough to justify staying on the pitch. His substitution came immediately after an attempted turn that gave the ball to Arsenal. Bielsa had seen enough. The head coach is a patient man but Joe Gelhardt appears to be closing in on Roberts' spot and Sam Greenwood is another option for Bielsa. It has to start happening soon for Roberts.

Number of the day

23

Calum Chambers was on the pitch 23 seconds before he scored the opener that took the Carabao Cup tie away from Leeds United. He ran on to attack an Arsenal corner, replacing ex Leeds man Ben White, and was able to head home despite Illan Meslier's efforts. His near post run was made with sufficient energy to take Diego Llorente out of the play as the ball went to the back post and then came back towards them, a free header the result even if Jack Harrison tried to get close. The goal proved decisive, Leeds unable to muster any kind of meaningful response.

Off camera moments

Leeds' substitutes always engage in a rondo towards the end of the warm up, forming a circle and keeping the ball away from the player in the centre. Mateusz Klich found himself in the middle and Crysencio Summerville flicked the ball expertly through his legs, prompting the usual over-the-top celebrations from the circle as the Pole lashed the ball away in mock fury.

Cody Drameh was minutes from his big debut when Stuart Dallas approached him, put his arm around the youngster's shoulders and delivered some last minute advice. The senior players looked after him, applauding any good work and in the case of Diego Llorente, encouraging him vocally when things didn't go to plan. Kalvin Phillips was later seen issuing instructions to the right-back as Leeds prepared for a corner. Being talked through the game by veterans helped him settle in quickly to look the part.

Ben White and Eddie Nketiah came up against their former team and their old pals and while before and after the game there were fond embraces and big smiles, it was all business during the 90 minutes. White, who shared a hug with close friend Phillips as the teams swapped ends prior to kick-off, was soon going to ground under a challenge from the Leeds midfielder and Tyler Roberts. The trio coming together of the trio, who went on holiday after promotion, led to a yellow card from Roberts. Nketiah was afforded no special treatment either - Phillips got him later and patted him half apologetically on the backside.

Marcelo Bielsa always cuts an animated figure on the touchline but against Arsenal he grew more and more frustrated with what was happening on the pitch. Daniel James in particular came in for vehement instruction in the second half and it was clear after Roberts gave the ball away that Bielsa's patience had worn thin.