Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta reveals how to beat Leeds United after 'convincing' Emirates victory
and live on Freeview channel 276
Arsenal continued their league-best home form this season with a ‘convincing’ win over a depleted Leeds United on Saturday afternoon. Javi Gracia’s side were without Willy Gnonto, Max Wober or Tyler Adams as the Spaniard rung the changes in his starting line-up, fielding Jack Harrison and Rasmus Kristensen in midfield alongside Marc Roca.
USMNT midfielder Weston McKennie was only fit enough for the bench after a bout of flu on international duty, and despite Leeds’ lack of midfield options from the start, the team kept Arsenal at arm’s length for much of the opening half hour.
The returning Gabriel Jesus, however, converted his 35th minute spot-kick after Luke Ayling made contact inside the Leeds penalty area, and shortly after the restart the floodgates opened. Ben White, Jesus once more and Granit Xhaka netted during the second half, while Kristensen’s second goal in as many games was a mere consolation for the visitors.
Arsenal boss Arteta declared his team’s victory was just ‘another game’ in their season, delighted at the ‘convincing’ fashion with which they saw off Leeds’ challenge.
Speaking in his post-match press conference, Arteta said: “We won the game in a convincing way which is good and the only thing we can control.
"There were a few things we had to improve [at half-time],” Arteta explained. “The way they set up they were really man-marking our attacking midfielders, with a back six, they played four really fast players to catch us in transition and we started to lose the ball in areas that we cannot do against a team who want to defend like that.
"We explored all of the spaces, we changed the shape and position of a few players and we were more fluent and then we went attacking in the final third, close to the box with good numbers in good positions and we looked a threat.”
Arteta’s tweaks ultimately made the difference, securing a second successive home win by a 4-1 scoreline. Saturday’s game was the fourth consecutive home Premier League match that Arsenal had scored three-or-more goals in a game.