Arsenal goalkeeper Emi Martinez admits Leeds United "fight like animals" following FA Cup tie

Arsenal goalkeeper Emi Martinez. (Getty)Arsenal goalkeeper Emi Martinez. (Getty)
Arsenal goalkeeper Emi Martinez. (Getty)
Leeds United fell to a 1-0 defeat to Mikel Arteta's side on Monday night

Arsenal goalkeeper Emi Martinez says Leeds United "fight like animals" after the Gunners secured a hard-fought win over the Whites in the FA Cup.

Marcelo Bielsa's side were beaten 1-0 in the third round tie at the Emirates as a 55th minute goal from Reiss Nelson handed Mikel Arteta's team passage in the knockout competition.

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Leeds put in a strong display in North London as they dominated much of the first half, pressing the hosts into mistakes before quick and clever play helped create a number of goalscoring opportunities.

Martinez was forced into a succession of saves to keep United at bay at the half-time interval, with the Argentine admitting the Whites made it a very tough evening for their counterparts.

"It’s difficult to explain because maybe we didn’t expect them to be so aggressive in the first five minutes," Martinez revealed.

"At half-time we knew how they played and in the second half we played our game.

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"If you thought it was going to be an easy game, you’d be so wrong. They fight like animals, and they did.

"In the first 35 minutes, they were winning every single thing but we talked at half-time about the things we could improve and in the second half we were amazing.

"I think they were winning every 50/50 and they were just getting the ball back very soon. They were pressing really hard and it was very difficult to get out how we did in training but in the second half, the manager said, ‘If we don't win 50/50s, we are going to lose the game.’

"The lads went out there and, the gaffer says we need to ‘run like a wolf’ and have that animal side to us. I thought we did really well, we ran like we should have from the first minute. We’re delighted for the win and we move on."

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Asked about Arteta's stern half-time words, he added: "He was really angry but that’s what we need.

"We can’t switch off after a good win against Manchester United and I think we did in the first five minutes, we did switch off and that shouldn’t happen especially at home."