Leeds United 1-4 Arsenal - recap: Marcelo Bielsa reaction from Elland Road as Gunners put Whites to sword

Leeds United host Arsenal in the Premier League at Elland Road on Saturday evening as the Whites face up to an injury crisis - follow live updates from LS11 below.

By Joe Urquhart
Saturday, 18th December 2021, 9:08 pm

The top flight fixture in West Yorkshire is the only remaining game in the division today with Covid wreaking havoc in terms of postponements.

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Bielsa's first team squad has been hit by a major injury crisis with a small number of senior players available this weekend against the Gunners.

Follow the YEP matchday blog below...

Leeds United host Arsenal in the Premier League at Elland Road.

Leeds United v Arsenal - LIVE BLOG

Last updated: Saturday, 18 December, 2021, 16:57

  • Leeds United host Arsenal in the Premier League
  • Elland Road clash only top flight game today
  • Whites sit 16th, Gunners are fourth
  • Kick-off in LS11 is at 5.30pm
  • --------------------------------------------
  • RESULT: Leeds United 1-4 Arsenal

Welcome to today’s live blog from Elland Road... we’re in position in the press box to bring you all the latest pre-match build-up, in-game updates and post-match reaction.

Stay tuned...

Early Leeds United team news

Marcelo Bielsa has a raft of injury problems to deal with at Thorp Arch.

Jamie Shackleton and Dan James are the latest two players in his squad to head into the treatment room.

Robin Koch has returned and is available having been missing since the opening day of the season.

Kalvin Phillips, Liam Cooper and Patrick Bamford are out with hamstring problems.

Rodrigo (heel) and Pascal Struijk (foot) are battling issues.

Reports this morning also suggested Charlie Cresswell has picked up an injury leaving Leeds with a decimated squad.

United can barely field a full team of senior players this afternoon.

Early Arsenal team news

Arsenal striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang will not be involved after his latest disciplinary breach.

He has been stripped of the Gunners captaincy and will sit out once more. Mikel Arteta has no short-term injury worries to contend with in his team.

Whites XI: Meslier; Ayling; Llorente, Koch, Dallas; Forshaw; Klich; Harrison, Raphinha; Roberts; Gelhardt.

What Marcelo Bielsa has said

“They’re one of the important teams in the league,” said Bielsa of Arsenal.

“But at this moment we are especially concerned about getting back to our best version than the opponent that we’re coming up against.

“Any game that was next was always a possibility to come back from the image we showed in the last game.”

What Mikel Arteta has said

“The last two performances have been really good in terms of what we want to achieve in matches, the results we have got and the way we have dominated those games,” Arteta said.

“But we need to be consistent in that over 10 months to achieve the goals that we want, which is to be the best and we are not there yet.”

Liam Cooper’s captain’s notes

“I was devastated to pick up an injury against Brentford, which then ruled me out of our following two games against Chelsea and Manchester City,” Cooper wrote.

“It was pretty innocuous, with how it happened, but unfortunately it means I’m going to be on the sidelines for a period of time.

“Naturally, as captain, I want to be on the pitch helping the lads, but I’ll be doing all I can to support them.

“Today against Arsenal we know we have to do better and everyone in the group is determined to do that. We’ve had some important talks in the last couple of days and preparation has been good.

“We know we are than what we showed in midweek and now we have to show it.”

Marcelo Bielsa’s programme notes

“Today against Arsenal, it is important to show a reaction,” Bielsa wrote.

“We want to do this, especially for the supporters who made the journey to the Etihad stadium.”

Leeds player inspect the pitch

Meslier and Koch out of the tunnel first. Klich follows. A number of Under-23s players come next... Joffy, Jenkins, Bate, Greenwood, Van den Heuvel and Archie Gray. McCarron, Kenneh, Summerville all here as well.

Forshaw and Roberts too, among the more senior players.

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