Leeds United drawn away at Arsenal in Carabao Cup fourth round as Marcelo Bielsa breaks new ground

Leeds United have been drawn away against Arsenal in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup.

Wednesday, 22nd September 2021, 10:59 pm
NEW GROUND - Leeds United are in the fourth round of the Carabao Cup for the first time under Marcelo Bielsa and have been drawn against Arsenal. Pic: Bruce Rollinson

Harry Redknapp and Micah Richards made the draw live from Potton Bowls Club in Sandy, Bedfordshire, pitting the Whites against the side who put them out of the 2019/20 FA Cup in the third round.

Last season in the Premier League Leeds held Mikel Arteta's men to a 0-0 draw at Elland Road and lost 4-2 at the Emirates.

The fourth-round Carabao Cup fixtures are scheduled for the week commencing October 25, with a place in the quarter-finals at stake. Bielsa had never taken Leeds beyond the second round until this season but find themselves in the last 16 thanks to an Elland Road win over Crewe Alexandra and a penalty shootout victory after a goalless draw at Fulham.

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Head coach Marcelo Bielsa has fielded a strong side for both fixtures, but with a mounting injury list, used the Craven Cottage fixture to hand Joe Gelhardt and Stuart McKinstry their senior debuts as second half substitutes. The teenage pair both converted vital spot-kicks in the shootout.

Fellow Under 23s prospect Charlie Cresswell was given a start against the Cottagers and did well defensively and on the ball, despite the difficulties Bielsa said all of the backline encountered while trying to play forward.

"He made few errors, good distribution of the ball, but like it was difficult for all our players to get the ball from the back to our offensive players," the head coach said, having watching his makeshift backline keep a clean sheet against Fulham before the shootout success. Goalkeeper Illan Meslier provided the decisive heroics, saving from Rodrigo Muniz to secure a 6-5 win.

Bielsa was without Patrick Bamford, Luke Ayling and Raphinha, while Diego Llorente, Robin Koch and Pascal Struijk were all also unavailable. The Argentine is expected to issue an update on the injury crisis on Thursday afternoon.