Steve Nicol ponders the importance of Arsenal’s 4-2 win over Leeds United in the Premier League (1:00)

LONDON – Maybe Arsenal supporters can expect the unexpected again One lingering criticism of manager Mikel Arteta has been the Gunners’ rigidity in attacking positions, which has often resulted in possession not translating into clear scoring opportunities Leeds United may have been a willing accomplice at the Emirates Stadium, but Sunday’s 4-2 win showed a more tantalizing vision of what Arteta wants to achieve – just not as many had expected

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When Martin Odegaard came to the club on loan from Real Madrid, it seemed like he was switching to Emile Smith Rowe, who took his chance in the first team with great serenity but could not reasonably be asked to carry a heavy creative Last in his breakthrough season However, Arteta decided to give Odegaard his first start alongside Smith Rowe, the former as No. 10 in a three-man midfield with Bukayo Saka on the right behind center-forward Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang in a 4- 2-3-1 form

What followed was one of Arsenal’s most dynamic attacking performances of the season Aubameyang clearly indulged in the creativity of his supporting cast “I found [the creativity in the last third] a lot better,” said Arteta. “We were much more efficient and we were composed. We took our time when it was needed. We had movement, we ran after, People in the box and came in the box Our decision-making was much better and our efficiency, we hit and many of them were there that was the difference “

Odegaard and Smith Rowe exchanged positions with impressive fluidity, Saka threatened Leeds with a mix of pace and cool decision-making in the final third and Aubameyang helped himself to the first Premier League hat-trick of his career

Only West Brom, 55, have conceded more goals than Leeds ’42 in the top division this season, and the price they are willing to pay to show such relentless attacking intent is an openness that the top teams The Gunners didn’t always seem able to take advantage of such opportunities, but they did so here, which no doubt felt like a cathartic release after frustrating losses to Wolves and Aston Villa

These games contained VAR-related controversy (a red card from David Luiz at Molineux that the club appealed and failed to appeal before being denied a man advantage for a foul on Bukayo Saka and later a heavy penalty shouting in Villa Park) It seemed unlucky for the third time on Sunday Aubameyang had Arsenal already with a low run in 13th Took the lead when Saka broke through the goal only to go under under contact from Leeds captain Liam Cooper Referee Stuart Attwell pointed to the spot but checked the decision on the field monitor and ruled that Cooper was not making sufficient contact to Saka to fall

Arteta was furious on the sideline but Saka went unmoved, putting goalkeeper Ilian Meslier into error as he shot the ball and won a penalty that was undeniable, Aubameyang converted and Arsenal established a control they never really did wanted to give up Hector Bellerin struck home by a third after some excellent work from Saka and Dani Ceballos, making it the first league game of the season in which the Gunners scored three goals in the first half

Smith Rowe set up Aubameyang’s third place with an excellent ball two minutes after the restart, before Leeds scored twice through Pascal Struijk and replaced Helder Costa to improve the Gunners’ win a bit. The final stages were a bit more uncomfortable than it was Arsenal would have fallen, but parity never seemed to be restored

Aubameyang walked away with match point after vowing in his program notes that he would “repay” all the love he was shown during a difficult time missing games while caring for his ailing mother done that and a few more, his 200 Ligator scored in the top 5 European divisions, scoring 36 Premier League goals for Arsenal Only Jamie Vardy, 46, Mohamed Salah, 42 and Sadio Mane, 37, have scored more since Aubameyang debuted in February 2018 / p>

“It was a tough time for me but now it’s time to get that smile back and win games and score goals, that’s it,” said Aubameyang. “Everyone at the club has a lot of love for me, my mother and my family as a gift, so I am very, very happy and very proud to be part of this family. Today I am very happy about the win and the goals – for them that is “

Arteta of his center forward said: “He had a great performance not only for the goals but also for the way he worked without the ball”

Aubameyang added potency to the purpose that Saka in particular, who continues to perform excellently, injected It was Gabriel Martinelli who set the tone for this team on his return, but nowadays Saka plays that role with remarkable consistency.His form is so good that Willian and record player Nicolas Pepe are among those who have to react to secure a place to secure in the team

The challenge for Arsenal now, as with previous purple spots, is to play with such ingenuity against better opponents. Arsenal’s next four games are both legs of the last 32 Europa League games against Benfica, as well as challenging clashes against Premier League leaders Manchester City and high-flyer Leicester City.These opponents won’t be as accommodating as Leeds, but Arsenal now have a prime example of their expressionism to build on

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