On the one hand, this was exactly the way to beat an opponent in his own game; on the other hand, it looked more like Mikel Arteta would like Arsenal to play every week you were here Relentless for the first hour, Leeds choked off the ball and dissected them with a hissing display of speed and ingenuity

That endeavor resulted in four goals and Arteta will be pleased to see three of them came from Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whose hat trick was his first in the Premier League and a far cry from the occasions where he has scored an isolated goal bleak figure this season Hector Bellerín met the other and when Leeds saw a semblance of their usual strength it was too late to undo the damage Pascal Struijk and Hélder Costa gave the goal line the knockabout look that this game had promised, but in truth they could leave without complaint

A high-scoring matter seemed virtually inevitable as both sides missed their midfield cerebrals, Thomas Partey and Kalvin Phillips, due to injury, Mikel Arteta’s team pick did little to invalidate the idea: his five changes included a first Start for Martin Odegaard in 10th place and a callback to the center forward for Aubameyang

The latter couldn’t have paid nicer dividends. Arsenal, whose front four were full of energy, pushed their opponents back from the start and their captain produced the goods in 13 minutes, they knew Leeds had to keep up in the running stakes but Aubameyangs first goal had an added element of malice A passing move gained pace and menace as Emile Smith tossed Rowe Granit Xhaka a smart ball for the first time The instruction was clear that possession had to be resumed just as quickly

Xhaka immediately found Aubameyang, lurking in the inside-left position that facilitates most of his best work, the rest of which came from a gamer’s textbook that Arteta was dying to get back into shape Cooper messed up with a couple of transitions, and cut a clever finish past the Leeds center-backs and into the near post of the unsightly Illan Meslier

Leeds hadn’t conjured up anything like the usual crush pace, although they worked out the first half chance a minute before the opener when Patrick Bamford headed Jack Harrison’s cross straight on Bernd Leno, Arsenal refused them the place and it didn’t help that Struijk didn’t have any of the usually offered by Phillips’ controls, they briefly threatened to equalize when Harrison shot Leno from an inviting position but left the game behind at halftime

To Arsenal’s anger, Leeds was given a penalty when Stuart Attwell walked over to his VAR monitor and decided somewhat generously to review his decision in the 34th Minute that Cooper illegally leaned on Bukayo Saka to undo No matter: Saka was back five minutes later in a sequence that summed up half Meslier controlled a routine back pass but swayed instead of clearing up, and Saka, right on It took no video replay to prove Meslier circumcised him and escaped further punishment for Saka walking away from the gate. Aubameyang did the rest of the job

A minute before half-time, Saka, the team’s heartbeat, was dribbling across the Leeds area to launch an intricate attack that ended with Dani Ceballos shoving the ball at Bellerin he finished from an angle, reflecting Arsenal’s superiority righteously against

Marcelo Bielsa tried to turn things around by introducing Tyler Roberts and Costa within two minutes of the restart, however, Leeds was exposed to more of them, appearing to have dealt with a Saka surge through the middle but Costa was ousted and then expropriated by Smith Rowe, the boy’s cross, dug in the long post where Aubameyang waited to nod, was beautifully weighted, and for Leeds it seemed like a question of keeping the score low

In these parts, however, it’s rarely that easy. Just before the hour, Struijk ran towards David Luiz to forcefully take a left-hand corner. The gate had hardly been signposted, but it was a reminder that Arsenal usually go for a moment of defensive inattention is good, and when Bielsa and his staff raised the volume from the sideline, the pendulum swung for the first time Raphinha pulled wide and then Costa altered the complexion for the last 20 minutes by cutting off Robert’s left center

There was no more damage to Leeds, however, and only the crossbar prevented Aubameyang from scoring his fourth goal, and he and Arsenal had already done more than enough

Arsenal – Leeds

World news – FI – Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scores a hat trick as the explosive Arsenal blinds Leeds

Source: https://www.theguardian.com/football/2021/feb/14/arsenal-leeds-premier-league-match-report