Saturday 1 April 2023

Arsenal 1-0 Leeds (half time)

The Gunners started sluggishly against Leeds and could count themselves fortunate to be ahead at the break.

They had ex-Gunner Luke Ayling to thank for the breakthrough, as he felled Jesus needlessly, which meant a spot kick. It looked like Odegaard would take it, but Jesus dusted himself off to place his shot straighten down the middle with Meslier diving to his right.

Arsenal improved after the goal, as Martinelli went close with a long-range effort, after Meslier was stranded outside his goal, after leaving it to clear the ball. Ayling played saviour this time, managing to bumble the bouncing ball out for a corner.

At the other end, Ramsdale was in form, making some necessary saves to keep Arsenal ahead.

Arsenal may need Saka for the second half, as they are only posing half the threat they normally do. 

This could be a long 45 minutes for Arsenal fans, unless the Gunners manage an early second goal after the break.

Ramsdale 7 - poor distribution, but good saves
White 7 - tackling hard
Holding 7 - not exposed 
Gabriel 8 - full of fighting spirit 
Zinchenko 6 - some sloppy passing at times
Trossard 6 - not as effective on the right, but tackling back well
Odegaard 6 - clever trick to pretend he was taking the penalty 
Partey 7 - not fully fit, but still the dominant force 
Xhaka 7 - passing crisply 
Martinelli 8 - got stamped on by Koch, but still a thorn in Leeds's side
Jesus 7 - back on the scoresheet and headed a Xhaka cross over, but looks a little rusty.

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