48 Comments

Arsenal v Leeds United – FA Cup

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In action on Monday night under the lights  Arsenal host Championship high-flyers Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium for their third-round FA Cup clash, looking to build on an impressive start to the new year.
Good day all. With Mikel Arteta at the helm the Gunners already look a completely different side to anything we’ve endured the past 18 months. With a clear philosophy and understanding of our players he’s just a breath of fresh air to all involved, having lifted so much of the gloom surrounding our great club.
With the Spaniards first victory under the belt the aim now would be to build some momentum off that. What better way than to win here with him well aware that the FA Cup offers us a genuine shot at silverware, and given the history he made clear he will target it:
“We have to be challenging for the cups and we’ll try to that again this season. Obviously it’s a competition very attached to this football club in recent years and we have to take it very seriously.”
However, Marcelo Bielsa’s side will give us a stern test. Leeds are top of the Championship and there’s no question that promotion to the top-flight is their priority, but the Whites will not be getting ahead of themselves after what happened last season, ergo they view one game as important as the next to not let slip the standards they set for themselves.
They’re more driven, more focused and the chance to progress through to the fourth-round at our expense will certainly give them lots of motivation. With quite a few days util their next league match, Bielsa could be tempted to go with a strong lineup.
Be that as it may, with Leeds’ struggles to gain promotion over the years we don’t play them very much. The last encounter was January 2012, also in a FA Cup tie. A close game as Thierry Henry, on his return for a short loan spell, came off the bench to score the only goal of that match 12 minutes from time.
Team news
After a gruelling festive schedule Arteta is likely to use this game as an opportunity to give some of the fringe players a chance, to get a better idea of where they are in terms of work rate and adhering to his system, so he will ring in the changes.
Emiliano Martinez, Bukayo Saka, Matteo Guendouzi and Reiss Nelson are all expected to be involved, with fit-again Gabriel Martinelli, Dani Ceballos and Rob Holding also likely to come back into the side.
Calum Chambers and Kieran Tierney, of course, are injured and Hector Bellerìn will be assessed ahead of the game.
Prediction
We can expect the Whites to make this as difficult as possible for the Gunners, considering we are not expected to be at full-strength. However, with Arteta having made a big impression in his short time, whomever gets picked are likely to put their best foot forward and provide the grit needed to get us a positive result. COYG.
 @LaboGoon

48 comments on “Arsenal v Leeds United – FA Cup

  1. Nice one LG,
    Ah the magic of the cup, the evening atmosphere and like you say plenty of players trying to impress COYG.

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  2. Thanks Labo: intriguing stuff tonight and it will be fascinating to see the line up. My thinking had been that with getting on for 5 days rest since United and then another 5 days until the next game he would start a similar team in order to build connections and confidence. but on reflection I suspect you are right, especially seeing how many players across the league seemed to get injured over the last two weeks. I had also imagined that of the two sides Leeds would be less inclined to take it seriously given their League ambitions.
    But whatever the case, it is a game that we must win, and having been full of irritation that we weren’t playing over the weekend I now find myself delighted to have something to look forward to this evening.
    COYG!

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  3. Martinez
    Sokratis
    David Luiz,
    Holding
    Nelson
    Guendouzi
    Xhaka
    Kolasinac
    Ozil
    Lacazette
    Pepe

    subs:Leno, Mavropanos, Ceballos, Willock, Saka, Martinelli, John-Jules

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  4. Thanks Labo. Bloody hell, that’s a pretty strong team, but perhaps worthy of a classic fixture from history.
    If Emery were still here, would have this down as a near certain loss unless a severely weakened Leeds team, but looks like Arteta is going for it.
    Avoid a draw at all costs, as our neighbours will know well.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. FA Cup 4th round draw

    Watford or Tranmere v Wolves or Man Utd
    Hull v Chelsea
    Southampton v Middlesboro or spurs
    QPR v Sheffield Wednesday
    Bournemouth v Arsenal or Leeds
    Northampton v Derby
    Brentford v Leicester
    Millwall v Sheffield Utd
    Reading or Blackpool v Cardiff or Carlisle
    West Ham v West Brom
    Burnley v Norwich
    Bristol rovers or Coventry v Birmingham
    Man City v Fulham
    Rochdale or Newcastle v Oxford
    Portsmouth v Barnsley
    Bristol City or Shrewsbury v Liverpool

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  6. afcstuff
    @afcstuff
    ·
    17m
    Mesut Özil will start an FA Cup game for Arsenal for the first time since the 2016/17 final against Chelsea, 954 days ago. [@OptaJoe
    ] #afc

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Lacazette is the captain tonight

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  8. leeds causing us lots of problems so far

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  9. leeds hit the crossbar,

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  10. leeds with 7 shots to our 1 so far

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  11. they are all over us at the moment

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  12. Must be demoralising playing against a Bielsa team when they’re like this.

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  13. Martinez with a brilliant save

    we really have been second best, leeds looks a step quicker than we are tonight.

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  14. HT: Arsenal 0-0 Leeds Utd

    We have been second best for all of the half, sloppy in possession, and don’t seem to have the same energy levels of leeds

    Martinez has made a couple of great saves, made many more simple saves, and we have had defenders block a few efforts too.
    When we do attack we have been sloppy and overplayed it several times,

    we really have to step it up in the second half

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  15. What is supposed to be going on with the team… seriously weird play to put things mildly… Seem a little sluggish and casual or just struggling?

    Glad they finally took a little break from passing out of the back!

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  16. Leeds are a very good team, coming at us full throttle. A tough opponent for Holding, and really everyone, to face at this juncture. Given what we have seen so far, I would be surprised if Arteta and his staff are not seriously considering how to back up Torreira. That position establishes the entire structure of the team.

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  17. This is why people are fascinated him. A lot of these guys were mid-to-lower table Championship players until summer 2018. Something to remember about Bielsa sides is that they can do this to any team in the world – esp with us so early in our cycle – but they can never last the course of a season. Even this year they’ll need a buffer at the top because they’ll slip come March.

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  18. much better from us at the start of the second half, first nelson with a good run, and now lacca freekick hits the crossbar

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  19. after guen wins the ball back, ozil plays it to lacca but his shot lacked enough pace to beat the keeper

    guen now has a shot

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  20. Nelsonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn 1-0 to the Arsenal

    good work from Pepe and Lacca and Nelson bobbles it home

    Liked by 1 person

  21. Good play nearly brings us a second, VAR did not give a peno for what look like a trip on lacca

    Liked by 1 person

  22. Danny Murphy is a knobhead of the highest order

    Nelson subbed off, Martinelli on

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  23. Martinelli has got into this game very well

    Liked by 1 person

  24. ozil subbed off, willock on

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  25. Wow… So much better… Am glad

    Liked by 1 person

  26. Holding’s passing tonight has been woeful, he has given it away so many times, to put us in trouble.

    Liked by 2 people

  27. Orbinho
    @Orbinho
    ·
    1m
    Granit Xhaka has been fouled six times in this game – more often than any other player

    don’t anyone tell danny shithead murphy

    Liked by 2 people

  28. five minutes of stoppage time to be played

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  29. pepe subbed off, saka on

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  30. why do we let david luiz take freekicks

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  31. Is it me or does it no longer work to hit the valve with fks? Just see Cronaldo’s conversion rate over the years.

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  32. FT: Arsenal 1-0 Leeds Utd

    Nelson with the all important goal,

    leeds had dominated the first half but Arsenal dominated the second half and had more quality.
    A scrappy winner, but as the say, they all count.

    Danny Murphy really hates Granit Xhaka.

    We are away to Bournemouth in the 4th round

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  33. Improving in the second half and winning… much better!

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  34. Really good response. That was maybe more satisfying than ManU. Weirdly Leeds are probably a better side at the moment.

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  35. Dug impressively deep there. A few dark arts on show to boot!
    Arteta looked pleased

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  36. Lacazette saying Arteta done a lot of shouting at half time

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  37. isn’t it so so strange that BBC did not show any, not even one, replay of our penalty shout when Lacazette looked to be clearly fouled, VAR checked it, but BBC despite their commentators saying they were listening in to VAR, did not show it at all.

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  38. Mandy, some of twatter were beside themselves with our dark arts. Look like they prefer the likes of Danny Rose to instead put his boot through Leno’s sternum, a game Taylor was also the ref in.

    I like this feisty Arsenal and good on Arteta to start working the refs now, so they too know that’s its a new day.

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  39. Top result, gritty response after a dodgy first half. Well played the manager. Please forgive me if this offends but to me it feels like the reincarnation of Arsene but in a more robustly energetic form.

    Liked by 1 person

  40. Totally agree Labo, we have given some the refs too easy a ride .
    I love the feistiness, not so much dark arts, but sick of seeing so much of these things used against us, most recently, Chelsea. Looks like the fight back has begun , that is until Dean gives us three reds in his next game to put Arteta back in his box and remind him he is no longer at City!

    Liked by 3 people

  41. Artetaball is certainly energetic, at least when they get going , what a contrast to Emery

    Liked by 2 people

  42. 1st half a stinker, 2nd half good. We’re through. Happy with that.

    Liked by 2 people

  43. And further good news, Danny Murphy was really pissed off by all accounts , I didn’t listen to any commentary

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  44. Also, have I entered a different dimension? Seen others get away with it and worse but have no recollection of one of ours doing as much as Xhaka did today and escaping a booking, and even got number of 50:50-ish freekicks in his favour of type which so often don’t go our way.
    Felt truly strange to see it. Is there a betting market on players not getting booked by way?

    Liked by 1 person

  45. What looked heck of a strong pen shout on Laca waved away though, so maybe we’re not quite in Fergie territory with em just yet.

    Liked by 1 person

  46. just a couple of things on 2 of our young players tonight

    our match winner nelson. i have to ask does he wear the wrong studs in his boots, as he falls over a hell of a lot of times when he goes to turn

    martinelli, really impressed me once again, a very direct player, and a battler, a little bit selfish but he brings so much more danger to our attacking play, its great to see

    Liked by 1 person

  47. Interesting, as mentioned in post above, to have it confirmed that commentators can listen to VAR feed.
    There’ve been hints about that before but don’t think I’ve ever heard them mention it directly.

    Curious thing is, they don’t talk like people who have vastly more insight into how VAR deliberations are made than the rest of us do!!

    Liked by 1 person

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