Arsenal responded to Manchester City’ 4-1 thrashing of Liverpool with an emphatic home win over Leeds United. It was a case of ‘anything you can do, we can do better’ as the Gunners also won 4-1. The result means that Arsenal have now restored their eight-point lead atop the Premier League table.
Arsenal elected to leave Saka on the bench
Bukayo Saka had to be content with a place on the bench as the English winger suffered a pre-game illness. The hosts looked sloppy at times, clearly missing the forward, and it was the visitors who looked sharper. However, as has been the case for Leeds all season, they couldn’t force any huge chances.
Arsenal took the lead through Gabriel Jesus’ penalty in the 35th minute after the Brazilian was brought down in the box by Luke Ayling. This was also his first league goal since his return from a long injury layoff.
Just two minutes after the restart it was 2-0 to the hosts as Ben White smashed home from close range. Leeds’ defense capitulated, allowing Gabriel Martinelli’s low cross into the box to find the defender.
Mikel Arteta’s side looked rejuvenated after the break with the visitors struggling to keep up with the notable shift in tempo.
Jesus nets a brace
A two-goal lead soon became three in the 55th minute when Jesus scored his second of day. The former Palmeiras prodigy showed his strength by holding the ball up, and then finishing from Leandro Trossard’s cross.
Leeds boss Javi Gracia made several changes midway into the second half and was rewarded in the 76th minute. His side were able to pull a solitary goal back when Rasmus Kristensen’s deflected effort flew in.
However, this turned out to be nothing more than a mere consolation as Granit Xhaka made it 4-1 with just six minutes left.
The Swiss midfielder headed past Illan Meslier following Martin Odegaard’s finely timed chipped pass into the box.
Arteta’s side have now won their last five league games and look to be in the driving seat for the Premier League title with nine games left to play. Arsenal will be looking to keep ahead of City before they clash at the Etihad Stadium on April 26th.
Photo Credit: IMAGO / Paul Marriott
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