Arsenal 4 (Aubameyang 13’, 40’ pen, 47’, Bellerin 45’)
Leeds United 2 (Struijk 58’, Helder Costa 68’)
Arsenal XI: Leno, Bellerin, Gabriel, Saka, Ceballos (Holding 89’) Odegaard (Elneny 78’), Aubameyang (c), Soares, Luiz, Smith Rowe (Willian 63’), Xhaka. Subs not used: Ryan, Chambers, Pablo Mari, Pepe, Martinelli, Lacazette.
Leeds XI: Illan Meslier, Luke Ayling, Liam Cooper, Pascal Struijk, Gjanni Alioski (Niall Huggins 53’), Jamie Shackleton, Stuart Dallas, Mateusz Klich (Tyler Roberts 45’), Jack Harrison (Helder Costa 45’), Raphinha, Patrick Bamford. Subs not used: Kiko Casilla, Pablo Hernandez, Leif Davis, Joe Gelhardt, Charlie Cresswell, Jack Jenkins.
Despite a spirited second half fight back, the Whites were defeated in North London by Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal side.
Marcelo Bielsa made just one change to the starting line-up for the Premier League fixture against Arsenal at the Emirates Stadium.
Jamie Shackleton came into the team to replace the injured Kalvin Phillips, who has a small problem following our win over Crystal Palace on Monday evening.
The first effort on target in the match arrived in the 12th minute. Jack Harrison did well down the wing and whipped in a cross, which Patrick Bamford managed to head towards goal. Bernd Leno was well positioned and saved comfortably.
Just a minute later, the hosts went into the lead. Aubameyang cut in from the left and following a quick step-over, he hit a low effort into the back of the net, which Meslier could only get fingertips on.
A swift counter attack in 25th minute was began by Jamie Shackleton. He chipped the ball forward to Raphinha who broke forward into the box and found Harrison. The winger controlled and powered an effort on goal, which Leno saved well and cleared.
In what was turning into an attack-minded first half, David Luiz ran out of the Arsenal defence and into Leeds’ penalty area. The defender pulled the ball back. For Aubameyang to finish but the dive of Luke Ayling prevented a second for the hosts.
10 minutes from half-time Arsenal were awarded a penalty, as the referee adjudged Liam Cooper to have brought down Bukayo Saka. But, following advice for Stuart Attwell to check the screen, he overturned the decision.
Just a couple of minutes later though Saka won his side another penalty and this one wasn’t overturned. Aubameyang stepped up and converted from the spot to double the scoreline.
More good work from Saka and Aubameyang led to Hector Bellerin finding space in the area. The full-back smashed the ball in at the near post and put Arsenal three goals ahead at half-time.
HALF TIME: Arsenal 3-0 Leeds United
Bielsa went to his bench at the break, introducing Helder Costa and Tyler Roberts in place of Jack Harrison and Mateusz Klich in an effort to get back into the match.
However, it was the Gunners who extended their lead inside two minutes of the restart. Emile Smith Rowe dribbled into the area and chipped it across the six-yard box, where Aubameyang was there to head home and complete his hat-trick.
Niall Huggins was the next to be introduced from the bench, making his Leeds United debut in place of Gjanni Alioski.
When Raphinha’s powerful effort was tipped behind, the Brazilian swung in the resulting corner and Pascal Struijk was there to power home a header, reducing the scoreline to 4-1.
The Whites were throwing everything forward as they looked to continue the fightback. Raphinha slipped in Tyler Roberts who linked up with fellow substitute Helder Costa, who smartly finished inside the box with his right foot to make it 4-2.
With 15 minutes remaining, Patrick Bamford burst into the box and saw his appeals for a penalty turned down. Straight up the other end, Aubamayeng curled an effort onto the woodwork, from inside the area.
Despite late chances at both ends of the pitch, there were no further goals, meaning the Gunners ran out winners and moved above the Whites in the Premier League table.
FULL TIME: Arsenal 4-2 Leeds United
Referee: Stuart Attwell
Booked: Struijk, Dallas (Leeds)
Venue: Emirates Stadium