- Arsenal punished Leeds for sloppy defending as they ran out comfortable 4-1 winners on Saturday, December 18
- Martinelli bagged a brace as Bukayo Saka and Emile Smith Rowe also scored in the rout
- The win means Arsenal will be in the top four at Christmas
Gabriel Martinelli scored a brace as Arsenal swept past an injury-stricken Leeds United to solidfy their place in fourth on the Premier League table.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side was full of errors on Saturday, December 18 and Arsenal fully capitalized to storm to a comfortable 4-1 victory.
It only took 16 minutes for Arsenal to take the lead through Martinelli, and the in-form youngster doubled his side’s lead 12 minutes later.
Bukayo Saka then put the result beyond doubt at the stroke of halftime with a deflected effort as Leeds were made to pay for some sloppy defending at times.
Raphinha pulled one back from the penalty spot with 15 minutes to p;ay but the result was put beyond doubt late on by Emile Smith Rowe late on.
The win means Arsenal will be in the top four at Christmas in what has been an impressive change of fortune for Mikel Arteta’s men over the last 12 months.
The Gunners keep firing
In truth, Arsenal were helped a bit by some schoolboy defending from Leeds United from the start.
But credit also has to go to the front four of Saka, Martinelli, Odegaard and Lacazette, who seem to have integrated seamlessly in the absence of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was once again left out of the squad for a disciplinary breach.
Martinelli curled the ball into the top corner for the opener following a quick break form the Gunners, before chipping the keeper after a brilliant through ball after Arsenal won the ball in their own half.
Saka got in on the act, dancing around the penalty area before hitting a low shot which came off a Leeds player to wrong-foot the keeper.
Odegaard proved to be the engine of the attacks as he fed another cute ball to Emile-Smith Rowe and the Englishman made no mistake from a few yards out.
It proved to be a case of no Aubameyang, no problem once again as the Gunners attack was more than potent, managing an impressive 11 shots on target in the first half. No other side has managed such a start since Opta started keeping tabs in 2003-04.
Arsenal urged to sell Aubameyang
As far as the Aubameyang situation is concerned, Arsenal chiefs have been urged by their former player Emmanuel Frimpong to sell the embattled striker.
Frimpong believes the Gunners can cash in on Aubameyang for a good price which will also free up the hefty wage bill as the Gabon international is currently the club’s highest earner.