Arsenal won their first game since January 26th by beating Leeds United 4-2 and the day was capped off as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a hat-trick. Aubameyang much like Arsenal this season has underperformed so it was a nice symmetry to proceedings and the Gunners will now have one eye on a European finish after their 10th win of the season.
Aubameyang scored the opening goal of the game with just 13 minutes played as he used quick feet on the edge of the area to shoot into goal and that set the game up for the Gunners. Five minutes before half time and it was 2-0 to Arsenal as Illan Meslier was adjudged to have fouled Bukayo Saka. Whilst it did look like a penalty on repeated views the keeper made next to no contact. Aubameyang made no mistakes in slotting home.
It looked like Arsenal would head into half time with a 2 goal lead but Hector Bellerin an unlikely player to score made it 3. The player burst through and from an acute angle tried his luck and it went in. Leeds also had their chances but Marcelo Bielsa’s side found themselves 3-0 down and this game looked over.
If the match wasn’t finished by the end of the first half it certainly was two minutes into the second half as Aubameyang again scored to complete his hat-trick. He headed in from an unmarked position and to be fair this was a simple goal for the forward, and now it was 4-0.
However this is Leeds, and the way the club play means that they can always get score goals. Perhaps Arsenal could be accused of taking their foot off the gas a little but Leeds started to enjoy more of the ball and chances soon after and pulled a goal back through Pascal Struijk. Raphinha had assisted from the corner and Struijk rose high above the Arsenal defence to put in.
On the 69th minute Leeds scored another through a smart move finished off by Helder Costa now it was 4-2 and there was a small chance perhaps that Leeds were going to stage a dramatic comeback.
However it wasn’t to be and to their credit Arsenal defended well and held on. It was a mature performance from Arsenal who showed their attacking abilities in the first half and apart from a few errors were then able to shore up defence. We have seen in the past from Mikel Arteta’s side how they have failed to keep a lead so this was an important result for the Gunners.
Arsenal leap frogged Leeds with this win and have 34 points. They are only six points adrift of a possible European place and 2 points behind their arch rivals Tottenham albeit that Jose Mourinho’s team has an extra game to play.
As for Leeds they slipped down to 11th but the club will be more than safe this season and have 32 points.
Arsenal will play league leaders Manchester City next weekend at home and that is sure to be quite a spectacle whilst Leeds are away to Wolves and Wolves would overtake Bielsa’s side with victory.
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