On Friday, many weathermen predicted grey skies over North London with thunder and lightning in the form of Leeds United. But after a few dark clouds early on, mostly swept aside by a great performance by Aaron Ramsdale, Arsenal made sure there were red skies at night over North London.
Leeds provided an early high pressure zone in the Arsenal defense, forcing mental health guru Benjamin White into several no-nonsense clearances and Aaron Ramsdale into some big saves. Arsenal, weathered the early storm and Gabriel Jesus earned a penalty under a bit of a dark cloud. Jesus dispatched the penalty, however, and almost immediately the grey skies cleared.
The crowd was also late to the match, eventually waking up after Jesus’s opening goal and signing throughout. A few seconds after Jesus’ goal, Martinelli nearly got the second: Meslier made a Mes of a clearance and Martinelli took a one-touch shot on goal but Luke Ayling was there to clear off the line. That would be that for the first half.
In the second, the Leeds defensive front wouldn’t last long though as Benjamin White scored Arsenal’s second goal after a sweeping move from Gabriel Martinelli. Martinelli powered past Ayling (again!) to get to the end line and put in a cross to the far post. White rushed in and powered home the shot. Only his second ever Arsenal goal, the players rained down slaps and kicks on him as they celebrated together.
Jesus got the third Arsenal goal but it came after a bit of a switch. Trossard struggled to get anything going on the right for most of the match but whenever he moved more centrally, he was able to collect and create with teammates. For the goal Rob Holding carried the ball all the way to the edge of the Leeds final third (their pressure had evaporated) and passed to Jesus, who had dropped deeper and was on the right side. Jesus passed to Trossard who jinked and juked like ball lightning and then picked out the perfect cross to Jesus who scored his 7th goal for Arsenal this season.
There were a few minutes of worry in the second half. Kristensen scored a deflected goal off Zinchenko which caused Arsenal supporters to tighten up all over the world. The memories of Hurricane Newcastle and the 4-4 draw will last a long time but this Arsenal side seem to have a bit more grit and wisdom than that Wenger side. While Leeds thought the goal heralded a new dawn, Granit Xhaka showed them it was a sunset as he nodded home an Arsenal 4th from a delicious cross by Martin Ødegaard. It was Granit’s 5th goal this season and Arsenal now have 5 players with 5 or more goals in the Premier League, 5 players with five or more assists this season, three players with 10 or more goals, 14 different goal scorers, and 15 players with an assist this season. Arsenal are the most team oriented team in the League.