Arsenal 2-1 Leeds United: Nketiah scores twice against his former team

Arsenal’s Eddie Nketiah scored twice as the hosts defeated Leeds United, who played the whole of the game with 10 men.

This win puts Arsenal in contention for a top-four finish in the Premier League.

Nketiah seemed to have all but sealed the game when he scored twice in the first 10 minutes. To make things worse for Leeds, Luke Ayling was sent out before the half-hour mark. Diego Llorente added a late consolation goal.

Everton’s win against Leicester sent Leeds into the bottom three at the worst possible moment of the season, with Chelsea up next on Wednesday night.

Arsenal, whose manager Mikel Arteta signed a new three-year contract on Friday, now know that a win at Tottenham’s home on Thursday would secure the club’s first season in the Champions League in five years.

Eddie Nketiah

Nketiah took advantage of a weak touch from Illan Meslier to close down the goalie and force the ball home early in the game.

Nketiah increased the lead with a well-taken finish from 12 yards, turning home Gabriel Martinelli’s low cross after standing entirely clear inside the Leeds box.

Bukayo Saka, who was enjoying his game, pulled up a wonderful flick from Martin Odegaard but fired straight at Meslier.

Leeds’ woes worsened when Ayling was sent off for a two-footed lunge on Martinelli after referee Chris Kavanagh was asked by VAR to examine the judgment on the pitchside monitor.

Arsenal attempted to capitalize on their numerical advantage, with Odegaard forcing Meslier into a superb save from a free-kick before Llorente hooked the loose ball off his own goal line.

Leeds walked off after failing to record a shot on goal in the first 45 minutes, but Arsenal looked to let off the throttle when the game began.

Meslier was mostly untouched in the opening minutes, and Leeds struck first, with Llorente popping up at the back post to turn home Junior Firpo’s flick-on from a corner.

The hosts worked hard to put the game to bed with a third goal, with Arteta bringing on Nicolas Pepe and Emile Smith Rowe off the bench to help.

Leeds, on the other hand, retained a danger, with Meslier advancing for a late corner as tensions rose around the Emirates.

He was back in the Arsenal box for a last-gasp free-kick, which saw Rodrigo’s flick saved by Aaron Ramsdale, and the final whistle brought a collective sigh of relief from the majority of those inside the Emirates.

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