In what was a controversial showdown at Elland Road on Sunday afternoon, Arsenal managed to snatch a hard-fought 1-0 victory away at Leeds.
Opening this weekend’s fixtures holding a one-point buffer at the top of the Premier League table, the high-flying Gunners only extended on what has been a remarkable start to the 2022/23 campaign.
With England international Bukayo Saka eventually bagging the winner 10 minutes before the half-time interval, Arsenal find the mood in their camp at a red-hot high.
Piling more pressure onto a Leeds side that have come crashing back down to earth after their eye-catching start to the new season, the Whites will be feeling that they deserved to leave Elland Road with something to show for their efforts.
With Patrick Bamford missing a second-half penalty, we have taken a look at the main talking points following Sunday’s meeting in Yorkshire.
Can Arsenal really make history this season?
Watching on as Liverpool claimed a thrilling 1-0 victory against defending champions Manchester City later in the day, some in Arsenal’s camp might be starting to believe that they can spring a major upset this season.
While the Gunners might have eventually missed out on clinching a top-four return back in May, Mikel Arteta’s side have opened the new campaign in the midst of a remarkable purple patch.
Although Arsenal might have suffered a 3-1 loss away at Manchester United back on September 4th, Arteta’s youngsters have managed to prove that was just a minor blip.
Laying down a real marker last weekend as they clinched a thrilling 3-2 victory at home against Liverpool, Sunday’s guests have now won nine of their opening 10 Premier League appearances this time around.
While the Gunners might not have been at their scintillating best here, there is no doubt that Arteta would have been proud of the rugged display that his side put in at Elland Road.
Heading into the midweek fixtures now holding a four-point buffer over the chasing pack, could Arsenal really stun world football this season?
Leeds must take positives away from a gritty performance
Opening the 2022/23 campaign with a 2-1 victory at home against Wolves on August 8th, Leeds had gained plenty of plaudits from across the Premier League.
With their stellar start underlined by a thumping 3-0 romp against Chelsea, Jesse Marsch’s men firmly had their sights set on avoiding another relegation scrap this time around.
Only just clinging to their top-flight status back in May, the Yorkshire-based outfit have largely come crashing back down to earth after their eye-catching start.
However, while Sunday’s 1-0 loss against the title outsiders might mean that they’re in the midst of a six-match Premier League winless run, the former RB Leipzig boss must take away the positives from Sunday’s showdown at Elland Road.
Asking Arsenal a string of questions and watching Bamford fire his second-half penalty wide, Marsch’s side created a host of golden chances here.
Glad to have welcomed back 23-year-old Luis Sinisterra back from a one-match suspension, Leeds now face a must-win contest in midweek when they make the trip to Leicester.
Saka’s firing on all cylinders
Although Saka might have opened the new campaign with just a single Premier League goal from any of his opening eight Premier League appearances, the England international is now enjoying a hugely impressive run of form.
Appearing to have hit the ground running since returning from September’s international break, Arsenal’s homegrown superstar was once again Arteta’s standout performer here.
Opening the scoring 10 minutes before the half-time interval and eventually leaving Elland Road with the winner, Saka has now bagged four goals in his three matchups across all formats over the past week.
Bagging a brace against Liverpool on October 9th as they claimed that action-packed 3-2 victory, the 21-year-old has also notched four assists in as many appearances.
With it looking like Saka is close to agreeing on a bumper new deal at the Emirates, Gareth Southgate will also be excited by the youngster’s recent purple patch.
Expected to play a part in England’s World Cup campaign out in Qatar next month, Saka underlined his class once again on Sunday afternoon.
Leeds: Meslier, Nissen, Koch, Cooper, Struijk, Adams, Roca, Aaronson, Harrison, Sinisterra, Rodrigo
Subs: Bamford, Summerville, Klich, Gelhardt
Arsenal: Ramsdale, White, Saliba, Gabriel, Tomiyasu, Xhaka, Party, Saka, Odegaard, Martinelli, Jesus
Subs: Tierney, Nketiah, Holding, Vieira
Goals: Saka (35′)
Yellow Cards: Saliba, Gabriel
Red Cards: N/A
Referee: Chris Kavanagh
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