Arsenal cruise to comfortable win
Arsenal and Mikel Arteta cruised to their third victory in a week as they overcame an injury-ridden Leeds United by a 4-1 scoreline.
The Gunners, used to starting games slowly when away from home, put any nerves firmly to bed in the first half-hour thanks to a double from Gabriel Martinelli, while only several brilliant saves from Ilan Meslier in the Leeds United goal prevented the scoreline rising any further.
It’s the first time Gabriel Martinelli has scored two goals in a Premier League game… it won’t be the last 🎯 pic.twitter.com/W4vGoRetTY
— Metro Sport (@Metro_Sport) December 18, 2021
The pressure was unrelenting however, and Bukayo Saka added a third just before half-time.
The second half was far less hectic, but a poor challenge from Ben White allowed Raphinha to pull one back from the penalty spot, before Martin Odegaard found Emile Smith Rowe, who put the result beyond all doubt and kept Arsenal in the top four for Christmas and the New Year.
3 – In Gabriel Martinelli (20), Bukayo Saka (20) and Emile Smith Rowe (21), Arsenal have had three different players aged 21 or younger score for them in a single Premier League game for the very first time (excl. own goals). Talents. pic.twitter.com/PhXER40uTT
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) December 18, 2021
Why Arsenal requested the game to be paused in the first half
Despite the result, the game was soured somewhat by an event that happened in the first half.
While warming up in the first 45 minutes, Nicolas Pepe and Nuno Tavares were allegedly the subject of racist abuse from a member of the Leeds United crowd.
Police have arrested a Leeds fan in connection to the allegations of racist abuse
Rob Holding brought it to the officials’ attention in the first half. Understand Nuno Tavares and Nicolas Pepe were the players targeted when warming up
— Art de Roché (@ArtdeRoche) December 18, 2021
Rob Holding brought it to the attention of both the fourth official and the referee, who momentarily paused the game. The supporter has since been arrested and an investigation has been launched.
The Premier League is investigating alleged racist abuse aimed at the Arsenal bench from Leeds supporters during the first half of Saturday’s match at Elland Road.
— Sky Sports News (@SkySportsNews) December 18, 2021
Read more: 101greatgoals.com