Mikel Arteta got the second win of his managerial career yesterday after Arsenal narrowly edged past Championship leaders Leeds United in Monday’s FA Cup match. The scoreline is not a proper reflection of the match though as Leeds United were completely dominant in the first half and were presented with several opportunities to score but fluffed their efforts in front of goal.
Arsenal came out roaring in the second half of the match as expected of a Premier League team and showed Leeds why they deservedly play in what’s arguably the toughest league in the world. Reiss Nelson was the hero of the game with a scrambled shot that left the keeper wrong-footed and glued to a spot as he helplessly watched the ball fly into the back of the net.
Arsenal keeper Emiliano Martinez said the manager was “really angry” at half time.
“The manager shouted a lot. He was not happy because we knew they’d play like this and we didn’t respect what he had said” Alexandre Lacazette told BBC Sport.
“Now I’m really pleased but we saw two different teams – one in the first 30 minutes, and another after that,” said Arteta.
“I tried to tell them exactly what they were going to face and after 32 minutes we had won one duel, I think. We changed our attitude, desire and organisation at half-time and then we were completely different.
“Sometimes they have to experience themselves how tough and how hard it is going to be. I watched a lot of Leeds games and they battered every team every three days. It was good for my players to learn and to suffer on the pitch.”
Leeds’ boss Marcelo Bielsa was disappointed his team couldn’t take advantage of a favourable first half nevertheless he was impressed by the team’s overall performance. They currently lead in the Championship and are poised to play in the Premier League next season.
Arsenal will next face Bournemouth in next round of the FA Cup.