A rampant first half performance from Arsenal was enough to sweep Leeds United aside, with Gabriel Martinelli and Martin Odegaard standing out.

Arsenal took full advantage of a shambolic defensive display by Leeds United to punish Marcelo Bielsa’s men at Elland Road. Three goals in the first half shook the foundations of the home side, who were unable to muster a reasonable response to make their case before the break.

A first-ever Premier League brace from Gabriel Martinelli and a goal by Bukayo Saka did justice to a rampant Arsenal performance in the opening half. The Gunners recorded the most shots on target ever in the first half by any team in Premier League history – such was the sloppiness of the Leeds backline.

In the second period, Arsenal eased off the gas peddle as they soaked in whatever pressure Leeds had to offer. It was more due to the Whites’ inability to control proceedings than anything, although Arsenal never looked like conceding until Ben White decided to make a rash challenge inside the box.

The referee awarded Leeds a penalty with the final quarter of the game left. Raphinha took his shot with aplomb to give the home side a glimmer of hope. That goal sprung Arsenal back to life as the away side went about attacking again and found joy when Martin Odegaard spotted substitute Emile Smith Rowe who finished the move in style to make it 4-1.

All four Arsenal goals were scored by players aged 21 or below, which is a testament to Mikel Arteta building a young side. As for Leeds, they have a huge mountain to climb to retain their Premier League status at the end of the season. Here’s how the players fared as Leeds United were thoroughly thrashed by Arsenal at Elland Road.

Leeds United

Illan Meslier: 4/10

Meslier helped Leeds keep the scoreline less embarrassing than what it actually was, making several saves in the first half. There was no chance for him to keep out any of the goals scored by Arsenal as the defence in front of him was shambolic.

Cody Drameh: 3/10

Drameh tried to give Gabriel Martinelli a tough time by matching his pace in the starting phases. But soon enough, the Brazilian exposed his inexperience by scoring two good goals in the first half, ensuring the right-back had a torrid time on the pitch.

Robin Koch: 3/10

Despite a decent second half performance, Koch had a difficult first period dealing with Martinelli, Martin Odegaard and particularly Alexandre Lacazette, who proved instrumental in the build-up to at least two goals.

Luke Ayling: 2/10

Ayling endured a terrible evening without finding any rhythm defending Arsenal’s relentless moves.

Stuart Dallas: 2/10

Dallas was ripped apart by Saka time and again in the first 45 minutes, as the youngster made the defender commit plenty of unforeseen errors. His blushes were spared courtesy of Illan Meslier’s brilliance in goal.

Adam Forshaw: 2.5/10

There is no question about his effort on the evening, but nothing went his way, as the Arsenal midfielders and attackers were all over him. Forshaw could never get to grips with the demands of this clash.

Mateusz Klich: 2/10

It was not the kind of performance expected from one of Leeds’s experienced stars. Klich displayed nothing in terms of tactical nous, meaning he was simply a passenger all game long.

Raphinha: 3/10

Leeds’s best outfield player by a margin, and his rating shows the team’s overall level of performance. Raphinha pulled one goal back from the penalty spot and could have levelled the score in the first period when Arsenal only had a one-goal lead.

Tyler Roberts: 2/10

Roberts was tasked with doing something meaningful and managed to get his team’s first shot on target in the 72nd minute. That itself speaks volumes of their ineffectiveness in the final third.

Jack Harrison: 2/10

Harrison endured a torrid 30 minutes on the pitch as Arsenal were at their rampant best. He sustained a knock after a challenge from Takehiro Tomiyasu and struggled before being replaced around the half-hour mark.

Joe Gelhardt: 3/10

Alongside Raphinha, Gelhardt was Leeds’s best bet to get anything out of this game. There is no doubting his hard work in the frontline, but Arsenal were comfortable in dealing with him, leaving Gelhardt isolated for most parts. Winning the penalty was his best possible contribution on the evening.


Crysencio Summerville: 3/10

Thrust in the side after Harrison’s injury, Summerville did fine for the time he was on the pitch until his own substitution in the second period.

Sam Greenwood: 2.5/10

Greenwood made his Premier League debut against his former side, and he too understood the difficulty in beating the Arsenal defence. However, this game will do him good for the experience gained.

Liam McCarron: N/A

Did not play enough to warrant a rating.


Aaron Ramsdale: 6/10

Ramsdale had nothing to do all evening until Leeds’s first shot on target around the 72nd minute. After that, he had a few tame efforts to save, but he could do nothing about Raphinha’s spot-kick, which robbed him of a third consecutive clean sheet.

Takehiro Tomiyasu: 7/10

Yet another effective performance from the full-back who continues to grow in his partnership with Bukayo Saka on the right. He was substituted in the second half in what seemed like a knock on his ankle.

Ben White: 6/10

Ben White was clumsy in conceding the penalty after being superb for the best parts of the evening. Gelhardt was moving away from goal, and the centre-back should have stood his ground rather than going for a sliding tackle, which he mistimed.

Gabriel Magalhaes: 6/10

Apart from dealing with the occasional threat of Raphinha, Gabriel barely had anything to do all evening.

Kieran Tierney: 7/10

Tierney kept Drameh on his toes as the left-back threatened with his forward runs. He mustered one good shot in the first period, which was well saved by Meslier.

Thomas Partey: 7.5/10

A quietly effective display from the Ghanaian midfielder, who also had two good shots on target. Partey kept things simple in midfield by asserting control, winning balls and recycling possession forwards.

Granit Xhaka: 8/10

Barring one moment of madness in the second period, Xhaka was back to his very best. He was composed with the ball at his feet and created a few good chances, with one of them resulting in Martinelli’s second goal. Then again, he was lucky to avoid a possible red card for a stamp on Raphinha.

Bukayo Saka: 8/10

Saka tormented Dallas enough for the defender to have nightmares, as the Arsenal youngster proved his mettle again. He got a good goal as a reward for his efforts, and his overall display caught the eye again.

Martin Odegaard: 8.5/10

Odegaard put in a sublime performance being the main creative force in the attack. He caused chaos within the Leeds defensive third in the early parts of the game, creating two great chances, before finally getting an assist in the end as Smith Rowe finished the expertly-delivered ball inside the box.

Gabriel Martinelli: 9/10

On top of his game, Martinelli is proving to be indispensable on current form. He got his first Premier League brace courtesy of two top-notch finishes. The second one, in particular, was taken rather smartly as Meslier was rushing forward to stop him. The Brazilian was also a creative force, setting up more than five chances for teammates.

Alexandre Lacazette: 8/10

Adding goals to his game will probably make him one of the in-form forwards in the Premier League. Despite missing at least two big chances against Meslier, Lacazette was superb in supporting his teammates, putting in his usual battling performance. He had a direct hand in at least two goals.


Cedric Soares: 5/10

Cedric came on for Tomiyasu and slotted ineffectively without making any notable contribution in the final third.

Emile Smith Rowe: 7/10

Since making his return, Smith Rowe might be behind Martinelli, but the youngster is making the best of his time off the bench. Goals in a third consecutive game will boost his confidence further, and the strike was also his third in as many games.

Nuno Tavares: N/A

Tavarez came on late to add some energy in the attack, but did nothing to get a rating.

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