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[Ratings] Arsenal 1-0 Leeds: Pepe & Nelson do enough but Holding struggled

By on January 7, 2020

It was a classic game of two halves as Arsenal recovered from a poor start to edge past Leeds 1-0 in the third round of the FA Cup on Monday night.

It was a shocking first half from Arsenal as Leeds completely dominated and we were fortunate not to be at least 2-0 down as the visitors had 15 shots on goal by half-time without managing to break the deadlock.

However, we managed to keep them at bay and were a different side after the break with Reiss Nelson opening the scoring with a scruffy effort in the 55th minute following good work from Nicolas Pepe and Alexandre Lacazette.

Arsenal continued to control the rest of the second half without adding the killer second goal so we had to hold on to seal a 1-0 win and book a date at Bournemouth in the fourth round.

Here are my ratings:

Martinez  7/10 | Made a number of saves to keep us in it during the first half – including a great stop in the 33rd minute. Distribution wasn’t up to scratch but still a fine display.

Sokratis  6/10 | Played out of position at right-back and struggled early on but settled into the role after the break. Gave his all.

Luiz  6/10 | Struggled to contain a lively Leeds attack during the opening forty-five minutes but used his experience to help keep us in the game and see out the second half.

Holding  5/10 | Good to see him back but he was very rusty. His passing in particular was poor but it’s going to take him time to get back to his best.

Kolasinac  6/10 | Didn’t look fully fit to me as he wasn’t nearly as involved going forward as he usually is. Did a decent job regardless.

Nelson  7/10 | Worked hard and was keen to impress. Not everything went his way but opened the scoring with a scruffy finish. Nice to see him on the score-sheet. Subbed.

Guendouzi  6/10 | Woeful in the first half as he couldn’t cope with Leeds’ pressing but much better after the break as he snapped into tackles, pressed well and showed real desire.

Xhaka  5/10 | Completely over-run in the first half and was extremely fortunate not to see at least 2/3 bookings. No idea how he escaped a red card. Seems to struggle when he plays alongside Guendouzi as he clearly missed Torreira.

Ozil  6/10 | Anonymous in the first half as he was tightly marked but far more involved after the break when he showed a few good touches. Subbed.

Pepe  7/10 | Great work in the build-up to the opening goal and was probably our most dangerous player even if he wasn’t on top form.

Lacazette  6.5/10 | Set up Nelson for the opener and clipped the bar with a free-kick. Should probably have won a penalty too and worked hard but his struggles in front of goal continue.

Subs:

 Martinelli   7/10 | Showed great feet to almost make it 2-0 shortly after coming on. Positive impact.

 Willock   6/10 | On for Ozil in the last 15 minutes and worked hard to help see out the game.

 Saka   N/A | On too late.

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