Our Arsenal week 28 match review covers Arsenal’s first Premier League game after the March international break. The Gunners hosted Leeds United at the Emirates and won 4-1. Arsenal is still eight points clear of Manchester City at the top of the Premier League. Let’s dive deeper into this victory.
Arsenal Week 28 Match Review: The Positives
Ramsdale Made Some Key Saves
Despite being a dominant win overall, Arsenal did not start off the game particularly well. Ramsdale made some good saves in the first half, including one less than thirty seconds after kickoff. These saves kept the Gunners in the game in the first half until Arsenal scored its first goal. Overall, Ramsdale made four saves and was unlucky not to have a clean sheet in this game.
Arsenal Week 28 Match Review: The Defense Played Well
The Gunners’ defense held up well overall, despite the continued absence of William Saliba and despite no clean sheet. Rob Holding had another good game, winning many duels and doing his defensive duties well. Gabriel Magalhaes was very good once again, winning aerial and ground duels. Gabriel also made it difficult for Leeds attackers to get shots on goal, as well.
As usual, Zinchenko drifted all over the pitch but he did well defensively when necessary. Zinchenko helped Arsenal win the midfield battle. His contributions helped Arsenal enjoy 67% possession against Leeds United in this match. The deflection that led to the Leeds United goal was unlucky and it would be harsh to criticize him for that.
Ben White has been one of Arsenal’s most reliable players this time and he played well again. White helped hold off Leeds’ attack in the first half when the momentum was with the visitors. In addition to handling his defensive duties calmly and competently, Ben White also scored his second Arsenal goal in the early part of the second half.
Arsenal’s Midfield Excelled in the Second Half
Arsenal’s midfield struggled a bit in most of the first half, as did the team overall. However, the Gunners’ midfield played much better in the second half and helped Arsenal dominate the game after halftime. Partey helped Arsenal retain possession and protected the back four from Leeds United’s counterattacks.
Odegaard played well, too. He grew into the game in the second half. In addition to his usual trickery and hard work, Odegaard played a fantastic pass to Xhaka for Arsenal’s fourth goal. That assist means Odegaard has 18 goal contributions in the Premier League this season. Martin Odegaard also created several other chances, including one for Gabriel Jesus in the second half.
Granit Xhaka appears to be back to his pre-World Cup best. Xhaka worked hard and created a good chance for Gabriel Jesus in the first half. Additionally, Xhaka scored a great header for Arsenal’s fourth goal. Granit Xhaka now has 11 goal contributions in the Premier League this season.
The Gunners’ Attack Picked Up Steam After Jesus’s Penalty
Leeds United were better overall in terms of their attacking play prior to Gabriel Jesus scoring the penalty in the 35th minute. However, after that, the Gunners’ attack really picked up steam and started to create chances. Arsenal had 13 shots and six shots on goal against Leeds United in this game.
Leandro Trossard started in place of Bukayo Saka on the right flank of Arsenal’s attack. Trossard started off a bit slowly, but grew into the game as the match went on. The Belgian forward created several chances and got another assist via an intelligent cutback to Gabriel Jesus in the Leeds United box. Trossard continues to prove why he was worth the money Arsenal paid for him in January.
Gabriel Martinelli didn’t score in this match, but he looked dangerous going forward as usual. Martinelli got the assist for Ben White’s goal early in the second half. Gabriel Martinelli now has 16 goal contributions so far this season. He remains in very good form and it wouldn’t be a surprise to see him back on the scoresheet soon.
Gabriel Jesus was the standout player from Arsenal’s attack in this match. Jesus started a Premier League game for the first time since his injury and looked quite sharp. Jesus won the penalty with his craftiness and dispatched it calmly to open the scoring for Arsenal. Jesus also scored again in the second half to seal the win for Arsenal.
Gabriel Jesus was my Man of the Match against Leeds United, despite some other excellent performances.
Arsenal Week 28 Match Review: The Negatives
A Slow Start
As previously mentioned, Arsenal got off to a slow start in this match. This allowed Leeds United to seize the early momentum and nearly take the lead on several occasions. Thankfully, some good saves from Ramsdale prevented that. However, Arsenal will have to start off games better, especially with more than a few tough games remaining in the Premier League season.
Still No Clean Sheet
The Gunners have been one of the best defensive teams in the Premier League this season. However, they failed to keep a clean sheet against Leeds United in this game. Arsenal could have done better in preventing the Leeds United goal, despite the deflection. So far, this lack of clean sheets has not cost the Gunners many points in home Premier League games, but more clean sheets at the Emirates would be a welcome change.
Manager Rating: 9/10
Arteta set up the team well, despite the absence of William Saliba and Saka starting on the bench. Holding played well in Saliba’s absence once again. Meanwhile, Trossard started slowly but still had a good game in place of Saka on the right of Arsenal’s front three. The subs were all sensible, as well. Saka got some rest and was still able to contribute to Arsenal’s fourth goal after coming on. The lack of a clean sheet is not Arteta’s fault and he deserves a high rating for this match.
Arsenal Travel to Anfield Next
The Gunners travel to Anfield to play Liverpool next. Liverpool have been far from the title challengers they were last season, but I expect a tough game nonetheless. However, given Liverpool’s inconsistency and Arsenal’s excellence away from home this season, I would bet Arsenal get at least a draw in this challenging match.
Check back next week for more Arsenal content.