Saturday, November 27, 2021

Arsenal 2-0 Leeds United: Chambers and Nketiah put Gunners into EFL Cup quarter-finals

SoccerNews in General Soccer News 26 Oct 2021

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Arsenal booked their place in the EFL Cup quarter-finals after a 2-0 win over Leeds United thanks to goals from Calum Chambers and Eddie Nketiah.

Chambers headed Arsenal in front 10 minutes into the second half just moments after he had come on to the pitch as a substitute.

Nketiah scored Arsenal’s second 14 minutes later when he capitalised on a weak ball back to Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier.

Leeds, who had chances of their own in the first half, were unable to find a response as Mikel Arteta’s side saw out the game without further alarm.

Arsenal showed the early intent with Nketiah’s shot going just wide while Sead Kolasinac struck the side netting with a low angled attempt.

Leeds weathered the spell of pressure and then had two chances of their own before the half hour; Daniel James tamely shot at Bernd Leno when sent clear before the German produced a superb diving save to keep out Jack Harrison’s rasping half-volley.

Leno was the busier of the two goalkeepers in the remainder of the half as he saved a low deflected shot from James, and was relieved to see a Tyler Roberts shot fly wide.

Arsenal were dealt a blow shortly after the interval when Ben White limped off injured, but they soon had reason to celebrate when his replacement Chambers scored with his first touch.

A corner from Smith Rowe was nodded back across by Nicolas Pepe to Chambers who saw his header blocked by Meslier but goal-line technology deemed the ball had crossed the line.

Nketiah added a second with just over 20 minutes left when he latched on to a backward header from Liam Cooper, nudged the ball over the outrushing Meslier before he shinned it into the empty net.

The goal stifled any hope of a Leeds comeback as Arteta’s men saw out the remainder of the game and secured their spot in the last eight.

What does it mean? Gunners make it through

Having been eliminated by Premier League sides at home in three of their last five EFL Cup campaigns, Arsenal could be forgiven for suffering from a few nerves.

But in a first meeting with Leeds in the competition since September 1979, the two-time winners progressed to the last eight with a clinical Emirates performance, leaving Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa winless in all four of his meetings with Arsenal in all competitions (drawn one, lost three).

Nketiah shines again

Nketiah has scored seven goals in eight appearances in the EFL Cup – including two while on loan at Leeds in 2019-20 – as he found the net again in a competition clearly to his liking. He has yet to make a Premier League appearance this season but will be knocking on the door.

Costly from Cooper

The Leeds centre-back came off the bench just before the hour as a replacement for Diego Llorente but his most telling contribution was a defensive blunder as his weak header was punished by the predatory Nketiah.

What’s next?

Both teams are back in Premier League action at the weekend with Arsenal heading to Leicester City on Saturday while Leeds are away to Norwich City on Sunday.

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