Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang scored a hat trick as Arsenal ended a run of three Premier League games without a win with an entertaining 4-2 victory over Leeds.
The hosts started well and took the lead inside 13 minutes when Aubameyang dribbled into the box before striking the ball back across goal and past Illan Meslier.
Just after the half hour mark, Bukayo Saka went down under the challenge of Liam Cooper in the box. Referee Stuart Attwell initially awarded a penalty, only to overturn his decision after a VAR check. Minutes later, Saka would win a spot kick, with Meslier fouling him after dwelling on the ball. Aubameyang made no mistake from the spot to grab his and Arsenal’s second goal.
Just before the break, the Gunners showed great close control in the box with Hector Bellerin eventually smashing home Dani Ceballos’ cute pass to make it 3-0. The Arsenal procession continued after half time as well, with Aubameyang completing his first Premier League hat trick in the 47th minute, nodding home Emile Smith Rowe’s mishit shot at the back post.
Just before the hour mark, Leeds pulled one back with Pascal Struijk rising highest to nod home from a corner. Soon after, they grabbed a second when substitutes Tyler Roberts and Helder Costa combined to devastating effect. That fuelled hopes of a glorious Whites comeback, but it was not to be, with Arsenal managing the game professionally to see out the victory.
Here are your Gunners and Leeds player ratings from north London…
Bernd Leno (GK) – 6/10 – Little he could have done for the goals. Distribution might have been better.
Hector Bellerin (RB) – 7/10 – Showed great composure to smash home Arsenal’s third. Poor defending allowed Roberts to set up Leeds’ second.
David Luiz (CB) – 7/10 – Guilty of surrendering possession too easily with some loose long passing. Did well defensively.
Gabriel (CB) – 7/10 – Read things pretty well and stemmed the tide effectively after Leeds’ second half rally.
Cedric Soares (LB) -7/10 – Engaged in an intense duel with Raphinha. He managed to keep the winger quieter than other full-backs have in recent weeks.
Granit Xhaka (CM) – 7/10 – Assisted the opener with a precise pass. Also spread the play pretty well.
Dani Ceballos (CM) – 7/10 – Set up Bellerin with the pass of the game. Linked up with the front four beautifully at times.
Martin Odegaard (AM) – 7/10 – Involved in a decent amount of Arsenal’s promising attacks.
Bukayo Saka (RW) – 9/10 – A constant menace. His close control inside the Leeds box was a joy to behold and he was heavily involved in the build up to his side’s second and third goals.
Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang (ST) – 9/10 – Toasted his return to the starting XI with a brace. Needs to keep this up to help the Gunners get their season back on track.
Emile Smith Rowe (LW) – 8/10 – An important cog in the relentless Arsenal machine going forward. He picked up some dangerous positions and also threatened with runs in behind.
Willian – 6/10 – Nowhere near as dangerous as Smith Rowe.
Mohamed Elneny – 6/10 – Added some solidity in midfield and helped the Gunners see the result out.
Rob Holding – N/A
Illan Meslier (GK) – 3/10 – Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear. Culpable in all three goals, with his brainless bringing down of Saka a particular lowlight.
Jamie Shackleton (RB) – 6/10 – Given his first start in some time and it showed, as he struggled to deal with Smith Rowe’s clever movement. Improved after moving into midfield.
Luke Ayling (CB) – 5/10 – Made one important block in the first half, but his positioning left a lot to be desired.
Liam Cooper (CB) – 5/10 – Very ropey. Somewhat fortunate that VAR overturned his penalty decision.
Ezgjan Alioski (LB) – 5/10 – Wasteful in possession and only won half of his ground duels. Dragged off just after half time to facilitate Leeds’ change in style.
Pascal Struijk (DM) – 6/10 – His header was textbook. He struggled to fill the void left by Kalvin Phillips though, not possessing anywhere near the same passing range.
Raphinha (RM) – 7/10 – He continued his fine recent form with a good performance. He was a potent creative force, registering three key passes.
Stuart Dallas (CM) – 5/10 – Worked hard but Arsenal played around him fairly easily.
Mateusz Klich (CM) – 5/10 – Not his finest hour. He was chasing shadows before being withdrawn on the hour mark.
Jack Harrison (LM) – 5/10 – Squandered a fairly good opportunity early on which could have changed the course of things. Taken off at the break.
Patrick Bamford (ST) – 6/10 – Starved of service for much of the game. Did spring to life in the second half when his side perked up.
Helder Costa – 6/10 – Gifted Arsenal a fourth goal within seconds of coming on at half time. Made up for that with a decent finish.
Tyler Roberts – 7/10 – Assisted Costa for Leeds’ second, darting in behind and pulling the ball back accurately.
Niall Huggins – 6/10 – Filled in solidly at right-back and also threatened going forward at times.