Arsenal defeated Leeds United 1-0 at Elland Road due to Saka’s first-half winner.
The game was called off before either team could get into their stride. Due to electrical difficulties in the stadium, the officials’ communication and VAR equipment proved unworkable, and the game was delayed by more than 30 minutes, with both teams needing to warm up again before we could resume play.
Fortunately, it was just one stop, as a hard-fought skirmish began on the pitch. We had the most of the possession, but there were few clearcut chances for either side in the first half, with both defenses letting up very little in their respective halves.
Martin Odegaard’s key through pass into the box provided us with the opening we required. Bukayo Saka’s drive into the roof of the net from a tight angle past Olivier Meslier in the Leeds goal to give us the lead, which proved to be the winning goal.
You wouldn’t have realized it at the time, especially after seeing the second half…
It seems to have been leveled almost shortly after the break. However, Bamford was penalized for alleged contact on defender Gabriel in front of goal before regaining possession, and to be honest, I think we were really lucky to get away with that one.
Our opponents were subsequently awarded a penalty for handball, with William Saliba unfortunate not to withdraw his arm on the turn, but Patrick Bamford sliced his shot wide of the right-hand post.
They continued on to have another great half, consistently putting pressure on our side, and this time it was our defense that had to fight hard to keep our opponents at bay, in contrast to the first 45 minutes.
The game appeared to be turned on its head at the death, with the referee’s assistant awarding a penalty and Gabriel Magalhaes receiving a red card for allegedly kicking out at the Leeds striker, but after a long wait while the ref ignored the video evidence, he overturned both decisions in favor of a foul on our defender (and rightly so!).