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Arsenal ratings: Martinelli and Odegaard star amid Nketiah renaissance

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rsenal moved four points clear of Tottenham in the race for Champions League football by beating Leeds.

The Gunners, who will face Spurs in a crucial north London derby on Thursday evening, went into Sunday’s game at the Emirates Stadium with a big opportunity after Antonio Conte’s side drew at Liverpool last night.

That result meant Arsenal could extend their lead in fourth place and they duly did by running out 2-1 winners.

Eddie Nketiah scored twice inside the opening 10 minutes and, when Luke Ayling was sent off around the half-hour mark, you thought Arsenal could run riot.

Leeds, however, managed to hold out and Diego Llorente scored in the 66th minute to set up a nervy finish.

Simon Collings was at Emirates Stadium to see Arsenal in action…

Aaron Ramsdale 6

Literally didn’t have a single save to make in the first half as Leeds didn’t have a shot on target. Couldn’t do much about the goal as Llorente scored unmarked at the back post.

Cedric Soares 6

Back in the side after Nuno was dropped to the bench and had an okay game. Full of running and combined well with Bukayo Saka at times.

Rob Holding 7

Handed another start in the absence of the injured Ben White and did well again. Had a fairly comfortable afternoon, with Leeds lacking a focal point in attack.

Gabriel 6

Not quite as commanding as Holding next to him, but did fine. Had plenty of time to play out from the back once Leeds went down to 10 men.

Takehiro Tomiyasu 8

Asked to play at left-back and had a very good game. Kept Raphinha quiet and got forward when he could, linking up well with Martinelli.

Martin Odegaard 8

Had a quiet game at West Ham last week, but he was excellent here today. Pulled the strings all afternoon and opened Leeds up with some lovely passes.

Mohamed Elneny 7

The Egyptian has become a regular in the side recently and you can see why. He just kept things nice and tidy in midfield, winning possession back and laying off simple passes.

Granit Xhaka 7

A solid game from the Swiss midfielder. Involved in a lot of Arsenal’s good build-up play. Only moment of concern was when he and Dan James squared up to each other.

Bukayo Saka 7

Got plenty of joy out right and looked a real threat all afternoon. His play deserved a goal or an assist. Leeds left-back Junior Firpo will be glad to see the back of him.

Eddie Nketiah 8

Another two goals from the striker, who is in fine form at the moment. Worked hard for his first goal, but the second was a nice finish with his wrong foot.

Gabriel Martinelli 8 | Star man

Caused Leeds so many problems down the left flank, particularly in the first half. Skipped past Ayling countless times until he scythed him down with a red-card tackle.

Substitutions

Nicolas Pepe (Saka 68’) 5

Given a rare chance to make his mark but had a quiet cameo off the bench.

Emile Smith Rowe (Martinelli 78’) N/A

Alexandre Lacazette (Nketiah 90’) N/A

Subs not used: Leno, Tavares, Sambi Lokonga, Oulad M’hand, Swanson, Patino.

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