Arsenal reach Carabao Cup quarter-finals thanks to unlikely heroes as Bernd Leno shows ready to fight
| Latest News Headlines | Local News
Between the two teams they made 13 changes to their respective starting XI and that meant we had unlikely heroes at Emirates Stadium.
Calum Chambers and Eddie Nketiah ultimately made headlines scoring goals in a 2-0 win on a night that didn’t live up to the Friday night fireworks display when Arsenal took beat Aston Villa.
It wasn’t surprising though, given that Mikel Arteta made nine changes to the squad that broke Villa 3-1.
Only Ben White and Emile Smith Rowe retained their places and as a result the Gunners played like a group of players strapped for minutes and chemistry.
This led to a rambling first half which actually saw Leeds create the best chances, with Bernd Leno making good saves to deny Dan James and Jack Harrison.
As the game progressed Arsenal started to find some rhythm, but I always felt like it would be a tie decided by the substitutes bench. In the end, it was, but not by probable heroes like Alexandre Lacazette or Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
Instead, it was Chambers who came off the bench to score with his first touch. The defender was hired in the 55th minute due to an injury to Ben White, which affected Arteta, and he scored moments later from a corner. Chambers returned home and was mobbed from the bench after giving Arsenal the lead.
The game was still in play, but Arsenal were offered a second goal with 21 minutes remaining. Liam Cooper attempted to return the ball to his goalie, but it looped in the air and Nketiah was able to fly to score.
Another unlikely hero on a night Arsenal got the job done, even though they weren’t at their best.
Maitland-Niles impresses in midfield
There weren’t many notable performers in this win over Leeds, but Ainsley Maitland-Niles caught the eye.
The 24-year-old has long wanted to play a central midfielder for Arsenal and he hasn’t hurt his prospects here.
Maitland-Niles interrupted play well, easily protecting all four full-backs and was also effective in possession.
Last season Mohamed Elneny was ahead of Maitland-Niles in the pecking order, so much so that he was loaned to West Brom in January, but that is surely not the case now.
Maitland-Niles deserves more minutes in the future.
Leno reminds Ramsdale that he’s waiting backstage
Aaron Ramsdale has established himself as Arsenal’s No.1, but it was a reminder from Leno that he is ready to step in when needed.
The German put in a strong performance against Leeds, especially in the first half when he made a few good saves and quickly left his line.
Leno is going to find limited chances given Arsenal’s lack of European football, so it is essential that he takes them when they present themselves.
This match was a perfect opportunity to impress and the German did it, reminding us all of the importance of having two better goalkeepers fighting for the No.1 shirt. Leno seeks the fight.
Today Headlines Today Headlines Arsenal reach Carabao Cup quarter-finals thanks to unlikely heroes as Bernd Leno shows ready to fight