Bernd Leno was the lone bright spot as ten-man Arsenal played out a goalless draw against Leeds United at the Elland Road on Sunday.
It was another bad day at the office for Arsenal, who once again failed to find the back of the net in a goalless draw with Leeds United at Elland Road on Sunday.
The Gunners, however, will be happier of the two teams with the result as they were barely in the game. They lacked any kind of penetration or inspiration going forward, mustering a total of just two shots on target throughout the entirety of the match.
Leeds United, in contrast, were solid in defence but were perhaps helped by Arsenal’s futility going forward. The Whites, however, were far too wasteful in front of goal, failing to find the back of the net despite attempting a whopping 25 shots on goal.
If we consider the fact that Arsenal were a man down early in the second half, following Nicolas Pepe’s red card, it is fair to point out that the hosts could have easily sealed all three points. But a series of poor finishing, combined with an inspirational performance from goalkeeper Bernd Leno meant that they only had to settle for a point at the end.
Here, at The Hard Tackle, we will run the rule over the Arsenal players in their disappointing display against Leeds United.
Bernd Leno: 8/10
Bernd Leno was by far the best performer for Arsenal in this fixture as Leeds United could have easily inflicted a humiliating defeat had it not been for his marvellous saves throughout the course of the game. In fact, the German international made a total of four world-class saves to keep his team in the contest and preserving a deserved clean sheet.
Hector Bellerin: 7/10
Hector Bellerin had a nightmare dealing with Jack Harrison on the right flank as the Leeds United winger caused a lot of trouble, especially in the first half. However, to his credit, the Spaniard did improve as the game progressed and more importantly, provided a brilliant pass to open up the Leeds United backline. It led to a chance that could have easily led to a shock Arsenal win.
Rob Holding: 5/10
Rob Holding was brought into the side due to his imposing physical and aerial presence at the back. Unfortunately, none of it was useful as Patrick Bamford still managed to win a lot of headers and even came close to scoring in the second half. Overall, it was a poor defensive performance from the Englishman.
Gabriel Magalhaes: 5/10
Although the scoreline might suggest otherwise, Gabriel Magalhaes was far from solid at the back against Leeds United. The Arsenal centre-back lacked the confidence to lead the backline, often looking indecisive with his clearances. He was also dispossessed once or twice, which was enough to depict his overall performance in this fixture.
Kieran Tierney: 6/10
Kieran Tierney had yet another tiring game, having been heavily involved with Scotland during the international break. The left-back provided support to the centre-backs but had very little answers to the threat of Raphinha out wide. However, he does deserve credit for sticking with the two central defenders, ultimately helping his team preserve the clean sheet.
Dani Ceballos: 6.5/10
Dani Ceballos failed to provide any quality in midfield against Leeds United as he was simply no match for the excellent Kalvin Phillips. But, it would be unfair to ignore his contributions in the second line of press as the Spaniard did try his best in shutting down the opposing ball-carriers, making it difficult for them to enjoy possession.
Dani Ceballos vs Leeds
75% take-on success
10 duels won
3 fouls won
— Arsenal Presser (@ArsenalPresser) November 22, 2020
Granit Xhaka: 5/10
Granit Xhaka failed to contain the dynamic presence of Mateusz Klich and was a little too passive at times when it comes to pressing the opposition. A little more aggressive approach may have just helped Arsenal in preventing Leeds United from dominating the middle third of the pitch.
Nicolas Pepe: 1/10
Nicolas Pepe was already offering very little quality going forward in the first half. He failed to take on any of the defenders and also provided poor defensive cover for Bellerin, thus allowing Harrison to cause havoc on the right flank.
And to make things worse, the Ivorian squashed any chance for Arsenal in this game with a moment of madness that saw him headbutt Ezgjan Alioski, leading to his sending off.
Joe Willock: 5.5/10
Joe Willock received a rare start in an ever rarer number ten position for Arsenal under Mikel Arteta. Unfortunately, any chances of him making an impression were squashed away when Pepe received the red, prompting Arteta to make a change that saw Willock make way for Bukayo Saka around the hour-mark.
Much like Pepe, Willian was completely ineffective going forward for Arsenal. The Brazilian simply doesn’t have the ability to take on any defender or to provide a spark in the final third. His link-up play was also mediocre, as the winger eventually made way for Reiss Nelson at half-time.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang: 5/10
Returned to the number nine role for the first time this season, but it did very little to change the fortunes of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang. The Arsenal superstar was ineffective throughout the course of the game, doing very little to cause any problems to Leeds United. He even missed a glorious opportunity on the counter during the final stage of the match, as his shot was eventually blocked. Must really improve.
Did Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang score from open play? [PL 20/21]:
vs. Fulham — ✅
vs. West Ham — ❌
vs. Liverpool — ❌
vs. Sheffield United — ❌
vs. Man City — ❌
vs. Leicester City — ❌
vs. Man Utd — ❌
vs. Aston Villa — ❌
vs. Leeds United — ❌
An uncharacteristic run. 🤔 pic.twitter.com/MdOQeyv076
— Statman Dave (@StatmanDave) November 22, 2020
Reiss Nelson: 5/10
Reiss Nelson looked lively after coming on for Willian at half-time. Unfortunately, the Englishman had to contain himself with a more defensive role due to Pepe’s dismissal.
Bukayo Saka: 7/10
Bukayo Saka was an inspirational substitute for Arsenal around the hour-mark as the youngster provided a sense of urgency and intent going forward. He troubled the Leeds United defenders on a couple of occasions, notably creating a chance for Aubameyang while his own effort, which was on target, was remarkably saved by Illan Meslier.
Unfortunately, Saka picked up a late injury, in what could be a massive blow for the Gunners.
Ainsley Maitland-Niles: N/A
A late replacement for the injured Saka. Did not play enough to warrant a rating.