Arsenal edged to a narrow 1-0 win over Leeds United in the FA Cup third round at the Emirates Stadium, but not before they were comprehensively outplayed for large periods by the Championship leaders.
Marcelo Bielsa's visitors were dominant in the first half, but could not convert their chances. Arsenal woke up after the break and Reiss Nelson scrambled what proved to be the winner in the 55th minute. The Gunners will visit Bournemouth in the fourth round later this month.
The resilience shown by the hosts in the wake of a poor first half was notable, as Arsenal began to string passes together and leave Leeds chasing shadows.
Sloppy would be an understatement with regard to how Arsenal began the game. They were forced into rushed decisions, were nervy at the back and could come up with little in an attacking sense. On another day, they would have been left in the dust by the time the half-time whistle blew.
Manager rating out of 10
7 -- Mikel Arteta's line-up raised eyebrows, but a new-look starting XI and 3-4-3 formation showed that the new manager was willing to be daring. Moreover, the manner in which Arsenal started after the break can be put down to Arteta's influence and leadership; the switch in formation to 4-2-3-1 proved crucial.
Player ratings (1-10; 10 = best. Players introduced after 70 minutes get no rating)
GK Emiliano Martinez, 8 -- Arguably Arsenal's man of the match, Martinez made a string of impressive saves to spare the blushes of those in front of him.
DF Sokratis Papastathopoulos, 6 -- Unable to keep up with the pace of the game in the first half, though he was solid enough in his decision-making. Struggled again, though, playing as a right-back.
DF David Luiz, 5 -- Kept going missing in key areas. He takes too many chances and sometimes it is as if he welcomes the chaos he causes.
DF Rob Holding, 6 -- Frequently switches between looking uncertain and being capable of cutting balls out and tracking back well. MF Sead Kolasinac, 5 -- Struggled whenever Leeds decided to cut inside and still cannot resist moonlighting as a false attacking midfielder.
MF Matteo Guendouzi, 5 -- Was more impactful when he played in a more creative role, but was off the pace too much of the time. MF Granit Xhaka, 5 -- Could have been sent off twice after a succession of fouls, with Anthony Taylor showing leniency on multiple occasions.
MF Mesut Ozil, 6 -- Went missing for long periods of the opening half, but came into his own in the second period.
MF Reiss Nelson, 7 -- Forced into a defensive stance at times and struggled with the physicality when doing so, but managed to get himself on the scoresheet thanks to perseverance and nice positioning.
FW Nicolas Pepe, 8 -- Carried the ball forward with ease and helped to create the goal. He thrived whenever he found space with his unorthodox style.
FW Alexandre Lacazette, 6 -- Let his anger get the better of him at times and, while he worked hard and had opportunities, he needs to stop being so shy with regard to shooting.
FW Gabriel Martinelli, 6 -- A joy to watch both on and off the ball, he was a breath of fresh air after being introduced for Nelson.
MF Bukayo Saka, NR -- Was brought on primarily to run down the clock, but still had glimpses of liveliness.
MF Joseph Willock, NR -- Battled hard but was not given much time to make a significant impact on the game.