Arsenal further consolidated their place in the top four as Gabriel Martinelli’s double helped them to a 4-1 victory over depleted Leeds United.
In the only Premier League game to take place on Saturday after a raft of coronavirus-enforced postponements, Arsenal ended a run of three successive away league defeats in style as Leeds suffered another hammering following a 7-0 thrashing at Manchester City.
They were helped by a dismal first-half display from Leeds, who allowed 11 shots on target – the most by any side in the opening 45 minutes of a match since Opta records began in 2003-04.
Martinelli’s brace and Bukayo Saka’s strike punished some woeful defending, and although Raphinha’s penalty reduced the arrears, substitute Emile Smith Rowe added insult to injury late on.
Saka drilled wide of an open goal and llan Meslier came to Leeds’ rescue in an early Arsenal onslaught, yet the goalkeeper could do little to prevent Martinelli deservedly putting the Gunners ahead after pouncing on Adam Forshaw’s error.
Raphinha dragged wide at the culmination of a wonderful run and Leeds were swiftly made to pay – Martinelli racing onto Granit Xhaka’s pass and lifting a neat finish over Meslier to make it 2-0.
Meslier made another fine stop from Alexandre Lacazette, but it was 3-0 by the break when Saka’s effort deflected in off Mateusz Klich.
Xhaka went in late on Raphinha after the restart, and was fortunate to escape a booking, especially when Joe Gelhardt was carded for a similar foul on Takehiro Tomiyasu.
Saka went close to doubling his tally as Arsenal kept Leeds at arm’s length, yet a reckless lunge from Ben White on Gelhardt handed the hosts a lifeline.
Raphinha sent his penalty into the top-right corner, yet any comeback hopes were dashed when Smith Rowe finished first-time from Martin Odegaard’s superb pass.