Plenty of work for Arteta to do

A top four team would have put the game to bed in the first half and the fact they didn’t, highlighted a weakness which needs addressing.

Tomiyasu was back but started on the left. Holding was still in for White, Cedric in the right back position. The front six were unchanged.

Swanson, Patino and Oulad M’Hand were the academy promotions on the bench.

Leeds’ last win against Arsenal was in 2003 – a Mark Viduka shot.

Eddie Nketiah: Will Arsenal keep this goal-scoring ability?

Dallas was out, along with Cooper with Llorente moving back. James and Gelhardt formed a striking duo, with the Welshman just behind the youngster.

Leeds employed rough tactics from the start exemplified with Firpo man-handling Saka.

Meslier controlled a back pass from Ayling and then took a loose touch partly because Nketiah was chasing down and the England youth international hooked it in, running away slightly embarrassed by the ease of the score and the fact he played half a season at Leeds.

Intricate play on the right saw Martinelli send a low pinpoint cross to Nketiah who swept it home in one movement.

Martinelli was impeded but still got a deep cross to Nketiah who failed to connect. Cedric set up Saka on the right and found Odegaard who chipped it and ran crossing – but cleared.

Long ball to Martinelli and ex Arsenal back Luke Ayling jumped in two footed on the Brazilian and the yellow was turned to a red by Chris Kavanagh after advice from VAR. Tomiyasu just missed the inswinger.

Xhaka moved further forward.

Klich came in heavy on Xhaka and got a yellow. With Leeds in this mood and officially the dirtiest team in the Premier League, Arsenal players were at risk of injury. An Odegaard free kick was parried by Meslier and Llorente cleared off the line.

Arsenal had attempts via Nketiah, Martinelli and Xhaka, but Leeds won their first corner in the 65th minute. And as Firpo flicked it on, Llorente ran behind the Arsenal defence and fired past Ramsdale – with their first attempt on goal.

After Arsenal’s attacking efforts had come to nothing, Arteta subbed Saka for Pepe on 67.

Elneny found Odegaard with a straight through ball and the Norwegian finding space hit it wide.

Leeds had some attacks with the best falling to Rodrigo who could have headed over Ramsdale for a share of the points in injury time.

Eddie Nketiah said: “Amazing. Nice to score. It was a big three points. It moves us closer to our objective. Every player wants to be playing and have opportunities. I am happy to be in the team.

“We had a few chances to take it to 3-0. They troubled us in the second half.

He added: “I Feel connection between the players and the fans.”

Mikel Arteta said: “We started well determined, brave with the right quality and scored two goals.

“Playing against ten men is always more complicated. When we didn’t score the third and fourth, we became nervy and worried about the result.

Jessie Marsch said: “It was a very bad start. We dug a hole for ourselves. I told them at half-time not to lose composure and treat the score as 0-0.

Premier League: Arsenal 2 Leeds 1

Arsenal: 32Ramsdale, 17Cédric Soares, 16Holding, 6Gabriel (Booked at 16mins), 18Tomiyasu (Booked at 64mins), 25Elneny, 34Xhaka, 7Saka (Substituted for Pépé at 68’minutes), 8Ødegaard, 35Martinelli (Substituted for Smith Rowe at 78’minutes), 30Nketiah (Substituted for Lacazette at 90+1’minutes)

Leeds: 1Meslier, 2Ayling (Booked at 27mins) 5Koch, 14Llorente, 3Firpo, 43Klich (Booked at 34mins, Substituted for Bate at 45’minutes), 23Phillips, 10Raphinha (Booked at 27mins, Substituted for Rodrigo at 60’minutes),20James, 22Harrison, 30Gelhardt (Substituted for Struijk at 29’minutes)