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Page last updated at 22:13 GMT, Wednesday, 19 January 2011

Leeds-Arsenal as it happened


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By Sam Lyon

2210: Bish bash bosh - and that, my good friends, completes the 2011 FA Cup third round. Clinical from Arsenal this evening, but Leeds played their part in a right rip-roaring Cup tie. It's what makes this competition so blooming great isn't it? Plenty of big-name interest left in the competition, then, and plenty of reason to join me again for the fourth round on the weekend of the 29th and 30th of January right? Before then, Chris Bevan is back in the hot-seat for this weekend's Premier League action so do try to join him then. Bye!

Jonathan Stevenson reports:
"Professional, clinical, mature - Arsenal were so good it makes you wonder how this replay even came about."

Andy, Huddersfield fan, via text: "After losing 4-0 to Carlisle last night, I wouldn't say we're brimming with confidence."

ghost_of_cygan on 606: "Schmeichel mark II very impressive again overall, he will be a Premier League keeper sooner rather than later."

suldrew on Twitter: "This is why we USA fans take long lunches to watch English soccer."

Dennis, Derby via text: "Well done Arsenal! A gallant performance by a battling Leeds side. I hope they get promoted to the Premier League. They sure look better than many teams up there!"

2157: Our FA Cup fourth round draw is complete, then. Still 15 Premier League teams remaining too. Where's ya money folks?

2155: Penny for the thoughts of any Huddersfield fans out there? They're next in the line of fire for this Gunners side (see what I did there?) - and on this form I don't suppose many Town fans will fancy their chances will they?

Full time
2152: FULL-TIME Leeds United 1-3 Arsenal

2151: Possession football from Arsenal, taking the sting right out of this.

2149: Leeds keeper Kasper Schmeichel is up for the corner! And the delivery from the left only just eludes the Dane, too, before Arsenal can once against clear their lines. Leeds going down fighting.

2148: Well Lloyd Sam does his best to provide some with a jinking run past Nicklas Bendtner and behind the Arsenal defence - but his cut-back is hacked away for a corner.

2147: Into the last minute of normal time - but we're going to have four minutes added on. Anyone up for some late, late drama?

2145: Robin van Persie is not sitting on Arsenal's 3-1 lead as he curls an effort at goal left-footed from the angle, but his shot is well wide. Into the final three minutes now.

ChrisPJMartin on Twitter: "Credit to Leeds. Treated this like a cup-tie and gave it a real go. Some Premier League teams don't do even do that against Arsenal."
Agreed. But the Gunners have been a class apart tonight, it has to be said.

2141: Samir Nasri has earnt himself a rest I'd say, and Arsene Wenger agrees, which is nice, Gael Clichy on to replace the playmaker in the 84th minute.

2140: With Leeds fast running out of time, Robert Snodgrass whips what looks a delicious free-kick into the Arsenal box with a bunch of home players looking to flick it in - but keeper Wojciech Szczesny is out well to punch away.

Mr George Banjo on 606: "It's best for Leeds to lose anyway. They don't need a distraction from focusing on getting promoted."

2137: Moments after a fine Kieran Gibbs break is halted by an incorrect offside decision - it was Nicklas Bendtner and not the defender who was beyond the Leeds line - Lloyd Sam comes on for Leeds as the hosts look to launch a late rally.

2136: Just over 10 minutes for Leeds to find a couple of goals. Tough.

Arsenal goal: Started and finished by the substitutes, but it's all about Nicklas Bendtner's cross - the Dane's delivery from Cesc Fabregas's pass begging to be nodded in, Robin van Persie obliging with a neat header. Mountain to climb for Leeds now.

2134: GOALFLASH Leeds United 1-3 Arsenal (Van Persie)

HenryWhitfield on Twitter: "Arsene Wenger must realize he NEEDS silverware this year. Sending on two stars to put the game away."

2131: Close. Cesc Fabregas tries his luck from a free-kick 25 yards out, but it drifts just wide with Leeds keeper Kasper Schmeichel scrambling across goal and possibly beaten.

2129: Andrey Arshavin and Marouane Chamakh are the players replaced. Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger clearly keen to make this game safe as soon as possible.

2128: And to make matters a touch worse for Leeds - Arsenal are about to bring Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie on. Not a bad couple of substitutes to be fair.

2127: Oh Davide Somma, you have to score. The Leeds substitute almost scores with his very first touch from Robert Snodgrass's cross but the ball ricochets off his knee and wide from all of six yards out. What a chance.

2126: A second change for Leeds, Davide Somma on for Billy Paynter.

2124: This is a blow for Leeds, though, Andy O'Brien limping from the field to be replaced at centre-half by Leigh Bromby.

2122: And yet, despite all that, Leeds are bang in this match - and Billy Paynter is inches away from making contact with Max Gradel's cross across the Arsenal six-yard line to make it 2-2.

2121: Arsenal guilty of over-playing it there and Leeds are able to clear - but the Gunners really are a joy to watch in this mood. Samir Nasri, in particular, is having an excellent night.

ItS A MIRacle on 606: "Oh dear Leeds, here come the big guns. Fabregas warming up now. If you are going to get an equaliser do it now."

2118: An hour gone. Seriously. Went quick didn't it?

2117: Andrey Arshavin is not having the best of nights - or seasons for that matter - and he's just taken it out on the ball, slamming it over the stands and miles out of Elland Road. TV replays suggest it might have been a shot, but I'm not sure.

2115: And now it's Leeds' turn to bring out the one-touch football, and Arsenal are forced to scramble it behind when Max Gradel looks to burst into the area. The corner comes to nothing, though.

2112: That's a goal-saving tackle from Robert Snodgrass, it really is, the forward back to get a crucial touch in to prevent Andrey Arshavin getting a shot away inside the area on the back of a flowing one-touch Arsenal move.

2111: Still plenty of harry from the Leeds players, pressing Arsenal all over the pitch. If any team can pick passes through a team, though, it's the Gunners and you fancy the visitors to create more chances here.

2108: Good defending by Johan Djourou - who has looked good tonight - out-pacing and then out-muscling Max Gradel inside the Arsenal box to ensure a Leeds ball into the box rolls harmlessly behind.

2105: And now the Danish keeper is forced into action again to keep out Samir Nasri's curled 25-yard free-kick - though he almost contrived to drop it over his own line, bless him. We've picked up exactly where we left off in the first half - thrill a minute.

2104: And less than 20 seconds in it should be 3-1, Alex Song released inside the box by Samir Nasri, home keeper Kasper Schmeichel out well to palm the midfielder's shot around the post.

2103: Back up and running.

2101: The teams are back out. Get your hard hats on folks...

An interested Toon fan via text: "This is probably the only time I'll ever say this, but I actually want Arsenal to win this Cup. It'll prove to Wenger's doubters that the man is still a great manager and a legend."

strcprstskrzkrk on 606: "Great game so far and fantastic atmosphere. Leeds have a real chance here. Arsenal can control the second half but are prone to switching off. Hoping for more of the same in the second half."

Mark Lawrenson on BBC Radio 5 live: "I think for the first 20 minutes of the second-half, Leeds will have to be quite cute. If they come out all guns blazing, they could lose by four or five. But if they keep it tight, bring Watt back into midfield, then who knows?"

eddkahn on Twitter: "Great half. Goals, some nice football and a save that resembled Gordon Banks!"

Half time
2050: HALF-TIME Leeds United 1-2 Arsenal
Jonathan Stevenson's HT snap-shot:
"If this was a boxing match etc… Well it isn't, and despite Arsenal's outrageous dominance this is a long way from won. Bless the FA Cup."

2048: There blows a most unwelcome half-time whistle. What a 45 minutes.

lawonthedraw on Twitter: "Feel free to mention the clear free kick that should've been given for on a foul on Andrey Arshavin in the lead-up to the cracking Leeds goal."
You've just done it for me pal, thanks.

2045: ...that the Leeds frontman tonks high, wide and not very handsome. A waste.

2044: It's end-to-end now and I don't think anyone wants half-time do they? Leeds certainly don't just yet - they have a free-kick 30 yards from goal with Robert Snodgrass over it...

2041: They've been under the pump almost exclusively for the first 35 minutes, but Leeds have a real spring in their step again now and we have a rip-roaring Cup tie on our hands now and no mistake. Aces.

Mark Lawrenson on BBC Radio 5 live: "What a shot that is. He only had one thought from the moment he saw the ball. And it's just what Leeds needed."

Leeds United goal: Holy moly. Take Bacary Sagna's strike and multiply it by two - Bradley Johnson has just nearly taken the back of the net out with a sensational long-ranger from 25 yards that fizzes into the very top corner of Wojciech Szczesny's goal. Game back on and in a big, big way.

2038: GOALFLASH Leeds United 1-2 Arsenal (Johnson)

Mark Lawrenson on BBC Radio 5 live: "Schmeichel must be saying to his defence 'listen, you have to stop the tide of yellow shirts coming at us' because Arsenal are absolutely dominant at the moment."

Arsenal goal: Ripper. Complete ripper. A Nicklas Bendtner surge into the box breaks down but the ball falls to Bacary Sagna, who takes a touch and then larrups it like a rocket into the far corner from the right-hand side of the box. Terrific strike.

2035: GOALFLASH Leeds United 0-2 Arsenal (Sagna)

2033: And now a shot on goal for Leeds, Robert Snodgrass turning on the right-hand side and curling goalwards left-footed from outside the area - Wojciech Szczesny was always behind it, though.

2031: A rare moment somewhere vaguely near the Arsenal goal for Leeds - but Wojciech Szczesny is out well to claim Andrey Arshavin's rather bizarre back-header with Leeds's Max Gradel bearing down on him.

2029: The comfort so far for Leeds? It's still only 1-0. I'm not sure how to be fair, though.

2027: Almost brilliant. Laurent Koscielny launches a dream of a pass from defence to set right-back Bacary Sagna powering away behind the Leeds defence, but his cross just eludes Nicklas Bendtner sliding in six yards out.

Gunneruni on 606: "Can't relax till we score a second!!!"

2023: Another minute, another bit of Samir Nasri excellence, another chance for Arsenal - Kasper Schmeichel down to his left well to palm Andrey Arshavin's low shot around the post.

2021: Nicklas Bendtner is starting to get on the ball for Arsenal too now, and his cut in from the right leads to half a chance for Andrey Arshavin on the edge of the Leeds box, only for the Russian's first-time effort to whip over the bar. Moments later the playmaker is provided with a far simpler chance, but he somehow fails to connect with Marouane Chamakh's pin-point cross six yards out and the ball flies harmlessly away.

2018: Another spell of Arsenal keep-ball ends with Samir Nasri having a pop at goal from the angle 18 yards out, but his shot is charged down by Andy O'Brien. Whatever Arsenal's ascendancy out there, the Elland Road crowd are giving it plenty still. Fair play.

2016: There's little doubting Arsenal's dominance at the moment, the Londoners look capable of scoring every time they go forward.

Man Utd defender Rio Ferdinand on Twitter: "Nasri has maybe been player of the season so far, nice goal. As captain he has got to tell Song about his beard+hair colour combo though...!"

2012: Cracking save. Marouane Chamakh is granted the freedom of the Leeds area to rise and meet Samir Nasri's free-kick eight yards out, but the Morroccan's downward header is brilliantly palmed away on the stretch by home keeper Kasper Schmeichel. The hosts need to settle down here.

2010: I didn't mention Marouane Chamakh's role in that Arsenal goal, by the way, the Gunners frontman laying the ball off to Andrey Arshavin well to play his part in the visitors' opener. A few eyebrows might have been raised about his selection along with that of Nicklas Bendtner - but with the latter out right, Chamakh has started nicely.

FlappyBale on 606: "You've just got to love Nasri, and that coming from a Spurs fan."

2008: The onus now, of course, very much on Leeds to come out and play. Exactly what Arsenal will have wanted, I'd wager.

Arsenal goal: They've more than weathered it, in fact. Arsenal lead from their very first attack, Samir Nasri getting in between Leeds' centre-halves to receive Andrey Arshavin's pass and clip past home keeper Kasper Schmeichel from 18 yards with real panache.

2006: GOALFLASH Leeds United 0-1 Arsenal (Nasri)

2005: Not much going forward from Arsenal so far. The Londoners looking to weather this early effervescence from the hosts at the moment.

2004: Things are just as frantic as you might expect at Elland Road so far, with Leeds buzzing about the Arsenal players at every opportunity and then looking to break with pace when they get the chance. Max Gradel and Sanchez Watt, in particular, have already shown a couple of nice touches.

2002: And it's Leeds on the front foot straight away, Max Gradel latching on to a poor touch from Bacary Sagna, charging at goal, and slapping a low 20-yard shot just wide.

2001: We are up and running. Boomtown.

2000: The players are out and about and the crowd are already jumping.

lmrda on 606: "Arsene Wenger will have learnt from last time, expect him to use the literally super subs that he has available if need be - 4-1 Gunners."

A worried Gooner via text: "Re Matthew Wills - That's our best defence!"

1957: A reminder, then, that we're as a result of the 1-1 draw played out between these sides at the Emirates Stadium 11 days ago, when Arsenal were mere minutes away from being dumped out of the competition. Leeds, of course, knocked Manchester United out at this stage last season - but has their chance come and gone? The briefest of listens to the superb atmosphere building at Elland Road suggests the home fans do not think so.

matthew_wills on 606: "That Arsenal defence is there for the taking. I think we could be in for some goals tonight..."

1954: And now a word from Ken "How to win friends and influence people" Bates from the Leeds chairman's match programme notes: "[Arsenal] is a good institution... despite having a manager who should perhaps have gone to Specsavers. [They have in Theo] Walcott a player who somewhat belatedly realised diving is a swimming sport which has no place in football." If only he'd come out and say what he really thought once in a while, huh?

1953: Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger: "No matter what they do, the fans will be behind the team at Leeds. On the other hand, we are used to that and that would not be an excuse for us. We have played all over the world, everywhere, in vociferous stadiums. I don't think that will be any excuse for us, it's natural and normal. What is important is that you show your quality no matter what environment you are playing in."

SuperSamirNasri8 on 606: "Super Samir will do the business on his own."

1951: Leeds manager Simon Grayson: "Arsenal will pass the ball and create plenty of chances. They do that against the best teams in this country every week so we know what to expect. I'll tell my players to enjoy themselves and have no regrets. They should enjoy the moment and the experience. In many ways we have nothing to lose and whatever happens, it won't affect our season and what we're looking to achieve."

1950: Let's hear from the managers shall we?

Jonathan Stevenson reports: "Leeds'
hopes have been hit by a back injury to striker Luciano Becchio, with Billy Paynter his replacement. No Argentine, then - so will Leeds be relying on the Hand of Snod (left foot of Robert Snodgrass) for a Cupset? Arsenal, as expected, make six changes from Saturday's 3-0 win at West Ham, but perhaps more pertinently three from the first tie as Bacary Sagna, Laurent Koscielny and Samir Nasri all get starting berths."

blackeyedangel1 on Twitter: "Can't imagine what Wenger saw in the first half last week that makes him think that this team is capable of winning tonight."

Schmeichel, Connolly, Bruce, O'Brien, Parker, Watt, Howson, Johnson, Snodgrass, Paynter, Gradel. Subs: Higgs, Collins, Sam, Hughes, Bromby, Somma, McCormack.
Arsenal: Szczesny, Sagna, Koscielny, Djourou, Gibbs, Bendtner, Denilson, Song, Arshavin, Nasri, Chamakh. Subs: Shea, Fabregas, van Persie, Walcott, Wilshere, Clichy, Eboue.
Referee: Mike Dean (Wirral)

anamanaguchi on 606: "I'm sticking with my predictions of the original tie - and our game against Ipswich - we're gonna batter Leeds."

Badgertron, Reigate via text: "Arsenal are a world class team...but can they do it on a cold,wet night in Leeds?!"

1941: So what can I tell you about the history between these sides in the FA Cup? Well Leeds and Arsenal have met eight times, and the Gunners have won five of the previous seven - though the Whites won their most important Cup meeting in 1972 when Allan Clarke netted the winner in the Centenary Final at Wembley. Leeds are looking for a 100th FA Cup tie win, by the way, while 10-time winners and seven-times runners-up Arsenal are looking to negotiate the third round for the 15th consecutive season. Like I and Stevo have said - it's all there, it's all set up.

Simon via text: "As well as Leeds played in the previous meeting, I can't see anything but an Arsenal win tonight. I'm sticking my neck out!"

GraymeadYNWA on 606: "I've said it once and I'll say it again, too many upsets last year ruined the later stages. I don't want that to happen again... But one title chaser out in the 3rd round out of 5 can't hurt, can it?"

Jonathan Stevenson reports:
"Evening Sam, ladies and gentlemen. What a delight it is to have your full attention with all eyes on Elland Road this evening as Leeds seek to pull off an FA Cupset against the mighty Arsenal. Arsene Wenger has never lost a third round tie with the Gunners and he will be buoyed by news his team have never been beaten in the Cup at Leeds. The hosts are unbeaten in seven at home, while Arsenal have the best away record in the Premier League. This one = poised to perfection."

danny_holliday on Twitter: "If Leeds use width to attack Arsenal tonight I think they'll win the game, which for me would not be a shock result!"

Tottenham and ex-Leeds winger Aaron Lennon on Twitter: "Back in London - wanted to stay for the game tonight at Elland road but up early for training. Will be tuning in from the living room!!!"

1935: So might I suggest you get your game faces on and get involved in this here commentary? Tweet me @sampatricklyon, text me via 81111 or get on 606. It really is that simple.

1933: Now, yes, I realise that 22 league places still separate Leeds and Arsenal, that one is striving for promotion from the Championship while the other is pushing for the Premier League title, and that the two teams have not even shared the same division since 2004... but this just feels like a big match doesn't it? I tell you one thing - nigh-on 40,000 will be packed inside Elland Road tonight, and that's not something we've been able to say too often in this year's FA Cup.

1930: Just the one match for us to feast our eyes upon this evening ladies and gentlemen... but what an absolute cracker it is. A fixture positively dripping in history, and one that less than a decade ago could have been billed as a Premier League title clash. The fortunes of one of the sides may have endured more twists than an Agatha Christie novel since, but with the gap between the teams once again closing, this promises to a real barn-stormer. Welcome to the FA Cup third-round replay between Leeds and Arsenal. This will be tasty.

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see also
Leeds v Arsenal photos
19 Jan 11 |  Football
Arsenal 1-1 Leeds
08 Jan 11 |  FA Cup
FA Cup fourth round draw details
19 Jan 11 |  FA Cup

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