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Arteta – Hopefully the players learned a lesson 

Mikel Arteta made no attempt to hide his displeasure after we were outplayed by Leeds in the first half of our Emirates FA Cup third-round tie.

What followed was a much-improved showing after the break, and a victory was secured by Reiss Nelson's strike.

So what did our head coach make of it?

"That the first 35 minutes, we cannot play with that rhythm against a top side like them who batters opponents every three days," Arteta told Arsenal Player. "I tried to tell them before the game, to convince them that is what they should expect but I think they had to experience it.

"If they play like this, they were going to suffer and [Leeds] were going to make you look like a small team. If you change that, you start to win duels and start to win the ball much higher up the pitch and you are better organised with a much better body language, then I think you are going to enjoy your profession.

"It is a physical issue, but it is also mental and [about] heart. We did much better in the second half than the first, and normally everyone is saying we are dropping in the second half because we can't maintain. Look how they finished the game today.

"We got the reaction we wanted. We try to convince them every day to play in that certain way and hopefully, they learn a lesson today."

Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.

Arsene Wenger
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FA Cup: Five things we noticed


Our determination was not at the required level in the first half on Monday, but credit to Leeds for handing out a lesson in pressing. It comes from Marco Bielsa of course, the revered Argentinian coach who inspired Pep Guardiola with his work with Argentina, Chile, Athletic Bilbao and Marseille before heading to Leeds. "Playing Leeds is like going to the dentist. It's tough, and nobody likes it," said Arteta after the game. The first-half stats were certainly alarming from our perspective: we were outshot by 15 to three, surrendered 67 per cent of the possession and lost the ball frequently enough to drag our passing accuracy down as low as 70 per cent. Ahead of the game, Arteta praised how Bielsa "makes his players fight and challenge and run and compete, and never give up in any game or any circumstances." We saw that in spades on Monday.


Suffice to say that the game was changed by Arteta's less than gentle half-time reminder about what he expects from his players. In the second half we had 13 shots to Leeds' three and levelled up those wonky possession stats. Guendouzi took charge in midfield, ending the game with a team-high 10 possessions gained and five tackles won. But that was echoed throughout the team, as the intensity that our head coach demands climbed to acceptable levels. Arteta's anger was eventually replaced by pride, but if his expectations weren't clear before, they undoubtedly are now.


When the teams were announced it looked like Arteta had opted for a back three of Sokratis, Holding and David Luiz, with Nelson and Kolasinac at wing back. That theory lasted as long as it took for the teams to line up ahead of kick-off. It was our usual back-four formation with Sokratis in an unfamiliar role on the right. He was given a stiff examination with Alioski drifting left to take up space in between Sokratis and Holding, while Douglas pushed on from left back. Sokratis saw a lot of the ball and was put under pressure every time, but he was imperious in the air, winning four of his first five headers. Amid the storm, the Greece defender turned to our fans and gestured them to calm down as they urged him to take a quick free-kick. He was proved right - Sokratis and the rest were a different prospect after the break, and our auxiliary full back ended up on the winning side.


Our previous FA Cup tie against Leeds also finished 1-0. It was back in 2012, that famous night when Thierry Henry came off the bench to score a dramatic goal on his return to the club. Reiss Nelson will be the first to admit that his winner was rather more scruffy - he didn't get the contact he wanted when Lacazette's deflected low cross reached him at the far post. But he did enough to score and, in FA Cup terms, his goal is no less important than Henry's. It's Nelson's second competitive goal for us, and after being on the fringes of the side he's emerging as a significant weapon in Arteta's attacking armoury.


Our kick-off against Leeds came at the unusual time of 7.56pm. That's because, as part of the Heads Up campaign, all third-round games were delayed by one minute to encourage fans to think about mental health. The conversation around mental health has grown significantly in recent years, but mental health problems remain one of the biggest issues in society. Indeed, suicide is the biggest killer of men under the age of 45. Click here for some simple actions to help look after your mental health - and the mental health of others.


Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.

Arsene Wenger
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‘Mikel said we had to run like wolves!’

What was behind our second-half improvement against Leeds? According to Emi Martinez, it was because we "showed our animal side".

The Championship team were well on top going into the interval, but some harsh words from Mikel Arteta changed things completely.

This is what Martinez told the media after the game:

on the match…
It was tough for us we should have been one or two-nil down, but we held them well and in the second half we did an incredible performance and we deserved to win. 

on the mentality of the team…
If you thought it was going to be an easy game, you’d be so wrong. They fight like animals, and they did. In the first 35 minutes, they were winning every single thing but we talked at half-time about the things we could improve and in the second half we were amazing. 

on the second-half performance…
We knew that if we didn’t change, we lose the game and we’d be out. We could not afford to do that especially in front of our home support. We are delighted with the win and we got Bournemouth away [in the next round] which is another tough game but we’re more than prepared. It’s two wins in a row so we start building the confidence back. 

on the fourth-round tie against Bournemouth…
Of course it’s another tough game, we saw the draw and thought, ‘It’s another good one.’ If we played like we did in the second half we can beat anyone. 

on the team’s start to the game…
I think they were winning every 50/50 and they were just getting the ball back very soon. They were pressing really hard and it was very difficult to get out how we did in training but in the second half, the manager said, ‘If we don't win 50/50s, we are going to lose the game.’ The lads went out there and, the gaffer says we need to ‘run like a wolf’ and have that animal side to us. I thought we did really well, we ran like we should have from the first minute. We’re delighted for the win and we move on. 

on Arteta’s words at half-time…
He was really angry but that’s what we need. We can’t switch off after a good win against Manchester United and I think we did in the first five minutes, we did switch off and that shouldn’t happen especially at home. 

on the difference in performances against Manchester United and here…
It’s difficult to explain because maybe we didn’t expect them to be so aggressive in the first five minutes but at half-time we knew how they played and in the second half we played our game. I think we did pretty well and we scored two good goals against Manchester United. 

on his role in the team…
Whenever they give me a game I try to keep a clean sheet and give the back four confidence with the goalkeeper behind them. There is competition between me and Bernd, we’re both young and I just want to play games and try to do my best in the cup competitions.

Copyright 2020 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source.

Arsene Wenger
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FA Cup: Arsenal 1-0 Leeds United highlights

Watch highlights as Reiss Nelson's scrappy second-half goal ensures Premier League Arsenal come through a tough test at home to Championship side Leeds United to make it through to the fourth round of the FA Cup.

MATCH REPORT: Arsenal 1-0 Leeds United

Available to UK users only.

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FA Cup draw: Liverpool, Chelsea and Leicester get away ties in fourth round

Manchester City beat Watford 6-0 in the 2019 FA Cup final

Premier League leaders Liverpool will play at either Championship Bristol City or League One side Shrewsbury in the fourth round of the FA Cup.

Holders Manchester City face Fulham, while Chelsea also play second-tier opponents, away at Hull City.

Leicester, second in the Premier League, meet Championship Brentford.

The winners of the Manchester United v Wolves replay will play either Watford or Tranmere Rovers, with those sides also needing a replay after a 3-3 draw.

Arsenal's reward for beating Championship leaders Leeds 1-0 on Monday is a trip to Bournemouth.

The matches will be played between Friday 24 and Monday 27 January.

Sixteen Premier League teams remain in the competition, while Northampton Town, ninth in League Two, are the lowest-ranked side who will definitely be playing in the last 32 and they are at home to Derby County.

Carlisle United, 21st in League Two, are the only other side from the fourth tier left in the tournament, although they face a third-round replay at home against Championship side Cardiff City. The winners of that game take on either Reading or Blackpool.

Birmingham City's home is St Andrew's but they could be the away team at their own stadium if Coventry, who are sharing the ground with Blues this season, beat Bristol Rovers in their replay.

FA Cup fourth round draw

Watford or Tranmere Rovers v Wolverhampton Wanderers or Manchester United

Hull City v Chelsea

Southampton v Middlesbrough or Tottenham Hotspur

Queens Park Rangers v Sheffield Wednesday

Bournemouth v Arsenal

Northampton Town v Derby County

Brentford v Leicester City

Millwall v Sheffield United

Reading or Blackpool v Cardiff City or Carlisle United

West Ham United v West Bromwich Albion

Burnley v Norwich City

Bristol Rovers or Coventry City v Birmingham City

Manchester City v Fulham

Rochdale or Newcastle United v Oxford United

Portsmouth v Barnsley

Bristol City or Shrewsbury Town v Liverpool

This news item was provided by the BBC Sport - Football website - the original link is: