43 min: Leeds have been undone by their own mistakes. Meslier was caught in several minds by Saka. And Ayling allowed himself to get done for the first.
42 min: Saka has done all types of damage to Leeds. His alertness and speed won two penalties, and one goal.
Goal! Arsenal 2-0 Leeds (Aubameyang, 41)
He’s had a few minutes to think about how he will take a penalty against Meslier, and that delay after the previous overrule didn’t put him off. He pummelled it home.
40 min: Meslier gets himself in all sorts of trouble. Saka robs him of the ball and is brought down. No doubt this time.
38 min: Odegaard has been quiet. He shows off a glimpse of his qualities in turning Harrison but is kicked for his troubles. Welcome to the PL, rookie.
36 min: Arsenal not happy about that. It looked on first glance like a penalty. On second glance it looked like a soft penalty. But still a penalty. Cooper got away with that.
35 min: What’s this? VAR asks referee Mr Attwell to have a look. He heads to the TV screen and sees that Saka went down softly. Hmm.
Penalty to Arsenal!
34 min: Saka surges on and Cooper is clumsy. Over he goes.
32 min: Aubameyang and Smith Rowe keep switching and that’s causing problems for Leeds’ defenders. Bielsa is on his haunches and has some thinking to do. A lack of Phillips in midfield seems to be a factor. There is a lack of control.
28 min: Close for Arsenal. Luke Ayling comes back to clear from Saka’s shot after David Luiz’s charge to the byline. Leeds were sliced open there.
26 min: Lovely skill from Shackleton leaves Ceballos on the floor. It eventually comes to Jack Harrison who can only warm the hands of Leno, but that was a nice attack that switched play from one side to the other.
24 min: Leeds settle into some possession in midfield. Raphina tries to find Bamford who shows great control but has little room to do anything further.
22 min: Ayling smashes a long pass all the way to the corner and Raphina can’t get to it. The tactics more Sgt Wilko than Bielsea at the moment from Leeds.
20 min: Cooper’s raking pass is headed down by Bellerin. Leeds struggling for rhythm. Saka is fouled in midfield just when Leeds seemed to have pressed the ball out from him.
19 min: Raphina’s skill sets up Klich for a shot that is blazed miles over.
18 min: Plenty of attacking options for Arsenal. So odd they had scored 12 goals all season at home. Are, though, Smith Rowe and Odegaard working at cross purposes.
16 min: Leeds look a little stunned by that. It takes a last-ditch tackle from Shackleton to stop Odegaard.
14 min: Aubameyang took advantage of Leeds’ lack of organisation in defence. Ayling and Cooper were caught out by his darting run.
Goal! Arsenal 1-0 Leeds (Aubameyang, 13)
The Arsenal skipper cuts in from the left, does a step over that confuses Ayling and drags the ball beyond Meslier. A fine finish, a trademark finish.
11 min: Leeds not able to exert the dominance they did over Crystal Palace the other night but the excellent Jack Harrison whips in a cross that Bamford can only head straight at Leno.
10 min: Ayling tips up Aubameyang and apologises for his foul. Free kick to Arsenal. Saka and Cedric queue up to take it. It’s cleared away by Harrison.
8 min: Leeds play the ball around the back but Meslier spends an inordinate amount of time on it before launching long. This has been a tad cagey.
7 min: Cedric Soares is found offside. He’s played the last five games since Kieran Tierney got hurt.
5 min: Leeds starting to perform their usual swarming act. Bamford up on his own as ever but with teammates joining him swiftly.
4 min: Ceballos slides the ball across the box and Bellerin whacks the ball over the bar from 20 yards out. He never looked remotely like scoring.
3 min: Both teams have made significant alterations, let’s see what effect they have. It’s Arsenal doing much of the pressing at the moment.
1 min: Off we go at the Emirates. Let’s see what Leeds can do to Arsenal. Their last league visit here end up 5-0 to the Arsenal.
Charles Antaki has got in touch: “Having Ødegaard in might help solve the conundrum of whether Arsenal are currently a bad team occasionally playing well, or a good team occasionally playing badly. Or, as is more likely, a mediocre team always playing with different degrees of mediocrity. But it probably won’t.”
Marcelo Bielsa speaks about the absence of Kalvin Phillips.
Pascal [Struijk] will play in his position. Shackleton will play in Ayling’s position and Ayling will play where Pascal plays. We’ve been working together for a long time now. Ayling has played as a centre-back, Shackleton as a wing-back.
Mikel Arteta speaks about the return of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang.
He need a little bit of time. He’s emotionally drained. He’s back and that’s why he starting. [Playing at striker], that’s part of the plan. Let’s see what we can exploit. [On Odegaard] He’s had a good path in a few games so he deserves to start. We need a win. The way we have played in the last few games to not get anything is incredible.
From Opta: Arsenal are unbeaten in their last eight games against Leeds United (W6 D2) since a 3-2 defeat in May 2003 in the Premier League, a result which won Manchester United the title at the Gunners’ expense. It kept Leeds up too, though only for a year.
Arsenal have by contrast made five changes from the side that lost at Aston Villa. Bernd Leno, back from suspension, replaces Mat Ryan in goal, while David Luiz is in for Rob Holding in defence, having also been suspended. Odegaard, Dani Ceballos and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang come in for Alexandre Lacazette, Nicolas Pépé. Thomas Partey has another injury.
Leeds make just one change, with Kalvin Phillips missing, as expected. Jamie Shackleton, who came on during the win over Crystal Palace on Monday, comes in.
Martin Ødegaard makes a first start for Arsenal. Sid Lowe profiled him on his loan to the club.
This has caused a fuss, probably because it’s a rare moment of someone in football taking an interest in something beyond the end of their own nose.
Here are the teams
Arsenal: Leno, Bellerin, Luiz, Gabriel, Cedric, Ceballos, Xhaka, Smith-Rowe, Odegaard, Saka, Aubameyang.
Subs: Lacazette, Willian, Holding, Pepe, Chambers, Pablo Mari, Elneny, Ryan, Martinelli.
Leeds: Meslier, Ayling, Struijk, Cooper, Alioski, Klich, Raphinha, Dallas, Shackleton, Harrison, Bamford.
Subs: Roberts, Casilla, Helder Costa, Hernandez, Davis, Gelhardt, Cresswell,
Referee: Stuart Attwell (Warwickshire)
Does Mikel Arteta look at Leeds and wonder if his Arsenal players might learn to run as much? Having learned at the feet of Pep Guardiola, a Marcelo Bielsa disciple, he is an admirer of the Argentinian guru. He is also looking up at him, since Leeds are a place above Arsenal in the table, and have delighted the neutrals while Arsenal have been highly inconsistent, and are on one of their bad runs. They haven’t won any of the three Premier League matches they have played this month while Leeds are coming off Monday’s summary dismissal of Crystal Palace, as part of three wins in four. There seems likely to be no Kalvin Phillips for Leeds, as he has a calf problem, which would be a significant loss. Arsenal will be looking to Bukayo Saka who at 19 has become such an important player for them. This is a mid-table battle, but it’s one to savour.
The kick-off is at 4.30pm UK time. Join me.