Arsenal beat Leeds 2-1, boost top four bid

Eddie Nketiah bolstered Arsenal’s bid to finish in the Premier League’s top four with a brace in their 2-1 win over Leeds on Sunday.

Nketiah scored twice in the opening 10 minutes at the Emirates Stadium as Mikel Arteta’s side secured their fourth successive victory.

Leeds had skipper Luke Ayling sent off and, although Diego Llorente did win one back, it was too little, too late for Jesse Marsch’s wrestlers.

Fourth-placed Arsenal are four points clear of fifth-placed Tottenham with three games remaining for both teams in the race to qualify for next season’s Champions League via a top-four finish.

Tottenham’s 1-1 draw at Liverpool on Saturday had kept them in the hunt, but Arsenal will visit their north London rivals on Thursday knowing a win would ensure they finish above Antonio Conte’s men .

Arteta signed a three-year contract extension on Friday and he is set to repay that faith by leading Arsenal to their first Champions League campaign since 2016-17.

Nketiah spent time on loan at Leeds earlier in his career but the Arsenal forward showed no mercy for his former club.

In the fifth minute, Nketiah punished a bad touch from Illan Meslier, shutting down the Leeds keeper and tapping into the empty net.

Nketiah barely celebrated out of respect for Leeds but struck again five minutes later, this time meeting Gabriel Martinelli’s cross with a fine finish from 12 yards out.

A dismal day for Leeds got even worse in the 27th minute as Ayling was sent off after a VAR review of his rough lunge on Martinelli.

Llorente reduced the deficit with a clever finish from Leeds’ first corner in the 66th minute, but Arsenal held on.

Leeds are third bottom of the table due to a worse goal difference than Burnley.

AFP