Arsenal 1 v Leeds United 1

Arsenal were held to a 1-1 draw by Leeds in the third round of the FA Cup at the Emirates Stadium, a result which means a replay at Elland Road on Wednesday January 19th. The Gunners made nine changes from the side that drew 0-0 with Manchester City with Kieran Gibbs starting and Aaron Ramsey on the substitutes’ bench.

Cool

The vistors took the lead after 59 minutes from a penalty awarded for Denilson’s clumsy challenge on Max Gradel. Robert Snodgrass made no mistake from 12 yards. It was left to Cesc Fabregas to come off the bench to provide the impetus for the Gunners. Theo Walcott was held back and it was the cool head of Fabregas to level from the spot for the Gunners, who then should have prevailed due to some late pressure, but Leeds had Kasper Schmeichel to thank for a fine late save from Denilson.

Replay

The 1-1 keeps up Arsene Wenger’s record of not having lost to a lower league side in the FA Cup, and at the final whistle he maintained that Arsenal will go all out to win the replay.

” It is a good warning that we got today. But we knew before the game that Leeds went to Old Trafford last year and won, and they had a draw at Tottenham. Overall this team have belief in that competition, from last year certainly. They did very well, were very aggressive but in a good way, not a negative way, they closed us down everywhere and we had problems to pass through their lines. They were dangerous as well and it was important for us not to give a goal away, but we did,” said Wenger.

Concern

Wenger went on the praise the efforts of Fabregas and the impact that his captain made when he came on just before the hour mark, but the inability of the starting eleven to get past a determined Leeds side will be of concern to Wenger who hope to fight on all fronts.

Time

” I must say at first that it was a very difficult game because it was a real Cup game and Leeds were up for it, they played well. It was the kind of game where you felt that it was important not to go 1-0 down. When we were 1-0 down I felt that Wojciech kept us in the game with a good save on the header (from Luciano Becchio). We looked like we would come back but we were short of time and it was important to keep the momentum and not to go out today because that would have been a shocker,” continued the Arsenal manager.