Leeds 1 – 3 Arsenal
Arsenal are through to the FA Cup 4th round after a quite compelling third round tie between the Gunners and Leeds. Having taken the tie back to Elland Road after a draw at the Emirates last weekend Leeds had the chance to secure the upset of the round.
Unfortunately for Leeds it wasn’t to be as goals from Samir Nasri, Bacary Sagna and Robin Van Persie finally killed off the Leeds challenge but what a thrilling cup tie this was.
In the first leg Arsenals captain Cesc Fabregas came off the bench to score a last minute penalty that kept Arsenal in the game, and the bench was where he started tonight. In reserve, just in case.
Arsenal started brightly, and a cooly taken finish by Samir Nasri from Arshavins excellent through ball put the Gunners in front inside six minutes.
Despite a few nice touches from Sanchez Watt, a Leeds player on loan from Arsenal, Leeds looked devoid of ideas and Arsenal poured forward.
A fantastic save from Kasper Schmeichel from the head of Marouane Chamkh kept Leeds in the tie and Bendtner was inches away from converting a Sagna cross.
The pressure finally told as Bacary Sagna unleashed a rocket of a shot from the edge of the box, and found the top right hand corner.
At 2-0 and half time fast approaching many would have expected the Premier League team to take control of the game but the deficit seemed to spur on Leeds and within minutes Bradley Johnson unleashes a 30 yards goal of the season contender that left Arsenals keeper Szczesny grabbing thin air.
After the break it was again Leeds who came out the brighter side and with 38,000 fans cheering them on they started making inroads towards the Arsenal goal.
Billy Paynter was a studs length away from converting a Snodgrass cross and David Somma came off the bench and almost scored with his first touch, causing sufficient concern for Arsene Wegner to call on the services of his captain Fabregas, and strike Van Persie off the bench.
It was the latter who killed off the tie, getting on the end of a fantastic Bendtner cross and powering his header back across Schmeichel in the Leeds goal to put the tie beyond Leeds.
And so the score remained, with Arsenal looking forward to a home tie with Huddersfield in the next round and Leeds able to head back the business of fighting for promotion from the Championship with their heads held well and truly high.