Arsenal continued to dominate in the second half, although could have been reduced to 10 men when the Video Assistant Referee reviewed a tackle from midfielder Granit Xhaka on Leeds midfielder Raphinha for a potential red card early in the second half, but no punishment was given.
Christmas came a bit earlier this year ???
Very proud to have scored @Arsenal 7000 goal pic.twitter.com/VJlzaC3ymo
— Gabriel Martinelli (@gabimartinelli) December 18, 2021
Leeds netted a consolation goal on 75 minutes through a belting Raphinha penalty after striker Joe Gelhardt was taken down inside the box.
Smith Rowe capped his side’s performance with a goal on 83 minutes, firing home a superb pass from teammate Martin Odegaard.
After the match, Arteta heaped praise on Martinelli, who has now scored four goals in his last six league games.
vs. Newcastle ⚽
vs. Man Utd ?️
vs. Southampton ?️
vs. West Ham ⚽
vs. Leeds ⚽
Gabriel Martinelli is making an impact in the Premier League ? pic.twitter.com/rj07GAXyR1
— Football on BT Sport (@btsportfootball) December 18, 2021
“We see the player every day and we know where the player has to be to be able to play at the top level all season,” Arteta told reporters.
“We are here to develop him as a player and he has had to wait for his moment.”
“I am really happy with him and how he is performing. He has come a long, long, way. His energy and his passion do not get much better. When he has the chances he puts them away. He is heading in the right direction.”
Gabriel Martinelli has been directly involved in a goal in five of his last six Premier League games:
⚽️ vs Newcastle
?️ vs Man Utd
❌ vs Everton
?️ vs Southampton
⚽️ vs West Ham
⚽️⚽️ vs Leeds
Gabi delivers the goods. pic.twitter.com/hqxWOFQupM
— William Hill (@WilliamHill) December 18, 2021
Arteta confirmed after the match that Arsenal players sitting on the bench were racially abused by a Leeds supporter.
“I can confirm it and it was reported to stadium manager,” Arteta said.
“The authorities will investigate that. One of the players on the bench heard those comments. I don’t know exactly who it was directed at.”