EFL Cup
ArsenalArsenal2LeedsLeeds United0

Arsenal 2-0 Leeds United: Goalscorer Eddie Nketiah has future at club, says Mikel Arteta

By Alex BysouthBBC Sport
Eddie Nketiah
Eddie Nketiah has scored seven goals in eight EFL Cup appearances

Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta says Eddie Nketiah has a future at the club after he scored to help the Gunners see off Leeds United and reach the Carabao Cup quarter-finals.

Substitute Calum Chambers' header crept over the line seconds after he came off the bench, before former Leeds loanee Nketiah pounced to wrap up the tie.

The forward cleverly flicked the ball over a stranded Illan Meslier and just did enough to nudge it over the line before the visiting keeper could recover.

"I have full belief that he is going to be a top, top player and hopefully at Arsenal," said Arteta, who has helped develop a number of young Arsenal players, including Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka.

"I'm happy to have him, he is our player, I regard him really highly and from my side I want him to stay."

Leeds had looked the more threatening side until the first goal in an open and entertaining game against a much-changed Arsenal side at Emirates Stadium.

But Arteta's outfit were comfortable after establishing their lead as the visitors became stretched looking for a way back into the game, with Nketiah impressing.

The 22-year-old, who was linked with a move to Crystal Palace in the summer, was making only his second appearance this term and is out of contract at the end of the season.

"We had a situation in the summer that we tried to resolve and we couldn't either way," said Arteta. "That contract situation is more and more common in football where we are coming from with Covid and a lot of the issues that we have to resolve.

"I have no doubts what he can offer. Whatever you throw at him, he wants more and he demands himself more.

"I'm delighted to see his performance. He totally deserved it. He has other players who play in that position and he has a personal situation but I try to leave that aside."

Arsenal, hoping to win the competition for first time since 1993, will find out their last-eight opponents in Saturday's draw.

Gunners maintain unbeaten run

Calum Chambers
Calum Chambers scored 23 seconds after coming on as a substitute

VAR may not have been in use but Arsenal's opener still felt like it took an age to register as all eyes were fixed on referee Andre Marriner to see whether the ball had crossed the line.

The official glanced at his watch, gave the signal that Chambers' header had squeezed in despite the best efforts of goalkeeper Meslier and the hosts' delayed celebrations began.

Chambers ran to embrace Arsenal's set-piece coach Nicolas Jover, who told the substitute he would score with his first touch of the ball while he was waiting to come on.

Jover was proved correct, just 23 seconds after Chambers entered the field as a replacement for £50m defender Ben White, who had limped off moments earlier.

Arteta said afterwards White was suffering from a bug, having been one of just two players to keep their place following Arsenal's 3-1 win over Aston Villa last Friday, the other being the lively Emile Smith Rowe.

The Arsenal boss called on those coming into the starting XI to use their minutes wisely and young forward Nketiah did that by continuing his prolific form in the competition.

The forward grabbed his seventh goal in eight EFL Cup appearances, two of those coming while on loan at Leeds, when he reacted to a mix up in the visitors' defence to score the second.

"It's always nice to play, it's been a while, I have been working hard, waiting for my opportunity. The most important thing was to get through," he said afterwards.

Arteta has already tasted success at Arsenal, winning the FA Cup as a player and coach, and the recent signs are encouraging for the Spaniard as his side made it eight games without defeat.

Leeds have not won away against Arsenal since 2003 at Highbury and that wait goes on, but they were buoyed by a vocal travelling support and enjoyed the best of the first half.

Gunners goalkeeper Bernd Leno had to get down quickly to palm Jack Harrison's fierce half-volley away and Daniel James proved a constant threat, but Bielsa's focus now returns to the Premier League and a trip to Norwich City on Sunday.

Line-ups

Arsenal

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Leno
  • 17Cédric SoaresBooked at 59mins
  • 4WhiteSubstituted forChambersat 55'minutes
  • 16HoldingSubstituted forTavaresat 76'minutes
  • 31Kolasinac
  • 25ElnenySubstituted forSambi Lokongaat 72'minutes
  • 15Maitland-Niles
  • 19Pépé
  • 10Smith RoweSubstituted forLacazetteat 72'minutes
  • 35Martinelli
  • 30Nketiah

Substitutes

  • 5Partey
  • 7Saka
  • 9Lacazette
  • 20Tavares
  • 21Chambers
  • 23Sambi Lokonga
  • 26Balogun
  • 32Ramsdale
  • 65Oulad M'hand

Leeds

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Meslier
  • 37Drameh
  • 14LlorenteSubstituted forCooperat 59'minutes
  • 21Struijk
  • 15Dallas
  • 23Phillips
  • 4ForshawSubstituted forKlichat 45'minutes
  • 22Harrison
  • 11RobertsBooked at 23minsSubstituted forGelhardtat 53'minutes
  • 20JamesSubstituted forSummervilleat 70'minutes
  • 19RodrigoSubstituted forGreenwoodat 70'minutes

Substitutes

  • 6Cooper
  • 13Klaesson
  • 30Gelhardt
  • 33Hjelde
  • 35Cresswell
  • 38Summerville
  • 39McKinstry
  • 42Greenwood
  • 43Klich
Referee:
Andre Marriner
Attendance:
59,126

Match Stats

Home TeamArsenalAway TeamLeeds
Possession
Home45%
Away55%
Shots
Home14
Away14
Shots on Target
Home4
Away5
Corners
Home10
Away4
Fouls
Home5
Away12

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Arsenal 2, Leeds United 0.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Arsenal 2, Leeds United 0.

  3. Post update

    Attempt missed. Joe Gelhardt (Leeds United) left footed shot from the left side of the box misses to the left following a set piece situation.

  4. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Jack Harrison (Leeds United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

  5. Post update

    Mateusz Klich (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  6. Post update

    Foul by Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal).

  7. Post update

    Foul by Crysencio Summerville (Leeds United).

  8. Post update

    Sead Kolasinac (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  9. Post update

    Attempt missed. Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left.

  10. Post update

    Foul by Crysencio Summerville (Leeds United).

  11. Post update

    Albert Sambi Lokonga (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Kalvin Phillips (Leeds United).

  13. Post update

    Eddie Nketiah (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.

  14. Post update

    Foul by Sam Greenwood (Leeds United).

  15. Post update

    Alexandre Lacazette (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Nuno Tavares replaces Rob Holding because of an injury.

  17. Post update

    Attempt saved. Sam Greenwood (Leeds United) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the right is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Cody Drameh.

  18. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Mateusz Klich (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Crysencio Summerville.

  19. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Albert Sambi Lokonga replaces Mohamed Elneny.

  20. Substitution

    Substitution, Arsenal. Alexandre Lacazette replaces Emile Smith Rowe.

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