Martinelli brace helps Arsenal win at Leeds
Two goals from Gabriel Martinelli helped Arsenal sweep past an injury-hit Leeds at Elland Road to secure their third successive Premier League victory.
Martinelli’s double and Bukayo Saka’s deflected effort made it 3-0 before half-time as the Gunners ruthlessly capitalised on an error-strewn Leeds performance.
Raphinha pulled one back from the penalty spot in the second half, before Arsenal substitute Emile Smith Rowe wrapped up an emphatic victory for Mikel Arteta’s side late on.
The scoreline could have been greater but for an impressive performance by Leeds goalkeeper Illan Meslier, who made fine stops to deny Saka, Alexandre Lacazette, Thomas Partey and Kieran Tierney.
Youngsters inspire Gunners to dominant win
On Christmas Day last year Arsenal were 15th in Premier League and only four points above relegation zone. Twelve months on and they are guaranteed to be in the top four on 25 December for the first time in five years.
Mikel Arteta is looking to build his side around a core group of young players and the fact all four goals were scored by 20-year-olds suggests that policy is starting to bear fruit.
They were helped by some sloppy Leeds defending, but the Gunners front four of Saka, Martinelli, Martin Odegaard and Lacazette ruthlessly capitalised on any mistakes.
All this was achieved without striker Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, who was left out of the squad following a disciplinary breach.