I am dissapointed because we would have easily won this if we had taken our chances and yet I am relieved that we are still in it.
The way we started and had we been a little clinical in front of goal, this game would have been easily over in the first half despite us not really dominating the game.
Arshavin had the first chance to score from when he was through on goal, the ball provided by Rosicky. The keeper, however blocked his shot. It was followed by another stinging shot from Arshavin which was again stopped by the keeper. This was followed by three goal line clearance by Leeds in a space of only minutes. A minute later Denilson tested the keeper from range. Besides this we were looking dangerous on the set pieces. Bendtner was creating space for himself and taking shots. The goal looked imminent!!
At the other end Leeds had their chances to score. However, we went into the break with the scores leveled and the game for anyone to take.
We started the second half well. There was some good pressure, but somehow, we weren’t getting the end product. In the final third we were very wasteful. Leeds on the other hand got their breakthrough when Max Gradel was brought down by Denilson in the goal area. A simple penalty and Robert Snodgrass stood up to take it. Szczesny judged the direction but still could not stop it as Leeds took the lead in the 54th minute.
Wenger brought on Fabregas for Song, and we started pushing forward again. Walcott was brought on for Chamakh. We were still going forward and building up nicely but in the final third we were very poor. On the occasions where we got the shots on target, the keeper would save it. Time elapsed as we searched for the goal. Vela was brought on for Rosicky and we still searched for the goal as it grew really frustrating. Leeds in between would get their chances to finish the game off but Djourou did well on plenty of occasions to deny them.
The 90th minute was nearing when it appeared that the ref had given a penalty to us. However, in all the confusion it wasn’t as it was just an offside. I thought that this was the end. However, Walcott was held back in the final minute of the 90 when through on goal and this time the ref pointed to the spot. Fabregas stepped up to take it and nailed it. We were leveled and it was just over 90 minutes.
We still would have gone on to win from here had we taken the numerous chances in the stoppage time that we got. Leeds keeper, Schmeichel, still had time to make a brilliant save from Denilson’s long range shot. However, with Bendtner missing a couple of chances along with Walcott the game ended with scores level.
Well we are still in the cup and that counts. However, we need to score goals. These last two games have shown that if you do not score you can easily lose or drop points despite dominating proceedings.
I don’t know what to say of our attack. In simple word, we missed a lot of chances and were overall very poor upfront. Some credit by the way also goes to the Leeds defence and their keeper becuase they were excellent.
However, we need to be decisive in the final third. We were very wasteful today and some of the decisions upfront were just bad.
We have to play one extra fixture now, but we can handle it with our squad strength. However, if we are playing this extra game, we would need to be more clinical than we were today and make it count. It will do us no good that we play an extra match and still go down.