Arsenal v Leeds: the history between the clubs and the team news

By Bulldog Drummond

It may seem hard to recall this as being the case but there was a time when the Arsenal v Leeds games were the biggest grudge matches of the campaign, and the rivalry between the supporters of each club out ranked that of most others.

Much of this arose from the 1970/1 campaign when Arsenal beat Leeds to the title by one point.  Arsenal quickly faded away while Leeds remained a force in the land, and between 1973 and 1976 Arsenal had one of the worst runs ever against another club…

Date Game Res Score
09 May 1973 Leeds United v Arsenal L 6-1
28 Aug 1973 Arsenal v Leeds United L 1-2
05 Feb 1974 Leeds United v Arsenal L 3-1
05 Oct 1974 Leeds United v Arsenal L 2-0
12 Apr 1975 Arsenal v Leeds United L 1-2
06 Dec 1975 Arsenal v Leeds United L 1-2
27 Mar 1976 Leeds United v Arsenal L 3-0
30 Oct 1976 Leeds United v Arsenal L 2-1

In short Arsenal moved from being double winners in 1971 to a club that simply fell apart under an autocratic manager who felt that players could be treated like conscripts in the military.

Eventually Arsenal found their way back and this century results for Arsenal have improved considerably.   But after three league titles in 11 years concluding in 1974, Leeds began to slide ever lower, finally being relegated in 1982.  They won the league again in 1992 – just two years after promotion back to the top division – but slipped out of what had by then become the Premier League in 2004.

Three years in League One followed before a runners up spot took them back to the Championship, from which they hope to escape this season to return to the top division.

As a result of these periods in the lower leagues, matches between Leeds and Arsenal have been infrequent – here is the list since their last period in the top division…

Date Game Res Score Competition
01 Nov 2003 Leeds United v Arsenal W 1-4 Premier League
04 Jan 2004 Leeds United v Arsenal W 1-4 FA Cup
16 Apr 2004 Arsenal v Leeds United W 5-0 Premier League
08 Jan 2011 Arsenal v Leeds United D 1-1 FA Cup
19 Jan 2011 Leeds United v Arsenal W 1-3 FA Cup
09 Jan 2012 Arsenal v Leeds United W 1-0 FA Cup

Moving onto the teams we find an hilarious headline in the Standard: “Confirmed team news” when it is of course nothing of the sort.  What is confirmed is that we have a couple of injures as reported here in the last post.

Still they do have a pot at the team and here it is…


Maitland-Niles  Mustufi  Holding  Saka

Willock  Guendouzi

Pepe Ceballos Nelson


Their comment on the injuries is “Both Hector Bellerin and Gabriel Martinelli face late fitness tests on hamstring injuries. A third hamstring victim, Dani Ceballos, is closing in on a return. ”

In terms of prediction, Radio Times says it will be a 2-2 draw.

Squwaka go with…


Bellerin, Holding, Luiz, Saka;

Willock, Guendouzi;

Nelson, Ceballos, Martinelli;


Goonertalk however have a further variation


Maitland-Niles  Mustufi  Holding  Saka

Willock  Guendouzi Cellebas

  Pepe Martinelli


But in a further twist the Daily Cannon suggests that Tyreece John-Jules who made it to the squad for the game against Chelsea is now due a start.  He was a starter in an under 23 game on Friday against Derby but was an early substitute, leading to the speculation that this game could be his launchpad.

Meanwhile the Daily Star’s headline “Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta forced to make Shkodran Mustafi transfer decision” suggests that changes are indeed afoot in the Arsenal defence, but unfortunately the newspaper’s writers and production team forgot to tell us what that decision is, and what is “forcing” the club to make it.  Nor does the article have a writer’s name attached to it which makes the whole thing a rather pointless waste of space.

So it goes.


37 Replies to “Arsenal v Leeds: the history between the clubs and the team news”

  1. In the news, Tottenham have _HATCHED_ a plan to …. Of course they hatched a plan, isn’t that what chickens do? Mind you, it is a bit unusual for a rooster to hatch something.

  2. Arsenal XI:
    Sokratis Holding Luiz
    Nelson Guendouzi Xhaka Kolasinac
    Lacazette Ozil Pepe

    Beach: Leno, Ceballos, Mavropanos, Willock, Martinelli, Saka


    I am guessing at positions above.

  3. FA Draw

    ManU (away) could (if they win retake) get Watford or Tranmere
    Chel$ea away to Hull
    Soton home to possibly spuds (if they win retake)
    Winner of our game away to Bournemouth
    Leicester away to Brentford
    State Aid entertains WBA
    Man$ity entertain Fulham
    Liverpool away to Bristol or Shrewsberry

    With that done, we can look forward to Arsenal playing Leeds.


  4. Commentators biased as usual, trying to officiate above Taylor. Arsenal ‘try to buy’ free kicks, while Leeds get fouled. Quite normal for the anti Arsenal commentary.

  5. I’m not finding good commentary at any “news” outlet. But the few comments I am seeing, are about how poor Arsenal are.


  6. Leeds play a good game and pass well. They have been well coached and are comfortable on the ball. Arsenal lose the ball in poor passing but seem to recover sufficiently.

    Leeds have mastered the playing from the back as they position their outlets well. Arsenal still poor at playing out because they have negative momentum, back passing more than forward.

  7. Not good but a perfect example of a team that are aware that Taylor will allow them to kick with impunity. There have been fouls which have warranted yellow cards for Leeds where we haven’t even won free kicks. Its just so obvious that Arsenal players know they have to be careful with every single challenge.

  8. @Menace,

    we are not having a good game, on the other hand we did weather the storm so far and a few individual errors were saved either by the guy committing the error or his teammates. This is a change from a few weeks ago. I’m putting this in the positives column. As for the ref…no comment…

    However, listening to the guys fro irish TV (streaming their channel) one realises how Arsenal bashing has become multinational….. So the (useless) guy goes about to tell what a great team leeds is, this from minute Nr 1… Bielsa is the best coach in the world, says Guardiola, and at some points adds that they have won an FA cup and participated in 3 other finals, what a great team they are…I was waiting for something about 13 FA cups…nothing….
    Then, 15 minutes later, suddenly, a comment that really this game does not add up to Arsenal FA cup standards, that in the past 2 competitions, they went out ungloriously…

    I was waiting for no mention of a record 13 FA cups 3 in 4 years not long ago – which would explain the ‘not being up to usual standards’…..but no…nothing. Guess the guy has been tutored by Amy “Only” Lawrence….

    I just want Arsneal to win, so let them keep on being idiots…but still, it is a mindboggling how unilateral this is.

  9. Nelson should have had a penalty if VAR is operating. Lacazette seems to have lost his scoring boots and keeps playing soft shots rather than bullets.

  10. The commentators seem to think Xhaka should get a yellow for being on the pitch!! They just want his arrogance stopped by a yellow.

  11. I know some commentators are biased but Murphy is an absolute disgrace. Calling for our players to be booked and then making so many excuses as to wh6 Leeds were unlucky to concede. Twat.

  12. Does any one know who the fourth official and VAR referee for this FA cup game is? I know Anthony Taylor is the referee which is no surprise after our manager made want I think is a mistake in making it known he was interested in get a result from this game.

    The appointment for our Saturday game against Crystal Palace are the usual suspects which is no surprise at all.

    Referee: Paul Tierney. Assistants: Ian Hussin, Marc Perry. Fourth official: Keith Stroud. VAR: Craig Pawson. Assistant VAR: Andy Halliday.

  13. Mirror crying about Klisch getting booked, that the only fouling all game long has been done by Xhaka, including 3 fouls on Klisch.


  14. Its true that Xhaka fouled Klisch but it was not one way. The fouling has been from both sides but the Leeds fouls have been allowed, where as Arsenals have all been called.

  15. The commentary sucks. No comment about Kolasinac being booked. Now they are saying that VAR turned down a chance to dismiss Lacazette for kicking an opponent.


  16. Gord it is true. I would have sent Laca off or at least given him a yellow. It was a tap on the opponents foot as he was trying to stand up after fouling Laca.

  17. Yet another 1 – 0 to the Arsenal. Another game of poor officiating on both sides. This is not a good advert for English football. The VAR official was poor as was Taylor. He tried his usual blindness but he seemed to have not cleard his bird brain.

  18. Well, congratulations to the Gunners for winning.

    I looked at 3 different commentaries, and none of them were describing the same game. Absolutely zero ability to visualize (if I had a mind’s eye, which I don’t) what was happening based on reading commentary.

  19. @ menace

    I agree that Laca deserved a yellow but TV then looked at Sokratis being fouled whilst on the floor by the corner flag. He was kicked twice but TV shows what happened after that on several occasions.

    This is why I can’t watch these fucking idiots on MOTD anymore.

  20. MotD’s review of the second half……showing how well Leeds played in the first half……..ffs

  21. Maybe Laca deserved a yellow card. But it seems to me (I’m not sure, I’ll have to check on the replay) that he’s making this foul because the player on the ground prevents him from joining the attack by holding his legs.
    A yellow to each would have made sense.
    I think Leeds played a far better first half than we did. A good point for our defense.
    As for the second one, the energy and the attacking force have changed of side and we played well.
    Congrat to the boys. Now Palace…

  22. I watched on a stream showing irish TV as stated before. It was fascinating. Anytime an Arsenal player got a foul, it was always : he was waiting for it, he just made his move when the time came, it was professionnal, etc… and whenever an Arsenal player fouled a Leeds player, just guess what was being said…

    Now, in the first halt the useless idiot (one of the 2…) said there was no VAR… then in the second half they show VAR investigating Lacazette actually tripping the Leeds player who had kept him ‘prisonner’ for what was that ? 10 seconds ? 12 seconds ? Same thing with Sokratis… The idiot did not explain how come VAR was suddendly existing. Maybe it was just for the second half. Interestingly there was no VAR when Socratis was shoved in the back in his own 5 meters on that occasion that could have been a goal against us…

    It gets better – or worse… the changes made by Bielsa. Some of them were youngster…so off we go into the descriptions : what a glorious moment for these youngsters etc etc etc and Bielsa is such a genius.

    In comes Saka… and the comment goes, flatly, an 18 year old comes in, I mean flatly like in : what are they smoking at the Emirates.

    And the idiots chanting the glory of Leeds’ first half .

    I don’t think we’ll ever get a level commentary. This has somehow found it’s way into these idiot’s DNA which makes them dangerous idiots because they will push stories without using their head and one day they’ll get promoted to for example foreign affairs and their words will have much more serious consequences. God help us…

  23. I want to repeat myself after reading a few toiletpaper reports on the web.

    Yep, our first half was not good. Then again, Holding just coming back from sick bay, thrown in, not yet ‘adjusted’, Sokratis playing wide, I mean this was no ‘business as usual’ defence. Which is a point I am not seing being made – no surprise there.

    But more important, to me, was a collective spirit. A visible will to not let the others on the pitch down. A sort of fellowship. They were all in it together. Even Martinelli was defending in the end, and I’m not even getting started on Ozil. Sure, there were a few ‘stupid’ mistakes. Yet, the guy at fault was running for his life trying to make up for it, rather then stopping efforts and letting his arms fall helplessly to his side. Attitude has changed dramatically. You could even see Xhaka laughing at getting fouled or a foul against him a few times… much better then getting pissed – it gives no reason for the ref to get upset.

    And guess what : all these shots on goal in the first half and still a clean sheet in the end… as bad as Arsenal are supposed to be…Arsenal are better then their reputation. And Martinez is a valorous and worthy second goalkeeper.

    Up front, see Pepe and Martinelli actually daring to go one on one or one on 2,3,4,5 was great. Interestingly, others seem to be taking an inspiration and daring to do the same thing. And seing not one but sometimes a swarm of players go after the ball carrier for a recovery was a great change.

    Definitely this is Mr Arteta’s touch. And the attitude part is sooo important. He is changing the way they react, act, fight, hang in there together. He is teambuilding. He has understood that the individual talents are present. And they need to be assembled into a swarm, not trotted out in a line. And this all is something I love.

    Now, I have no idea how it was different on TV then at the stadium, but a half like that 1 month ago would have been done under whistles and riot from the home crowd. Tonight I felt it was the opposite. The home crowd was behind the team all the way. Not against it. That is my ‘TV perspective’ so I might be wrong. But at least on TV, I felt the winds of change sweeping over the field…

    Not holding my breath on Holding and Xhaka not being labelled ‘useless’, ‘sell them’, ‘ shameful’ tomorrow by the usual suspects…all perfectly valid descriptions that ought to be adressed at the referee and the TV commentators by any real Arsenal fan.

  24. Chris wrote:

    And guess what : all these shots on goal in the first half and still a clean sheet in the end… as bad as Arsenal are supposed to be…Arsenal are better then their reputation. And Martinez is a valorous and worthy second goalkeeper.

    And Leno is either at the top, or near the top of number of shots faced in the EPL.

    We are well served in goal!

  25. I think it was Express:

    But somewhere in the “news”, was an article that recently projections of “We care, do you” onto buildings have been done. The article is written as if this requires the support of all Arsenal supporters. In truth, it only requires one person, who need not even be a supporter. It could be Robbie’s brother, and he probably hates Arsenal too.

    Just another brain dead article written by someone who shouldn’t be writing articles.

  26. There is no doubt that Leeds played at a better tempo in the first half. Arsenal were slower to the ball and sometimes poor with a pass. The passing lacked zip and consequently was easily intercepted. Leeds had many more chances at goal than Arsenal but our defence played well.

    The second half was a different story and Arsenal played at a faster tempo that seemed to destroy Leed’s confidence. It seemed to tire the Leeds players very quickly and Arsenal kept getting fouled but nothing changed from Taylor.

    The VAR sudden appearance in the second half did seem strange as there were several incidents in the first half that should have been picked up. This was a true PGMOL pickle with surprises at every turn.

    It was a good thing that Arsenal scored and won the game when we did otherwise God & Riley knows what might have happened.

    What a difference a good empathetic coach makes to a squad of talented players.


  27. WOO HOO , HOO ! Well done guys. Another win , another clean sheet . Keep it up . Yet to see the match , so no comments on that .
    Just happy to see us winnning again . That ought to put a smile on most faces .

  28. I was shocked to hear Anthony Taylor being criticised for his performance on Talk Sport this morning and for not carding Xhaka, Lacazette & Sokratis. How dare he be so ‘just average’!

  29. Sad to see the half time booing of the team returned, but, the commentators and the pundits seem to have written the script as they all said (almost in unison) that Arteta would give the team a rocket and they would come out & play a different game for the second period.
    And so they did.

  30. Ah! That’s good question.I assumed it was our supporters as Leeds had outplayed us for much of the first half, but it may have been ironic.

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