The Gunners took the lead after a 38-minute delay in the match through Bukayo Saka, who fired home from an acute angle after Martin Odegaard slotted him in past Jesse Marsch’s hapless backline.
Patrick Bamford then could have levelled it for the home side after William Saliba was judged to have handled inside the area following a VAR check but the Englishman, who was subbed on at half-time, fired wide.
The Whites had other chances before a controversial moment in the dying moments of the match. Gabriel looked to have kicked out at Bamford, which led to the referee sending him off but it was overturned after another VAR check and actually resulted in a free-kick to the visitors instead.
Leeds, now winless in six, were made to pay after a costly error from Rodrigo. It was his audacious cross-field ball that ended up at the feet of Saka, rather than his own teammate, and the Gunners winger played a nice one-two with Odegaard before bagging the match-winner.
A moment that led to journalist Beren Cross slamming the 31-year-old for having a “shocker.”
“Arsenal score. Rodrigo with a shocker. Tries a bizarre cross-field curled pass across the width of the field to Struijk, towards his own goal, where Saka is waiting to pounce,” he tweeted.
At the other end of the pitch, the £100k-per-week Spaniard proved just as wasteful, failing to get any of his three shots on target, whilst he also lost possession of the ball six times from just 27 touches – the fewest of any Leeds starter, including goalkeeper Illan Meslier (33), which shows just how ineffective he was in leading the line.
Marsch clearly agreed as it was the £27m dud who made way for Bamford at half-time.
It was clear that his confidence was shot from that point onwards as Rodrigo endured an absolute nightmare at Elland Road and given Bamford’s impact from the bench – despite missing a vital spot kick – he will be lucky to keep his place amongst the starting XI when Leeds head to Leicester City on Thursday night.