Leeds were strong enough to keep Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal at bay this evening, but didn’t do enough to snatch all three points. However, Marcelo Bielsa cannot sniff at a point against the Gunners, who are pushing to catch up with ‘top six’ rivals Spurs and Chelsea.
Neither team could break the deadlock and spoils were forced to be shared at Elland Road. Patrick Bamford looked the most likely to score during the evening, but the 27-year-old fluffed his lines on several occasions and missed putting his side in front.
However, it wasn’t just Bielsa’s golden boy who struggled in front of goal tonight. New signing Raphinha, who made his first senior start for his new club, really struggled to find his groove and was extremely wasteful in front of goal.
The Brazilian reportedly completed just 68% of his attempted passes, despite playing the full 90 minutes for Leeds. Despite his 100% cross and long ball success, he failed to register a single shot on goal, pulling the trigger four times during the match and failing to hit the target with any (via Sofascore).
With neither side able to beat the opposition’s goalkeepers, both Leeds and Arsenal settle for the lone point in their returning Premier League match. The Whites will more than likely be pleased with the result, given the fact their previous two appearances saw them suffer back-to-back 4-1 defeats to Leicester and Crystal Palace.
Leeds creep up a spot in the table and remain the two points behind Arsenal, who are also struggling for points this season. But Bielsa must be focusing on the fact that despite his attackers’ best efforts, they just aren’t finding that final spark to tuck their goals away.
Raphinha was extremely wasteful this evening and may have ruined his chance of starting more games. The £60,000 per week forward slotted in to replace Helder Costa, who didn’t make it off the bench. However, with Everton next to play, Bielsa won’t want to risk fielding the 23-year-old if he couldn’t make his first start for the club count with at least a shot on goal.