Player ratings: Arsenal defenders shine as Gunners progress past Leeds to quarter-finals

Date published: Tuesday 26th October 2021 9:45 - Dan Burnham

Arsenal vs Leeds, Calum Chambers and Emile Smith Rowe, October 2021

Arsenal progressed to the last eight of the Carabao Cup as their defenders shone in a 2-0 victory over Leeds United.

There was nothing to separate the two Premier League sides as they entered the break. But Calum Chambers miraculously opened the scoring with a header less than a minute after coming on as a substitute after the restart. And a Leeds defensive howler gifted the Gunners a second goal.

The backline of Mikel Arteta’s side earned some high scores while there were also some shockers from both sides in our player ratings.


Bernd Leno: Made an excellent stop down low to his left at 0-0 but his distribution was poor whenever he had the ball at his feet. Nothing to do in the second half. 6/10

Cedric: Provided serious threat from set-pieces. His corners were almost always on the money and he also got forward well. Was booked but was a smart tactical foul to stop a Leeds break. 8

Ben White: Marauded forward at any given chance with purpose. Night was cut short through injury. 7

Rob Holding: Like his centre-back partner, Holding showed attacking intent and wasn’t troubled. Also forced off in the second half like White. 7

Sead Kolasinac: Really solid performance both defensively and going forward. Supported attacks when he could and had a couple of positive headers from corners which could have led to goals on another day. 8

Ainsley Maitland-Niles: Nearly won a penalty with a quick turn of pace early on as he took on an advanced position at times. Did his defensive duties well too. 7

Mohamed Elneny: Was very sloppy when the ball came to him and gave away possession on a couple of occasions. 4

Nicolas Pepe: Assisted the first goal but wasn’t a tough header to make. Seemed a step behind the rest of the players on the pitch and his cut-ins to shift the ball onto his left foot were very predictable. Also showed poor reactions when a header fell to him in the box. 4

Emile Smith Rowe: Wasn’t afford the opportunity to impose himself on the game as he would’ve liked. Spurned a good chance before half-time. 5

Gabriel Martinelli: Kept very quiet by his opposing number in the first half. Looked ever so slightly better after the break but had little impact on the game. 5

Eddie Nketiah: Was a lively presence up top and scored the second. Latched onto the ball quickly and made a very intelligent chip over the goalkeeper, but did almost mess it up with the finish. 7


Calum Chambers (on for White, 55): Instant impact off the bench as he scored with his first touch. Didn’t put a foot wrong. 9

Alexandre Lacazette (on for Smith Rowe, 72): N/A

Albert Sambi Lokonga (on for Elneny, 72): N/A

Nuno Tavares (on for Holding, 76): N/A

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Illan Meslier: Didn’t have much to do and couldn’t do much about the goals. Was forced to come out for the second goal which resulted in the chip over his head. 6/10

Cody Drameh: Put in an impressive performance on his debut. Stuck to Martinelli like glue and made some good challenges. One to watch for the future. 8

Diego Llorente: Was one of the best players on the pitch while he was on it. Taken off in a baffling change. Pinged the ball about beautifully and nearly created a goal from his own half when he found James in the box. 8

Pascal Struijk: Struggled at the back, misplaced passes more than once and saved by Llorente on one occasion. 4

Stuart Dallas: The usual no nonsense performance from the versatile Dallas. 6

Kalvin Phillips: Controlled play well in the first half but grew sloppy as the game wore on. 6

Arsenal vs Leeds, Rob Holding and Dan James battle, October 2021

Adam Forshaw: Only afforded 45 minutes on just fourth his appearance of the season but had a solid first half and did what was asked of him. 6

Dan James: Covered a lot of ground but made the wrong decision which ended a positive first half break. The ball needed to go to his right but he opted for the left, killing the move. Could’ve had a goal from Llorente’s pass but the ball got away from him. 6

Tyler Roberts: Hauled off after a less than ideal performance. Was given a yellow for a cynical foul on White. Didn’t provide much threat. 4

Jack Harrison: Tried hard and flung a few balls into the box. Certainly didn’t lack effort though couldn’t get much past Kolasinac. 7

Rodrigo: Nothing worked for the striker – a night to forget. Gave the ball away and couldn’t make it stick when it came to him. 4


Mateusz Klich (on for Forshaw, HT): Dropped into the game by Marcelo Bielsa at half-time and was very quiet. 5

Joe Gelhardt (on for Roberts, 51): A tough evening for the youngster. Wasn’t for a lack of trying. 4

Liam Cooper (on for Llorente, 59): Awful header back which caused the second goal. 3

Crysencio Summerville (on for James, 70): N/A

Sam Greenwood (on for Rodrigo, 70): N/A

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