Leeds United bowed out of the FA Cup on Wednesday night after a 3-1 defeat to Arsenal.
Despite another brave performance, Leeds were outclassed by an almost full strength Arsenal side who ran out worthy winners. Backed by a capacity crowd, United set off at a high tempo, but were picked apart on Arsenal’s first attack with the impressive Samir Nasri skipping through the defence and sliding the ball past Kasper Schmeichel. Arsenal played some delightful football and their superiority was underlined when Bacary Sagna unleashed a powerful cross shot to make it 2-0 on 35 minutes. Leeds though found themselves back in the tie as Bradley Johnson unleashed a 30 yard thunderbolt into Wojciech Szczesny’s top corner. Leeds threatened to equalise, and should have done when substitute Davide Somma diverted the ball over the bar with his first touch. Arsenal though put the tie to bed following the introduction of Cesc Fabregas and Robin van Persie, with the Dutch striker heading home a Nicklas Bendtner cross with 15 minutes to go.
Wenger wants Leeds in Prem.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has admitted that his side were pushed all the way by Leeds United in the two sides FA Cup clashes, and has admitted that he would like to see the Yorkshire side back in the Premier League.
Speaking to Sky Sports News following his sides 3-1 FA Cup 3rd round replay victory the Frenchman remarked:
“I was impressed by the way they (Leeds) were organised and their spirit and physical qualities. I think they have a good chance to be in the play-off – we miss Leeds in the Premier League.”
Grayson happy with players.
Simon Grayson was happy with the way that Leeds United performed over the two FA Cup ties against Arsenal.
The Leeds manager told Sky Sports News following the game: “We showed some good qualities and if you are going to get knocked out of the FA Cup you might as well have it done by one of the best teams in Europe if not the world.”
Despite the blow of falling two goals behind, Grayson was delighted with the way the team fought back and threatened to take the tie into extra-time. “I thought it was credit to us that at 2-1 Arsenal had to bring on Fabregas and van Persie,” he continued. Leeds now move on from the defeat and continue their quest for promotion with an away fixture at Portsmouth on Saturday.