Bernd Leno rescues Arsenal in goalless draw against Leeds United (Match Report)

November 22nd, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Leeds United hit the woodwork three times and came up against an inspired display from goalkeeper Bernd Leno as 10-man Arsenal held them to a goalless draw at Elland Road.

Leno twice denied Patrick Bamford in the first half, before saving from Stuart Dallas and substitute Ian Poveda-Ocampo after the break.

For all of Leeds’ dominance and efforts on goal, they will be frustrated to have only taken a point from the match in what was a strong performance from Marcelo Bielsa’s side.

In the 21st minute, Nicholas Pepe tricked his way down the wing and crossed into the middle. The curl on the ball beat everyone and clipped the top of Meslier’s crossbar and was then cleared.

A quick breakaway from Leeds released Alioski again down the left. He cleverly looked up and saw Raphinha on the edge of the box, playing the ball back to him but the forward’s effort curled wide of Leno’s right post.

Just a couple of moments later, Bamford forced another good save from Leno. A snapshot inside the box saw the Arsenal ‘keeper save well, after Luke Ayling’s deflected cross. The pressure was now building from the Whites and it was only another minute or two further on in the match before Stuart Dallas also went close, firing his effort wide from the edge of the box.

Both Mateusz Klich and Ayling had further efforts on goal before the whistle, with Pepe also curling a shot wide for the visitors, but it was goalless going into half-time at Elland Road.

Arsenal’s task became harder when Nicolas Pepe was sent off in the 51st minute for an altercation with Ezgjan Alioski, after referee Anthony Taylor reviewed the incident on the pitchside monitor.

Rodrigo then curled a shot against the bar, before, in the closing stages, Bamford headed against a post and Raphinha slammed a shot against the upright.

Arsenal substitute Bukayo Saka nearly snatched an unlikely win for the visitors late on, only to be denied by Illan Meslier.

Photo Credit: Twitter/Arsenal/LUFC

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Chelsea legend explains why he snubbed Manchester United

November 22nd, 2020 by Olasunkanmi Ibikunle

Chelsea legend Claude Makelele snubbed a move to Manchester United before joining the Blues in 2003.

Makelele was one of the first signings of Roman Abramovich’s Chelsea revolution that summer, sealing a £16.8million move from Real Madrid after handing in a transfer request at the Bernabeu.

The former France midfielder has revealed Manchester United were also interested in his signature ahead of the 2003-04 season, but he had already pledged his future to Chelsea.

Makelele told FourFourTwo: “I had seen how things were going at Real Madrid. I told Chelsea that ‘if I leave, I’ll go there’. I made them a promise.

“They did everything possible to sign me. I was 30 at the time, but they still paid a significant transfer fee.

“I went to Chelsea because they came to me first. Other teams like Inter and Manchester United approached me, and they had shown interest before I went to Madrid.”

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