Lacazette reveals Arteta fury before turnaround against Leeds

Soccer Football - FA Cup - Third Round - Arsenal v Leeds United - Emirates Stadium, London, Britain - January 6, 2020   Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta celebrates after the match with Alexandre Lacazette    REUTERS/Eddie Keogh
Arteta celebrates with Lacazette after the win over Leeds (REUTERS/Eddie Keogh)

Arsenal striker Alexander Lacazette has revelled that manager Mikel Arteta was furious with the team’s poor performance in the first half of their FA Cup third round win over Leeds.

The Premier League side were effectively pinned back in their own half by the Championship high-flyers for the majority of the first half and could have easily gone in behind at the break.

However, after weathering the storm, the Gunners improved after half time and found a goal through 20-year-old Reiss Nelson to win a hard-fought match by a single goal to nil.

“The manager shouted a lot.” Lacazette told the BBC at full time. “He was not happy because we knew they'd play like this and we didn't respect what he had said.”

Leeds controlled possession and created far more chances in the first half an entertaining game at the Emirates.

However, they were unable to make their dominance count and Arsenal stepped up their game after Arteta’s half time intervention and took the victory.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JANUARY 06: Reiss Nelson of Arsenal celebrates scoring the opening goal during the FA Cup Third Round match between Arsenal and Leeds United at Emirates Stadium on January 6, 2020 in London, England. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)
Reiss Nelson scores the only goal of the game to put Arsenal through. (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

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The new Arsenal boss was happy with the way his team were able to respond after the break.

"Now I'm really pleased but we saw two different teams - one in the first 30 minutes, and another after that.

"I tried to tell them exactly what they were going to face and after 32 minutes we had won one duel, I think. We changed our attitude, desire and organisation at half-time and then we were completely different.

"Sometimes they have to experience themselves how tough and how hard it is going to be. I watched a lot of Leeds games and they battered every team every three days. It was good for my players to learn and to suffer on the pitch."

Arteta has overseen four matches since taking over in December. After drawing at Bournemouth and a late defeat at Chelsea, the new boss has led Arsenal to back-to-back victories for the first time since October following a win over Manchester United last time out.

Match-winner Nelson was pleased with his manager’s approach and provided an insight into how the Spaniard is getting the struggling Gunners to improve and hopefully turn their season around.

“As a coach you always need to have the aggressive side. In training he’s always telling us to press, with passion, and play with a purpose.”

“This will give us confidence to go forward. We want to go to the Palace game and do well.”

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