In Depth

FA Cup: Mikel Arteta’s half-time hairdryer treatment works on Arsenal

Gunners progress to the fourth round after Leeds give them a first-half runaround

FA Cup third round  Arsenal 1 Leeds United 0 

Arsenal head coach Mikel Arteta gave his players the hairdryer treatment at half-time last night after they had been given the runaround by Leeds United in the first half of their FA Cup third-round tie.

Championship leaders Leeds bossed the Emirates during an opening 45 minutes that showcased the old Arsenal, the listless team that had performed so woefully under Unai Emery this season. 

Had the Yorkshire side been a little more precise in their finishing they could have gone into the break with an unassailable lead, but somehow the Gunners kept a clean sheet.  

Shouting

In the Arsenal dressing room at the break Arteta was giving his players a piece of his mind. 

Goalkeeper Emiliano Martinez said the Spanish coach was “really angry” while Alexandre Lacazette told the BBC: “The manager shouted a lot. He was not happy because we knew they’d play like this and we didn’t respect what he had said.”

The result of Arteta’s anger was a different Arsenal in the second half, more like the side that had beaten Manchester United on New Year’s Day. 

The breakthrough came - albeit in scrappy style - on 55 minutes when Reiss Nelson’s scuffed shot from Lacazette’s deflected cross sneaked into the Leeds net.

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Attitude

“We changed our attitude, desire and organisation at half-time and then we were completely different,” said Arteta when asked to account for the transformation.

“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.” 

Cherries trip

Arsenal’s reward is a fourth-round trip to Bournemouth, while holders Manchester City will face Championship outfit Fulham, who knocked out Aston Villa at the weekend. 

Premier League leaders Liverpool will hit the road, playing the winner of next week’s replay between Bristol City and Shrewsbury Town. Northampton Town, the lowest-ranked side in the competition (ninth in League Two), will host Derby County.

Reiss Nelson scored Arsenal’s winning goal against Leeds

FA Cup fourth-round draw

Matches will be played between Friday 24 January and Monday 27 January. 

  • Watford or Tranmere Rovers vs. Wolves or Manchester United 
  • Hull City vs. Chelsea 
  • Southampton vs. Middlesbrough or Tottenham Hotspur 
  • Queens Park Rangers vs. Sheffield Wednesday 
  • Bournemouth vs. Arsenal 
  • Northampton Town vs. Derby County 
  • Brentford vs. Leicester City 
  • Millwall vs. Sheffield United 
  • Reading or Blackpool vs. Cardiff City or Carlisle United 
  • West Ham United vs. West Bromwich Albion 
  • Burnley vs. Norwich City 
  • Bristol Rovers or Coventry City vs. Birmingham City 
  • Manchester City vs. Fulham 
  • Rochdale or Newcastle United vs. Oxford United 
  • Portsmouth vs. Barnsley 
  • Bristol City or Shrewsbury Town vs. Liverpool

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