Arsenal came away with three points from Leeds United after their most battling display of the season which Aaron Ramsdale claims was planned.
Arsenal came away from Elland Road with a miraculous three points, having seen a goal disallowed, a penalty missed, another overturned, and a red card changed to a yellow. It would be fair to say that it looked like a fortunate victory on the surface.
However, Arsenal goalkeeper and man of the match Aaron Ramsdale said after the game that this was a performance Mikel Arteta had planned for. Asked after the game whether the defensive display was spawned by more instinct or planning, the stopper was quick to point to the Spaniard for the reason behind the resolute demonstration.
“He plans for everything. To the finest detail, he will plan for things. He’ll plan different formations, how they play, how we play, etcetera. We know how to do it; we haven’t had to do it this season which has been good for us because it means we’re in control of games.
“But to do it here, especially here – it’s a really tough place to come and win – it’s a credit to his staff for getting us into a position to do it. We’ve done it out there today, the 13, 14 of us who were on the pitch.”
Ramsdale was responsible for making a series of crucial saves. From Pascal Struijk in the first half and several from Patrick Bamford in the second.
Speaking about his one-on-one battle with the Leeds striker, he said that he relished the opportunity. He said: “Yeah, it’s really enjoyable.”
“Firstly, it’s great to see Pat back out there after a long time. You play against these people, and you have competition and whatnot, but after the game, you have the mutual respect to say ‘hello’ and all those things.
“It’s good that you have that feeling that you’re getting one up on him at the time. He could quite easily have scored that penalty, and it turns in his favour.
“So, it’s a great little battle we’ve got, but at the end of the day, it wasn’t just me. We had some big blocks and moments from our defenders, midfielders and attackers. It’s a great day all-round, really.”
After a week of goalkeeping performances of a truly high standard, following Matt Turner’s man-of-the-match display in Norway, Arsenal can rest easy knowing they’re quite literally in safe hands. However, it remains now on the outfield players to find their form.
Arteta might plan for these scenarios with the Gunners needing to dig in to claim a result, but ultimately if they want to extend this winning run, they need to re-establish the dominant style that has seen them win so many in this early period. Games against PSV and Southampton will come quickly, proving that very opportunity to shift things back into high gear.