Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang had only scored five goals in the Premier League season
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang achieved an excellent hat trick when Arsenal ended their winless run in three games with a win over Leeds United at the Emirates Stadium.
Aubameyang opened the goal in the 14th minute before doubling his team’s lead towards the end of the first half.
Right-back Hector Bellerin scored a third goal at halftime, and Aubameyang ended his hat-trick with a header shortly after the restart.
But from 4-0 down, Leeds scored two goals in the second half through Pascal Struijk, replacing Helder Costa to give Arsenal a late night scare.
Aubameyang punishes sloppy Leeds
Arsenal skipper Aubameyang started for the first time in almost a month and proved how valuable he is to the north London club.
Since he was last named in a starting XI, the Gunners had left the FA Cup and picked up four points from four games in the league.
Looking lively from the start, he cut in from the left and found the bottom corner with a sophisticated finish in the opening quarter.
And a second moment later it was rejected when Leeds defender Luke Ayling superbly blocked his shot after a good job by David Luiz.
VAR’s intervention resulted in referee Stuart Atwell canceling an Arsenal penalty after Bukayo Saka was overthrown by Liam Cooper in the 35th minute.
However, the 19-year-old won another free kick minutes later and was tripped by Leeds keeper Illan Meslier after the stopper failed to clear a routine back pass.
Aubameyang made no mistake from 12 yards – sending Meslier the wrong way – before Bellerin caught the Frenchman at his near post to score Arsenal’s third goal.
Arsenal started the second half just like the first when Gabon international Aubameyang brought home Emile Smith Rowe’s cross to score his second Arsenal hat-trick – his first since the Gunners’ 4-2 win over Valencia in Europa League in May 2019.
In the 73rd minute, he had almost a fourth hit and rolled the ball against the crossbar after a well-crafted counter-attack.
Arsenal jumps 10th in the Premier League, skipping Leeds
Meslier fights when Leeds goes missing Phillips
Despite a disastrous first 47 minutes, at one point in the second period Leeds appeared destined to leave London with one point.
Struijk’s header from a Raphinha corner just before the hour and Costa’s melee 11 minutes later cut the deficit in half with the Yorkshire side’s first two real chances.
At 4-2, 15 minutes from time, Patrick Bamford walked into the area under pressure from several Arsenal defenders only to continue playing.
But after a few nervous minutes, it was always Arsenal who were more likely to score the seventh goal of the game when Saka hit the post in the 80th minute.
Without star midfielder Kalvin Phillips, the guests struggled to get on the ball and have now conceded four or more goals for the fifth time since promotion to the Premier League.
Despite its offensive flair, Leeds remains leaking in the background. The West Brom fighters are the only team to have conceded more goals in the league this season.
The result means that Arsenal skip Leeds and are six points behind the top 4 in tenth place in the table.
Player of the game
2Bellerin23David Luiz6thGabriel17thCédric Soares
- 23David Luiz
- 17thCédric Soares
- 8thCeballosReplaced byHoldat the 89 ‘protocol
- 11ØdegaardReplaced byElnenyat the 78 ‘protocol
- 32Smith RoweReplaced byWillianat the 62 ‘protocol
- 10AlioskiReplaced byHugginsat the 53 ‘protocol
- 21stStruijkBooked at 70 minutes
- 15thDallasBooked at 90 minutes
- 43KlichReplaced byRobertsat the 45 ‘protocol
- 22ndHarrisonReplaced byHélder Costaat the 45 ‘protocol
- 17thHélder Costa
End of game, Arsenal 4, Leeds United 2.
The second half ends, Arsenal 4, Leeds United 2.
Stuart Dallas (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Stuart Dallas (Leeds United).
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Leeds United. The corner was caused by Cédric Soares.
Substitution, Arsenal. Rob Holding replaces Dani Ceballos.
Foul by Patrick Bamford (Leeds United).
Gabriel Magalhães (Arsenal) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt saved. Cédric Soares (Arsenal) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the top right corner.
Away from Arsenal. Willian attempts a pass, but Bukayo Saka is caught offside.
Luke Ayling (Leeds United) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal).
Foul by Tyler Roberts (Leeds United).
Granit Xhaka (Arsenal) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Arsenal. Mohamed Elneny replaces Martin Ødegaard.
Corner, arsenal. The corner was caused by Liam Cooper.
Attempt blocked. Martin Ødegaard (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Prepared by Hector Bellerin.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the center of the box. Prepared by granite xhaka.
Luke Ayling (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.