Arsenal 1-0 Leeds United: 5 Hits and Flops | FA Cup 2019-20
- Here's a look at five hits and flops, as Arsenal earned a hard-fought win over Leeds to book their place in R4 of this season's FA Cup.
#3 Flop: Patrick Bamford
He netted three goals in his last three games of 2019 but this occasion, away at the Emirates in a televised Cup tie, really should have been Patrick Bamford's time to shine at the start of 2020 - another year where the undervalued forward might flatter to deceive.
Registering a game-high six shots on goal, the 26-year-old was rightly left frustrated on an evening where Arsenal's slow start should have given him precisely the momentum he needed to fire Leeds ahead in a game they were dominating.
As he weaved his way into the box and let fly with three Arsenal players surrounding him, his effort cannoned back off the crossbar as the Gunners were given another warning sign. It took some time and an Arteta team talk, but they eventually listened. Having missed three promising header opportunities in the first ten minutes, then to hit the woodwork as Leeds continued plugging away? You'd be right in thinking this was not to be Bamford's day in front of goal. Even still, that doesn't excuse his poor decision-making when it mattered most.
While he won 5 of 9 duels contested, played a key pass (75% pass success) and was an ever-present threat in the opening half-hour, his creative influence waned significantly after that. Those half-chances in transition after half-time? He either made the wrong decision - going for goal or passing when the chance had already gone - or rushed into mistakes and was dispossessed, usually by a returning Rob Holding.
If anything, the battles between himself and Holding should have been something he relished. Instead, he often saved the 24-year-old centre-back's blushes at the back by forcing a well-timed recovery challenge when he should have done better to bypass him. All in all, this was a golden opportunity missed and one he won't forget in a hurry.Published 07 Jan 2020, 07:37 IST