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An eyewitness account of how Bukayo Saka dealt with Leeds United mind games

Mikel Arteta has been under increased scrutiny this season but should pacify at least some of the criticism aimed at Arsenal after the convincing 4-2 victory against Leeds United last week.

The win sees Arsenal climb back into the top half of the table and while the position is nothing to write home about, Gunners fans would be probably feeling a sense of renewed hope after seeing talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang making a strong return to action.

The Gabon international rightly took all the plaudits for his hat-trick against Marcelo Bielsa’s men but a certain teenager’s contribution to the win should not be overlooked.

The young star in question is none other than Bukayo Saka, who has been one of the few shining lights in an otherwise dull season for the Gunners.

The 19-year-old has quickly turned into Arsenal’s most productive attacking player this term and the youngster’s threat was not lost on the Leeds defence.

Saka was subjected to some special treatment from many Leeds United players with the likes of Struijk, Harrison and Alioski focusing their attention on him to keep the young star quite.

Bein Sports correspondent Carrie Brown, who witnessed the match firsthand at the Emirates, also seemed to be thoroughly impressed by Saka’s first-half performance against Leeds and stressed how the youngster was showing maturity beyond his years during her half-time analysis of the game.

Despite the mind games on display from Leeds, the 19-year-old was his robust self, proving to be too hot to handle for a well organised Leeds defence and drew a clumsy challenge from keeper Illan Meslier to win a penalty for his side in the 40th minute.

With Aubameyang back in the fray, Gooners will be hoping that the two can quickly form a partnership which can salvage what has been otherwise a disastrous season for the Gunners.

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