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gunners firing Pressure mounts on Marcelo Bielsa at Leeds as his side are hammered by Arsenal

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LEEDS, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match between Leeds United  and  Arsenal at Elland Road on December 18, 2021 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

LEEDS, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road on December 18, 2021 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

LEEDS, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 18: Gabriel Martinelli of Arsenal celebrates after scoring their team's first goal during the Premier League match between Leeds United and Arsenal at Elland Road on December 18, 2021 in Leeds, England. (Photo by Naomi Baker/Getty Images)

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta saluted his players as they cemented their position in the top four of the Premier League with a thumping 4-1 victory at injury-hit Leeds.

Gabriel Martinelli fired a first-half double as Arsenal chalked up a third straight Premier League win with Bukayo Saka adding a third just before half-time.

Marcelo Bielsa’s side improved markedly after the break and reduced the deficit through Raphinha’s penalty before substitute Emile Smith Rowe’s late effort snuffed out any faint hopes of a fightback.

"It was a great performance from the lads," declared Arteta. "They're the ones who have to execute (the game plan) against a team who are uncomfortable to play against. We've had three games in a week, very physical games. I'm very pleased.

"We had some intentions. I think the players understood the game really well. We were really effective and in the first half we were really good. I think we deserved these three wins and we're really pleased."

The defeat piles the pressure on Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa, as his side suffered a second big defeat after their 7-0 hammering at Manchester City on Tuesday night.

"They prevented us from getting into their half with combination play," said the Argentine coach. "Through their recoveries and build-up of their play they created danger.

"The second half, we could have won it but the first half we could have lost it by more goals.

"The losses of the ball in our own half and centre of the pitch increases the offensive power of the opponent. To increase the amount of danger we can create, we need to recover the ball when they play out.

"They managed to take the ball off us when we were trying to build and attack and we couldn’t - that’s what explains the difference."

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