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Leeds United have drawn Arsenal away at the Emirates in the third round of the FA Cup, ties to be played 3rd-6th January 2020. Arsenal have been no strangers to Leeds United during our exile from the top flight with three fixtures between the two sides in the FA Cup during 2011 and 2012. Results have not been too kind to Leeds with Arsenal progressing to the next round at the expense of Leeds both seasons. There were some good memories to take away though with a 1-1 victory at the Emirates in 2011 followed by a Bradley Johnson screamer in the replay at Elland Road which gave some comfort to the 3-1 loss.
With Leeds flying high at the top of the Championship, a swagger about them since Marcelo Bielsa’s arrival at the start of last season this could be a great time to play Arsenal. Languishing down in eighth in the Premiership with mid-table sides like Manchester United and having just sacked their manager Unai Emery, Arsenal are not the side they once were. Whilst the FA Cup may be a distraction in a season where we are ultimately aiming for promotion this is a great opportunity for Bielsa to test his philosophy against a team who were once regarded as being one of the best footballing sides in Europe and I really think we can have them!
Let’s take a look back at those games in 2011 when we pushed them hard…
Arsenal 1, Leeds United 1
FA Cup 3rd Round, 8 January 2011
Leeds took 9,000 fans away to the Emirates back in 2011 to watch Leeds play Arsenal in the third round of the FA Cup, and we very nearly won bloody wn it. Arsenal were undoubtedly on top but when Denilson brought down Max Gradel in the box ten minutes into the second half Leeds had a chance to take the lead. Robert Snodgrass stepped up and slotted the ball home from the spot to put the whites in front. Luciano Becchio nearly doubled the lead but a 90th minute Cesc Fabregas penalty took the game to a replay back at Elland Road.
Leeds United 1, Arsenal 3
FA Cup 3rd Round Replay, 19 January 2011
Things didn't start well in the replay as Samir Nasri slotted slotted home the opener after just five minutes. Kasper Schmeichel brilliantly denied Marouane Chamakh but unfortunately Bacary Sagna thumped home a second on the thirty five minite mark to double the Gunners lead. Leeds took some conselation from the game though as Bradley Johnson's screamer halved the deficit two minites later. The revival wasn't to be though as Robin van Persie headed in a superb Nicklas Bendtner cross settle it with quarter of an hour to go to.