Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang scored a superb hat-trick as Arsenal ended their three-game winless run with victory over Leeds United at Emirates Stadium.
Aubameyang opened the scoring in the 14th minute before doubling his side’s advantage from the spot towards the end of the first half.
Right-back Hector Bellerin grabbed a third on the stroke of half-time, with Aubameyang completing his hat-trick with a header moments after the restart.
But from 4-0 down Leeds grabbed two second-half goals through Pascal Struijk and substitute Helder Costa to give Arsenal a late scare.
Aubameyang punishes sloppy Leeds
Making his first start in almost a month, Arsenal skipper Aubameyang proved just how valuable he is to the north London club.
Since he was last named in a starting XI, the Gunners had gone out of the FA Cup and taken four points from four games in the league.
Right from the off he looked lively, cutting in from the left and finding the bottom corner with a cultured finish in the opening quarter.
And he was denied a second moments later when Leeds defender Luke Ayling superbly blocked his shot after good work from David Luiz.
VAR intervention led to referee Stuart Atwell overturning an Arsenal penalty after Bukayo Saka was brought down by Liam Cooper in the 35th minute.
But the 19-year-old won another spot-kick minutes later, being tripped by Leeds keeper Illan Meslier after the stopper was unable to clear a routine backpass.
Aubameyang made no mistake from 12 yards – sending Meslier the wrong way – before Bellerin caught out the Frenchman at his near post to net Arsenal’s third.
Arsenal started the second half just as they finished the first, with Gabon international Aubameyang heading home Emile Smith Rowe’s cross to net his second ever Arsenal hat-trick – his first since the Gunners beat Valencia 4-2 in the Europa League in May 2019.
And he nearly had a fourth in the 73rd minute, curling the ball against the crossbar following a well-worked counter-attack.
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- 23David Luiz
- 17Cédric Soares
- 8CeballosSubstituted forHoldingat 89′minutes
- 11ØdegaardSubstituted forElnenyat 78′minutes
- 32Smith RoweSubstituted forWillianat 62′minutes
- 10AlioskiSubstituted forHugginsat 53′minutes
- 21StruijkBooked at 70mins
- 15DallasBooked at 90mins
- 43KlichSubstituted forRobertsat 45′minutes
- 22HarrisonSubstituted forHélder Costaat 45′minutes
- 17Hélder Costa
Match ends, Arsenal 4, Leeds United 2.
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. Conceded 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.
Offside, Arsenal. Willian tries a through ball, 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. Conceded by Liam Cooper.
Attempt blocked. Martin Ødegaard (Arsenal) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Héctor Bellerín.
Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang (Arsenal) hits the right post with a right footed shot from the centre of the box. Assisted by Granit Xhaka.
Luke Ayling (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.