Arsenal beat Leeds, but the Whites fans steal the show TSS January 20, 2011 Match reviews 14 Comments By 3pm – after blagging an early finish from work – I was already in Leeds city centre warming up for the FA Cup replay. It seemed I wasn’t alone either as the city centre bars started to fill up with Whites fans. By 5pm, we’d made our way to Spencers where the atmosphere was starting to build ahead of kick-off and Leeds United fans were already starting to dream of another FA Cup shock. Our final stop was to the, Old White Hart. Our theory was, that the Peacock would be rammed with the bumper attendance expected for Arsenal’s visit so a slight detour may prove productive. As it turned out, the White Hart was equally packed but getting to the bar was a hell of a lot easier. In the White Hart, we were entertained by an older Leeds United fan who had been a season ticket holder for the past 40 odd years. He was also at Wembley the day Allan Clarke scored to win Leeds their first and only FA Cup to date. His nostalgic tails of following the Revie boys around the country, mixed with his infectious optimism for the current team had us all believing Leeds United may well pull another FA Cup shock off by the time we left for Elland Road. As it turned out, the night had no real surprises in store for anyone. Arsenal fielded a strong team and dominated big patches of the game. A fifth minute goal from Samir Nasri and a 35th minute second from Bacary Sagna had Leeds fans fearing a rugby score. Leeds had their chances too in attack, but when forced to defend we were too often guilty of giving Arsenal time and space, allowing them to force their own game on us rather than vice versa. Bradley Johnson did offer some glimmer of hope though on the 37th minute when he slammed in an absolute screamer from long range. 2-1 and Leeds started to look a little more dangerous in attack. Leeds never stopped attacking Arsenal when given the chance, and as the scoreline remained 2-1, Arsenal were forced into bringing on the big guns to ensure any late drama was avoided – step forward, Van Persie and Cesc Fabregas. Within minutes of their arrival, Arsenal killed the game off when Robin van Persie added a third. Leeds, undeterred continued to attack with Kasper Schmeichel switching to an outfield role and the Whites throwing everything they could at Arsenal, but the Gunners were just too strong are deservedly progressed to the fourth round. The score, whilst a little disappointing at first, was largely irrelevant. The big success of the night was the players never-say-die attitude and the defiant roar of the Leeds United fans that had the national rags worshipping us. Every Arsenal goal was followed by cheers from the Leeds United faithful of “We are Leeds” or “We all love Leeds…”. ‘WACCOE’ as always proved to be another highlight, but it was the more original songs such as “Who needs Cesc Fabregas, we’ve got Rob Snodgrass” “Are you Walcott in disguise?” and “FA Cup who gives a f**k, we’re super Leeds and we’re going up” that stood out for me. Overall, the match ended pretty much as we all realistically expected it to. We boosted the clubs funds with a profitable and televised replay and got the chance to show why we belong in the Premier League as the Elland Road crowd roared for 90 minutes straight. On a personal note, I learnt to remain in the Kop from now onwards. We spent the night in the North East Upper as some fair-weather friends were joining us and we wanted to sit together. Shifting my head from left to right to see what was going on whenever anyone attacked the Kop end was a particular annoyance that I don’t wish to repeat any time soon. Still, the bar queue moved a lot quicker.